How to Successfully Prepare for Peak Rental Season
by McKenna Hogan, on Feb 26, 2020 8:30:00 AM
It’s that time of year again!
That’s right, peak rental season is right around the corner, and we can already feel the chaos ensue.
With the months of March through August being the busiest for property management, it’s recommended that off-season is spent properly preparing for busy-season goals.
Below we will cover preemptive steps to take before peak rental season for the best chance to meet occupancy goals.
Let your website do the work for you
While property management is out and about giving tours, your website isn’t actively being attended to.
Which is why optimizing your site before things get hectic can be a life-saver.
By leveraging your apartment’s Google My Business listing as well as embedding useful tools across your website and social media channels, potential prospects can go through the search and renting process all on their own.
Below are a list of sales and marketing tools that will help lock in leases during your busiest months.
1. Virtual tours
Property management can only give so many in-person tours at once.
Because of this, having a virtual tour embedded to a Google business listing or on a website can act as a 24/7 open house, so prospects can tour a community and use them for reference whenever they please, even at night when future residents may be more active online searching.
2. Drone videography
Drones have been increasingly popular over the years, and statistics project that there’s no chance of that slowing down.
In fact, the National Association of Realtors states that 80% of homeowners preferred to work with an agent who includes real estate aerial photography and walking tours with their listing.
Providing drone footage in your portfolio year round can speed up the leasing cycle by cutting out the time needed for touring a community - so the best way to prepare for peak rental season is by looking into a provider.
3. 3D renderings
When we say 3D renderings, this can include 3D images, virtual tours, floor plans, virtual staging, and lifestyle animations.
Excellent for communities in the development stage or on a budget, 3D tools can showcase your community before it’s even built. This aids in the visualization of a possible home which, in turn, helps in the decision making process.
Additionally, most 3D services can still be leveraged even after a community is built, making them a long-term investment.
4. Stacking plans
Stacking plans are extremely useful tools to invest in before peak rental season due to their ability to select specific units as well as floor plans.
Leveraging this immersive tool can help streamline the decision-making process by providing extensive information on the layout and availability within a community.
Consumers respond to technology
According to the National Real Estate Investor, Proptech investment has soared over the past two years and hit record highs in 2019.
With mainstream investors entering the Proptech game, innovation within real estate technology will establish new market leaders.
That means investing in these services now can not only help during busy season, but make your community stand out among competition as well.
Let’s first discuss the devices renters are using to look for property listings.
According to Appfolio, more than half of the renting population depend on their phones to search for new properties, which means it’s essential that your website and/or any additional platforms leveraged should be optimized for mobile use.
Getting this done before peak rental season will provide a seamless search experience. And let’s not forget, page load time and functionality have shown to be huge turn offs for any internet user.
In addition to optimization, omni-channel marketing will be the best way to maximize visibility when busy season hits.
By using the same content on multiple different platforms, Google will register it as valuable content, and subsequently make it more visible.
This “content” can be anything from a property listing, digital content, blog posts, etc. As long as it’s used in more than one place, it has the potential to boost your community’s visibility.
Don’t let any potential leads sizzle out
Not every community has the luxury of receiving a consistent flow of incoming leads. Which is why it’s important to implement some type of lead nurturing tool to keep prospects interested until the timing is right to convert.
The best course of action is to leverage AI on your company domain to respond to requests as soon as they come in.
A result-driven way to do this is by optimizing your website with a chatbot to answer questions while property management is away.
Not only does it provide an open channel of communication, but it also aids in converting leads. So leveraging this AI tool will basically put in work around the clock for when busy get, well, busy.
After leases are signed
The best way to prepare for peak rental season is to invest in tools and commit to routines that will create an easier leasing calendar year-round.
By continuously optimizing the “user experience,” or regularly updating your community, it will aid in boosting reputations as well as build loyalty among tenants.
Below are a few ways to execute this strategy.
These AI features are popping up left and right in multifamily, and they’re only projected to grow in popularity during 2020.
This includes everything from smart thermostats, light switches, plugs, etc. More-so, rental communities are implementing asset protecting smart technology, such as leak sensors, virtually eliminating major water damage incidents.
Not only are these features super convenient, but they also show how much property management cares about the living and renting experience.
With long-term renting projected to increase in 2020 as well as a decrease in home ownership, creating a rental space that feels like a home will prove to be the most successful strategy multifamily communities can execute in the coming years.
As an extension of the last point, amenities in general are going to be the main selling point of the season in 2020.
In fact, implementing luxury amenities in class A and B apartments can change the entire perception of a community.
Services such as dog walking and a fitness center are becoming increasingly popular in apartment communities, which could act as the main selling point of a community.
By either highlighting amenities you already have, or investing in new hotel-like services, it’ll be best practice to prepare these assets during slow months so they can shine by the time busy season comes along.
Prepare with a unique experience
What all of these tips have in common is their ability to create a unique and informative experience.
By providing all of the tools necessary for potential prospects to experience your community entirely online, property management can focus on wrangling in inquiries as well as potential leads.
Contact us today to see how we can help you prepare for peak rental season.