May through September are typically the months when most tenants seek new apartment homes, with July and August being the highest volume months. Spring’s arrival signals it’s time for property managers to prepare for increased traffic to view vacancies and to commit resources to encourage lease renewal numbers.
Where do you start? Perhaps the best starting point is getting your team focused. It’s time to make sure your property management team, administrative staff, and owners collectively focus on meeting property goals.
Engage Your Tenants
The arrival of warmer weather naturally inspires many people to open the doors and windows to let the fresh air and sunshine pour in after being cooped up all winter. Take advantage of the situation. Include summer preparation tips in your monthly newsletter like the ones below. This will not only identify potential maintenance issues, but it gives you an opportunity to connect with your tenants. Your team response to safety and maintenance requests can build stronger relationships, hopefully encouraging higher retention rates.
- Check windows and doors for weather-stripping and caulk leaks.
- Turn on the air condition to check operations.
- Test smoke alarm devices and replace batteries.
- Check faucets for drips and inspect sink and tub drains.
- Make a visual inspection of outdoor spickets for leaks and rotting gaskets.
Upgrade to a Modern, Online Lease Flow
Streamlining the rental process is crucial in a competitive market. While many multifamily communities offer online applications, that isn’t enough in today’s digital world. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, technological advances and increased mobile applications present benefits for property management companies.
Property managers should plan on updating to an online leasing solution to utilize technology to streamline the rental process and protect data efficiently and effectively. Access to online tenant screening, e-applications and digital signature options that allow tenants to sign the lease immediately after viewing save time, and give you the competitive edge over properties that use paper processing and approval techniques.
Give Your Team the Resources for Success
This isn’t the time to cut back on your training budget. According to the Center for American Progress, the direct cost associated with replacing an employee is roughly 20% of the employee’s salary. Protect your human assets. Make certain that all team members have access to technology and training before the surge. Understanding how the rental process works for tenants from first touch point to move-in date is critical for your property. Whether you have on-site maintenance teams or work with third-party make ready vendors, review procedures to ensure tools, supplies and adequate staff members are available to respond to every situation. Also, consider extended hours for leasing agents during peak rental season. This is the time of year that the extra investment can really pay off.
Put out the Welcome Mat
You’ve heard it thousands of times, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Take time to update web pages and social media sites. Invest in a property-wide spring cleaning. Spruce up your common areas and address maintenance issues that took a back burner to snow removal and urgent requests through the winter months.
Leasing season is upon us, it’s time to get ready.