A “No Vacancy” sign may be a last-minute motel seeker’s nightmare, but it’s a property manager’s dream. Are you currently in a rut when it comes to creatively and effectively advertising your rental units? Let your “Vacancy” signs take a vacation with these tips to quickly fill your property’s available spaces.
Investing some time into researching and strategizing the most effective and efficient way to rent your available properties on the front end will benefit your tenant search greatly in the long run. First, do your internal research. Which past ads and tactics proved most successful at your property? Analyze the wording and marketing outlets to see what made those specific efforts successful. Next, conduct external research by raiding rental websites to view current prices of similar spaces and units in your area. Ensuring your rates are competitive within your market will be crucial in winning over potential tenants. Additionally, analyze advertisements of your greatest competitor or a very successful property to see how they present themselves to the public, and assess how your property compares. Do you have amenities or perks that they don’t have? Are your rates more affordable? Is your neighborhood safer, or does it have a better roster of local businesses? Determine the differences between yourself and your competition, and create a list of “property pros” to use for your advertisement (which we’ll discuss below).
A picture is worth a thousand words, and can also be worth thousands of dollars when it means helping to secure a new tenant. Think about the current photographs you use in your rental ads. Put yourself in the apartment seeker’s shoes – would YOU want to live there? Ensure your photos feature either unfurnished, open spaces, or a well-decorated, identical unit to the one currently available. If you choose to photograph a vacant apartment, ensure it has been cleaned by a professional janitorial staff who will make it spotless and photo-ready. If you’d prefer to advertise with photos of a furnished unit, consider asking a tenant who is particularly stylish or prides themselves on their interior design skills if they would be willing to allow you to use their unit as a “model” home. Advance your efforts by taking photographs of not just the available unit, but common areas and amenities at your building as well as local sights or popular nearby attractions and businesses. These will paint a better picture of not just the viewer’s potential living space, but their entire potential living experience as well. Lastly, invest in a professional real estate photographer, who will know how to take the most flattering and appealing photographs to really catch the eye of apartment seekers.
Now it’s time to break out your inner salesman (and your thesaurus!). Use the list of amenities and property perks you created earlier, and be prepared to pair them with adjectives and visions that will make them pop. Instead of simply saying “Pet-Friendly”, go one step further by sharing any pet perks at your property, or that there’s a great dog park just a couple blocks away. If your building has lobby personnel such as a concierge, front desk attendant, or doorman, include those details in your advertisement as it shows that you prioritize exceptional customer service for your tenants. Additionally, be sure to list any security measures that your property offers. Do you have security guards? Is your property gated and patrolled? These days, tenants and residents are prioritizing safety more than ever, especially when it comes to the place they call ‘home’. As a closer, list some popular local businesses, restaurants or attractions that may be an added incentive to living in your building. Lastly, be sure to complete your ad with a “call to action”. This will ignite a sense of urgency in your reader to view your available apartment as soon as possible, as to not miss out on their potential dream home.
Word of mouth will always be your best form of advertising, as potential new tenants will be receiving a recommendation straight from a trusted source. If you’ve worked hard to form good relationships with your current tenants, this is where your customer service and diligence will come into play. Ask your loyal residents to refer your building’s vacancies to their friends and family, especially on social media platforms (which are easily sharable and have the potential to go viral). They’ll love the idea of having their loved ones as neighbors, and more often than not will jump at the to chance spread the word. If you want to add to the excitement and motivation, offer a small reward as a “finder’s fee” – perhaps a gift card to a favorite neighborhood restaurant or home furnishings store, or even a discount on the next month’s rent. Go one step further by hosting an open house ‘happy hour’ event and inviting your current tenants; this will allow them to inadvertently act as your best sales representatives, and show potential tenants how much you appreciate and serve those who live at your property.
Ultimately, stepping out of your role as property manager and viewing your advertisement or marketing efforts as a potential tenant is key in ensuring your property is being presented in way that will be attractive and appealing to your target market. Spend some time thinking outside the box, and your windows may finally get a break from hosting those “For Rent” signs!
This article was written by Jillian O’Connor (Marketing Communications Manager) for Planned Companies, the industry leaders in janitorial, maintenance, concierge/front desk, and security services in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Catering to both residential and commercial properties, we proudly provide services throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. For more information about our services, please visit our website at www.plannedcompanies.com or call us at 888-706-8600.