Five Tips to Full Occupancy

In multifamily property management, there is always more to do, but there are certain things that must be done.  In the effort to maintain full occupancy, these five tips are in the “must be done” category.

1.  Renewals!  The straightest line to maintaining high occupancy in multifamily is focusing consistent attention on renewals.  Ignoring this makes maintaining full occupancy near impossible.

2.  Be Ready!  Never show a unit to a potential tenant that is not ready to occupy.   This includes “almost ready” and “gonna be ready next week” multifamily units.  It’s either ready to occupy or… wait.

3.  Know Thy Competitors!  Know where you can compete and where you cannot.  Wendy’s restaurant has tried many times to get in on McDonald’s breakfast revenue.  They just can’t do it.  Know thy competitors and what concessions they are offering in the present tense.  Leasing agents should know the amenities of competitor properties and how/where your property can out-perform.  Example: older units almost always have greater square feet than newer products.   Accentuate the positive!

4.  Social media is a mainstay!  The integration of Internet-based advertising/media is a must no matter how small the multifamily market.  The renter market is younger people (still).  Young people are glued/stuck/fastens to their smartphones…. smart phones with connectivity to available apartment homes.

5.  Two-way communication!  Leasing Agents are far from order takers- they are the front line representing your asset.  A potential tenant coming to your Leasing Office is looking for a place to live and insight on the lifestyle represented.  A big part of leasing, then, is to dialogue and convey to potential tenants what they are buying.

This is accomplished best by creating two-way communication.  Leasing Agents should be asking open-ended questions that draw information from potential tenants to better understand their needs and wants.  This allows Leasing Agents to provide information on features and benefits offered by the development that meet potential customers’ lifestyle desires.  People may look for features, but they buy benefits.  The only way to know what benefits they are looking for is to ask.

John Wilhoit is the author of the best selling book on rent roll analysis: How to Read and Rent Roll. See also the companion guide to measuring the quality of rental income: Rent Roll Triangle.  Find JW’s Podcast here.

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  1. Jennifer Boyd
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