In the Chicago Tribune, the real estate section has a weekly feature that profiles an apartment community in their readership area, taking great care to describe the apartment in rich, picturesque detail. It’s one of my favorite parts of the newspaper; allowing me to experience a property that I may not typically visit.
While this may not be feasible for most apartment communities, there are ways to create a similar buzz about your own communities. These can range bolstering your social media profile to teaming up with area businesses that are willing to send applicants your way. While the strategies may vary, all can work to drive more quality applicants to your properties.
· Ramp up your social media strategy. This can be anything from creating a Facebook profile if you don’t already have one, to posting more in-depth information such as photos and videos of your apartment community that can be easily viewed and shared. Virtual tours of your community may also be useful. And don’t underestimate the value of Twitter, which can quickly get information out about your community and drive people back to your website for more information. Encourage your residents to share their positive experiences on social media as well.
· Create a professional website that is loaded with tools that will appeal to those looking for a new rental home. This includes easy navigational tools, online photos and property tours and access to an online application option as well. If you already have a quality website, make sure that it is updated constantly, with fresh photos and new information.
· Get to know your neighbors. Teaming up with area businesses can serve to drive a large number of applicants to your properties. Consider giving any referred applicant an incentive, such as a 5% rent discount, reduced security deposit or other incentive such as a gift card.
· Encourage your current tenants to refer friends, family, and colleagues, and reward them with a gift card once a referral signs a lease.
· Take full advantage of free sites that will allow you to post rental information about your communities. Like your social media strategy, you’ll want to include photos and virtual tours of your properties that will entice readers to search out your property for more information.
While attracting quality tenants can often seem difficult, employing these strategies can provide you with a pool of applicants that will have your community leased up in no time.