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!

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.

Learn more:

How to Update Your Apartment Building Exterior and Lobby

3 Inexpensive Landscape Makeovers for Your Rental Property

Apartment Renovation Tips and Photos


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Theresa Bradley-Banta writes about investing in real estate while avoiding the pitfalls that plague many new investors. She is a 2017 PropTech Top 100 Influencer and winner of 14 American and International real estate awards for her website and real estate investing programs. As featured on: The Equifax Finance Blog, AOL’s Daily Finance, Scotsman Guide, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, Stevie Awards Blog, Rental Housing Journal, and Investors Beat among others.

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