How to Rent Apartments without Selling the Specials
While some property managers feel that the only real solution to vacancy is to offer move-in specials and other types of deals that basically give the apartment away, using smarter strategies to increase and maintain high occupancy rates make leasing more profitable while attracting a higher caliber of potential renters.
Apartment specials have become an almost no-brainer, and that’s precisely the problem. While, it’s possible to attract a long-term resident using such a marketing strategy, it’s more likely that the person who takes advantage of the offer will only take advantage of you, moving in to enjoy the short term savings, but moving out when it’s time to pay out some real money.
Of course, there’s the leasing terms which are written in the contract and are supposed to grant protection to the property owner against such dastardly dealings by renters, but it doesn’t always work out that way, and litigation can be expensive. The best solution is to simply avoid entering such a situation in the first place. Continue reading to see how it’s done.
1. Invest in the Apartment Instead of Lowering Move-In Costs
The best solution to vacancy is to position the apartment to be one that’s in high demand. This is basic 101 in the real estate market and it works just as well for buying and selling houses as it does for leasing apartments.
Sure, not much can be done about location when the property is one you already own. But the secret isn’t in the address, it’s in the apartment itself. What amenities are offered? How well is the property cared for? What type of living conditions are offered those who would live there?
Even the best apartment community can always be made better. But, don’t take this to mean a full renovation is necessary, as the little things often count for a lot. Consider the amount that would have been sacrificed on offering a move-in special and use that as the budget for making improvements.
It could be something as simple as making enhancements to the landscaping to add to the property’s curb appeal, updating the leasing office’s interior décor, making minor improvements to the demo apartment, or putting new lighting fixtures in the apartment itself. The exact measures to be taken depend on the condition of the property, the preferences of potential renters, and the size of the budget allocated towards the project.
2. Generate Targeted Traffic to the Vacancy Listing and Property
The internet is an especially marvelous innovation when it comes to leasing, both for those searching for a place to rent as well as those with units available. Leveraging the internet right along with local offline listings has proven to be a powerful secret weapon for those who want to increase and maintain high occupancy rates, as they can often rely on conversion rates alone.
Positioning your listings strategically in front of the eyes of those seeking a place to rent within the area can mean forgoing special offers, as appealing property descriptions and pictures can be more attractive to potential renters than a free months’ rent, zero deposit, or other type of leasing special. It works to attract the right type of applicants because they choose your property, not because it’s cheap, but because it’s presented to them as a quality, highly desirable place to live, which is exactly what many people want.
3. Take Better Care of Current Residents
The power of word-of-mouth advertising is not to be underestimated and can prove to be an effective solution to vacancy. While this might not be an option for new constructions and properties where a completely new base of tenants needs to be had, it can do the job where there are already decent residents who would appreciate some better treatment.
Some make the mistake of thinking that the level of customer service they display toward their current tenants is good enough, but it’s important to keep in mind the effect this new digital age is having on customer expectations for service. This means not only making sure the maintenance is done, but that it’s done promptly and right the first time.
It also means taking a look at the maintenance personnel the residents have to interact with and making sure these workers are top-notch when it comes to customer service as well as the technical aspects of the job.
A lot more thinking may be required for selling on merit and quality instead of selling on specials, but it can be done. In fact, it’s an essential approach when your business is apartment leasing.