The market for renters is competitive. Regardless of your rental property’s size, any unit vacancy is revenue going down the drain. High renter retention rates can minimize these gaps, but even the best properties will need a strong approach to recruiting new renters as openings occur. Depending on the demand for your property, there are a number of marketing strategies you can employ to fill vacancies and stir up interest in your rental units.
With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to effective marketing strategies applicable to any rental property.
A diversified marketing approach
Today’s prospective tenants are resourceful when it comes to finding a place. In addition to drive-bys, print listings and referrals from friends, they’ll also scour Apartments.com and other online rental websites in search of that diamond in the rough. As a property manager, you’ll want to have a presence in all of these areas to attract as many renters as possible. Feature vacancy signs prominently outside your property, invest in listings in the classifieds and other rental guides, both in print and online. You can offer referral bonuses to current tenants as a way to generate interest through word-of-mouth.
A pristine exterior
First impressions can make or break your changes with a prospective tenant. Particularly during rental season, it’s important that your property’s exterior be well-kept – plants tended and trimmed, grass mowed, siding and sidewalks power washed, etc. A dirty outer appearance can sour prospects before they even view the rental unit.
If you’re trying to encourage long-term leases of six or 12 months, sweeten the deal by offering an incentive to lease signees. Feel free to get creative when it comes to these incentives, keeping in mind that even a small gesture can have appeal. According to AllBusiness.com, some common incentives include rent discounts, a free household appliance, or a welcome basket filled with delectable goodies.
Build utilities into rent rates
Utilities costs can pile up quickly, and the task of handling five or more utilities bills can be tedious for any tenant. Properties can increase their appeal by including some utilities as part of the rent. Water and garbage are among the most common built-in utilities, but electricity, heat, cable and Internet are all used as incentives by some properties.
If you have people interested in your property when there are no current vacancies, this doesn’t have to be a total loss. Take down their information and ask them if they would like to be added to a waiting list. Vacancies can crop up at any time, and whether it’s the next day or six months down the line, it’s possible that you will contact an individual or family just as they’re in the process of looking for a new place. This way, you always have a stock of potential leads to turn to when a renter turns in his or her moving notice.
Effective marketing is all about making your property visible and appealing to renters. Fortunately, there are plenty of things property managers can do to increase the appeal of a property. With a strong marketing strategy in place, you should be able to reduce the length of unit vacancies and increase your property’s rental revenues.