by Mary Girsch-Bock –
Even when your communities are 100% occupied, as a property manager, you’re always looking for quality tenants. While it’s a challenge to attract tenants any time, finding those tenants and leasing apartments or homes in the first quarter of the year can be particularly challenging.
But there are ways to attract quality tenants, any time of year. One way that we’ll explore in this two-part blog is to hold an open house. We’ll look at additional ways to attract tenants in a later post.
Used by realtors almost exclusively, the idea of an open house may seem fairly strange to property managers. But the premise of attracting a high number of visitors, including potential tenants can be an excellent marketing strategy that costs little but can pay high dividends. Consider what an open house can bring to your property:
· It will likely attract a large number of visitors to your property. While it’s true that not all of those visitors will be in the market for a rental home at this time, it opens the door for future rental opportunities.
· Remember, prospective tenants may be curious about what an apartment community has to offer, but don’t want to formally view an apartment and fill out an application. However, an open house gives them the opportunity to view apartment homes, pressure free.
· Have a ‘for more information’ sign-up sheet for those interested in the apartment community. Once the open house is complete, leasing agents can follow up with those that indicated interest.
· The tell-your-friend component can work to your advantage. Entertaining those that have no intention of moving into your apartment community can pay off – particularly if they’re impressed enough to tell their friends. Make sure they’re impressed.
· It builds neighborhood collaboration. It’s likely that area business owners and residents will attend your open house, just to see what your property has to offer. Building collaborations with those neighbors can go a long way towards also building your pool of applicants.
· Provide attendees with an incentive to return as an applicant. Create flyers or cards that can be redeemed if they return to the community as an applicant. These can range from a gift card to $50.00 off their first month’s rent.
While an unusual approach to leasing, holding an open house can prove to be beneficial, and can be held throughout the year if desired.