Crack team of dedicated staff prep units for new tenants fast

At Trillium Villages there's nothing uncommon about having three apartments scheduled for a turnaround in any given week. But with 331 units between six buildings and 20 townhouses, the 11 staff members have their hands full with their regular duties to perform on top of prepping a vacant unit for a new tenant.

Property manager Dorothy Arnold says her team does an exceptional job getting units ready for new tenants to move in, in a very short period of time.

"It's amazing how much work is involved in getting a unit prepared, no matter how well it was left (by the former tenants)," says Arnold.

"We have a very high standard as to how someone moves into a unit, so it's a lot of work getting a unit ready," she says.

One of the major challenges in preparing a new unit is cleaning out the hair, fur and dander from pets.

"It's amazing how much pet hair collects," says Arnold. The walls are washed to and it's common for carpets to be replaced to ensure an apartment is up to snuff on day one.

Staff members clean behind, under and inside the refrigerators and stoves, and exhaust fans are taken apart for a thorough cleaning before a new tenant arrives.

"There's a fair bit of work involved in getting (an apartment) ready, like cleaning windows, so all (new tenants) have to do is move in," says Arnold.

Four staff members are dedicated to turning over a unit, not including a contract painter, and Arnold says the key to quick, successful turnovers is co-operation, communication and teamwork.

Having quick turnovers maximizes the value to be procured from the rental units.

"If you can have (a recently vacated) unit rented right away, there's not a lot of money lost (with the unit sitting empty)," she says. "So there's more revenue generated."

Arnold says she's proud of her team and the work they do.

"They're a great group," she says. "I always tell them, their retirement date is much later than they'll wish it is, because I can't think how I'll replace them."

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