This piece originally appeared in the July 2022 edition of DS News magazine, online now.
With rising inflation and rent costs, budget concerns are causing renters to start looking for new places. Property teams can address growing concerns and keep demand high by showing the value they offer renters.
Home seekers have a laundry list of needs when deciding on that final place. Yet, research has found one major deciding factor that is common among renters—affordability.
Skyrocketing rent rates, big grocery bills, and higher cost of living are hitting home seekers during this time of high demand for finding a new home. In a new survey from Redfin, 64% of renters said that inflation is impacting their moving plans and 62% shared that they are concerned about rising rent costs.
Many are turning away from overpriced units and toward new opportunities with one in five renters saying they plan to move to find lower rent. This adds challenges for leasing teams that strive to maintain trust with renters and retain residents. Promotions, showcasing savings of on-site amenities, effective communication about rates and improving overall brand value are all ways to navigate this growing need.
Let’s get into how your property can prove its value to renters.
Make Renters Aware of Move-in Deals and Specials
If you have move-in deals, weeks off rent, or any specials going on at your property, this is the perfect time to highlight them. Plus, there are ample channels to do so—whether that’s through listings, advertisements, your on-site team, or even social media marketing.
Most ILS platforms allow you to highlight different specials that your property has such as weeks-off rent, move-in deals, or hot prices. Platforms such as Rent.com and ApartmentGuide.com can even show when rent prices decrease on your listing. This allows renters to instantly see that you offer added value compared to other properties in their area while they browse listings.
Good news can spread quickly, especially for properties that see spikes in move-ins during peak leasing season and have high demand among a specific group like student housing communities. If your property has a referral program or other promotions, on-site staff can also share specials via word-of-mouth during onsite tours or follow-up communications. What better way to get the word out than renters who have already viewed the property and have high interest?
Share How Your On-Site Amenities Can Help Renters Save
Look at your amenities from a different angle—how much they help renters save on extra expenses. People will often pay more for convenience, but the great thing about on-site amenities is the instant access residents have to fitness centers, common areas, pools, or other amenities your community offers.
For instance, having an at-home gym can save renters time and money that would otherwise be spent offsite. Similarly, hosting a pool party or a gathering in the comfort of their community allows residents to remain social while avoiding the cost of going out.
Here are a few fun ideas for showcasing savings. You can even share creative and free ideas on your property’s social media that relate to on-site amenities:
- Gym workout groups or classes
- Pet grooming
- Pool parties and barbecues
- Afternoon walk clubs
- Book clubs that can be hosted in common areas
Don’t Forget About Work-From Home Culture
Another major factor in savings is the trend of many renters working remotely. Working from home saves time in commuting and getting ready, money on travel, and, let’s face it, often peace of mind when it comes to avoiding the morning traffic. If your community offers units with space for an at-home office, business rooms, printing stations, or smart-home features that make work-from-home a breeze, share the value of those benefits.
Educate Staff on Responding to Pricing Questions
Rates and budget can be sensitive topics, so it is important to educate staff on your team’s policies. Make sure your team aligns on the best ways to approach conversations on any rate increases that occur whether that’s in initial communications, during property tours, or even in review responses.
This is also critical for reputation management because rates can be a topic that renters bring up in their reviews of your property. Your property’s responses to reviews that mention rates are opportunities to address questions around fair pricing and show prospects that you take these matters seriously.
Raise the Perceived Value of Your Property With Branding
Every expense comes with the question of “Is this worth the cost?” If rates are higher or there are added fees, renters will want to know why. Your property’s brand is often the answer to that question.
In a multifamily master class, branding maven and RentPath CMO, Kathy Neumann talked about the importance of brand value for properties. She shared that weaving brand value into every detail is critical—especially when it comes to affordability-focused renters.
For example, if you’re known as a luxury community with best-in-class service, those elements stand out to renters, from the way staff answers the phone, to the website design and the apartment features.
Elevate the currency of your property’s brand by looking at it through the lens of what you offer renters. Opportunities to strengthen a renter’s perceived value of your community are in every detail, including on-site operations, your home listings, the community itself, and marketing.