We have all seen the posted signs: “First Month’s Rent Free,” and “Special – no deposit required.”
Free rent concessions and other specials often indicate landlords are struggling to attract prospective tenants or that the owner’s bottom line is in trouble. Rental concessions could also point to underlining problems with the building.
Do you need to pay people to live at your building?
Before you decide to give money away via free rent concessions, examine your property for weaknesses and strengths. Perhaps a few of these problems will ring a bell.
- The laundry area and other amenities are not being used.
- Signage – what signage?
- Dinosaur-sized weeds surround your building.
- The lobby has a frayed carpet and a dingy look.
- Your leasing office is open part-time and closes at 3:30pm.
- Police lights are your only outdoor lighting.
Start with the basics
Sure, free rent is an easy way to rent a unit fast but in order to improve your leasing efforts some underlying issues may need to be faced and addressed. Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started!
- Offer creative move-in specials instead of free rent.
- Brainstorm ways to put the sizzle back into your rental units.
- Focus on your community brand.
- Meet with your team and ask for their feedback on what practical improvements could be made. Use your frontline for insight.
- Shop your competitors. Experience apartment shopping through the eyes of a potential renter. What are the marketing ploys that have sizzle?
- Compare your prices and amenities to the marketplace.
- Offer community events.
- Review each of your units. Consider their strengths and weaknesses and price competitively for your marketplace.
Before you offer free rent concessions, take a hard, unbiased look at your property. Make sure you are poised competitively in your area to maximize your bottom line.
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