Reducing the duration of vacancies is vital to cash flow. The success of this relies not only on the appeal of your listings but your lead funnel and qualifying process. Here are five proven strategies to fill your available units faster.
1. Practice Early Detection
As part of the lease cycle strategy, getting a read on tenant intentions early-on can help you plan for upcoming available units. It’s good practice to ask tenants two-to-three months before the end of the lease date whether they are planning on renewing or moving. If they indicate they will be moving out, you can start preparing ads and getting the unit ready for the market to be able to turn it around quickly.
2. Sell the Lifestyle
If you’re looking to attract more interest in your unit, make it easy for your prospective renters to see themselves living in your property. It all comes down to selling not just the unit but a way of life. Ads that perform better have a minimum of 10 photos showing the unit, property amenities and nearby neighbourhood attractions, like a park or popular shopping/restaurant area. Offer prospective residents video tours or 360-degree photos of available units. In addition to describing the unit’s best features, like lots of light or great views, as well as some of the advantages of the property, like the ability to accept online payments, show the prospective renter what it’s like to be a part of your community and neighbourhood.
3. Use Prospect-Centric Technology
Sure, when you use property management technologies to automate your marketing workflow it allows you to get available units on the market faster with just the click of a button, but tech also helps you get information into the hands of your prospects faster. For instance, you can include a call-to-action in your ad to text for more info about a property and within seconds, they can have additional photos, pricing information and location details in the palm of their hand. It gives them everything they need to make a decision faster. Team that up with online applications, and you’ll ensure your lead funnel is full, and vacancies are at a minimum.
Pro Tip: When you can automate tenant screening you also speed up the process of getting signatures on the dotted line. And, with a consistent screening process you increase the quality of your tenants which helps reduce unit turnover over the long run.
4. Up Your Social Game
As a broad statement, traditionally the property industry has been slow to leverage social media and online reviews. From Facebook to Instagram to Yelp and Google customer reviews, research shows that renters check out social content and what people are saying about your property during their search for a new place to live. To help spread the reach of your listings that you post on social, add geo-targeted hashtags that include not only the city but also the neighbourhood or borough. Keep an eye on reviews, and respond to both favourable and unfavourable comments.
5. Build a Referral System
People love to live close to their friends and family! A referral program builds a deeper bond with your community, as you are partnering with your residents to help share the news about vacancies by word of mouth or in their social media circles. You can encourage residents to refer your property by offering a gift or rebate on rent if one of their friends or relatives converts into a new tenant. And, while you always have to do your due diligence and screen your tenants and run background checks, if the referral comes from a quality tenant, there’s a strong likelihood the prospect is a good fit as well.