THE MARRIAGE OF MANAGEMENT & LEASING: How to Get Tenants to Say “I Do”
December 2, 2019
Real Estate Intelligent Marketing
Operating a profitable rental property requires more than just well-run accounting practices. Successful owners understand that property managers and leasing agents must come together to confess their love of one thing; tenants. A property has limited value without quality residents, but pursuing them, managing them and retaining them is no easy task. To capture long term commitment and engagement from tenants, follow these suggested vows to ensure a successful tenant courtship for a long-lasting, fruitful relationship.
Maintain Curb Appeal
Presentation is everything. Maintaining curb appeal impacts resident engagement and retention. A fresh coat of paint, a clean and manicured entrance, well maintained common areas and modern signage will increase drive-by leads and tenant enjoyment.
Keep it Clean
Spotless courtyards, allies and parking lots elevate the overall appeal of the property, attract quality, respectful tenants, and decrease vandalism.
Provide Attractive Amenities
Amenities are no longer an option in a rental property, they are absolutely essential. An amenity can be as simple as a courtyard/BBQ area or as elaborate as a full-service fitness center. Giving tenants a little something extra to enjoy builds community and lifestyle.
Make it easy for tenants to get in touch with you and always respond in a timely manner. Efficient communication allows for tenants to feel heard and issues to be addressed quickly. Utilize property management software and online maintenance request systems.
Create a Community
Make your property more than just a place to live. Create a sense of community by hosting monthly events like a BBQ or pool party.
Work with applicants as best as you can. Everyone has a different story, but having the flexibility to accommodate unique situations will benefit the tenant and help your rent roll.
Know the Market and Listen to What it Says
Make sure your property is in the strike zone for rental rates by running comps and scoping out the competition. For even deeper market insight, listen to what prospects say when they tour and improve where needed.
To stay competitive in today’s market, you may have to offer rental concessions like a free month of rent or discounted move-in fees. The goal is to avoid vacancies at all costs, so gauge the market and your competitor’s offerings, and analyze what type of concession is most appropriate for your building.
Be Reasonable with Security Deposits
Keep in mind that your competition may be offering security deposits as low as $0 to $250 on approved credit. Aim to keep your overall move-in costs as low as possible, which will entice tenants even more to choose your property.
Input a Pet-Friendly Policy
Be sure you have a pet-friendly policy in place. Not only will you have a larger prospective tenant pool, but you can also charge higher rent and pet fees for added income.
Respect and Incentivize your Agents
Pay your leasing agents well and they will work harder to lease up your property. In addition, know that it’s not always the agent’s fault if a property isn’t renting. Be aware that seasons, competition and other factors out of the agent’s control can all affect a lease-up.
Provide your agents with quality marketing materials and pictures. Utilize print, digital and list on as many websites as possible. Experiment with different advertising budgets and platforms to see which one performs best. Most importantly, know your target tenant base and tailor your marketing to this group.
Ask for Weekly Reports
Your leasing agents should be sending you a weekly update on listing traffic and tenant feedback.
Provide in Unit Laundry
Provide an in-unit washer and dryer to maximize rents and stay competitive in today’s market.
Your property is not the best in town. You may have put your blood, sweat and tears into your building, but so has every other landlord. Stay humble, stay positive and renters will come.
The courtship isn’t complete once a lease is signed. Take these vows to heart and nurture the relationship to ensure continuous cash flow and a happily ever for all parties.