Last modified on December 10th, 2018
By Elizabeth Millar
Convincing quality tenants to move into your property instead of a competitor’s isn’t always an easy task. To do that, you have to send the message that renters will benefit more by moving into your community than they will somewhere else. Many property managers can compete by offering competitive rental prices or by building upon the advantages of a desirable location.
However, you can’t always compete on price, location, or other traditional benefits. You also may not have the budget to offer high-priced amenities that can draw in renters. In this case, you might have to get creative in order to stand out from your competitors.
Spark your creativity with these three affordable ways to attract and keep great renters.
1. Incentivize with Cash Back for Good Renters
Tenants who constantly pay their rent late or damage property end up costing you money. Instead of just punishing renters who violate the terms of their lease, why not reward your best renters? Some property managers have begun to offer a cash-back deal. Typically, they offer about two percent of all rent paid if tenants pay on time for six months and pass a property inspection.
For instance, a renter who pays $1,000 a month could qualify for a check for $120 at the end of the term you set. Alternatively, you might just offer to shave that amount off of the next month’s rent. This kind of incentive can help you save money and give your best renters a reason to stick around.
2. Offer a Workspace for Renters Who Work From Home
According to the New York Times, 43 percent of surveyed employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. Although there are benefits to working remotely, a downside is the increased amount of time you spend cooped up in your home with minimal face-to-face social interaction. Imagine how valuable a workspace outside of their apartment would be to renters working from home?
Perhaps you have a lobby that isn’t very utilized or an outdated rec room that isn’t used. Think about turning the room into a shared workspace. To get started, free WiFi is key to making it easy for residents to seamlessly go from their apartment to this work hub with their devices. And since remote employees rely on their smartphones and laptops, there’s no need to worry about installing additional phones or landlines. Get the workspace furnished with a few tables and chairs, perhaps a couch and coffee table for those who like to relax with their laptops to work. Before you know it you’ll have a communal place for renters to step outside of their home and get work done. If the space becomes highly utilized by your remote working residents, think about adding a coffee maker or water cooler to improve it even more.
You can even go the extra mile by giving it a cool name using words like “Hub” or “Zone” along with the name of your building to make it official. This may please your renters and you can add it to your list of amenities to attract new residents.
3. Community Gardens and Rooftop Farms
Consider setting aside minimal funding for a community garden that your renters can share. If you don’t have extra land to spare, you could also consider installing rooftop gardens. You might need to invest in the initial startup costs but then you can encourage your residents to form a local gardening club to handle the rest of the details.
Community gardens can help renters form a committed community of residents, too. They might enjoy gardening and are sure to enjoy the fresh produce they grow. They also might enjoy donating part of their produce to a local food bank or selling it to other residents for money for supplies for the next year. Either way, you can certainly promote this healthy activity on your social pages to help you attract more renters.
How to Find the Best Incentives for Your Property?
One of the best ways to find out which benefits renters might like is to ask them. Think about sending a short survey that lists some ideas for improvements you’re considering to see which ones generate the most excitement. If you run the survey as a contest or with incentives, it can provide you with good answers and also help spread the word out about your rental units. Just surveying your renters about something like this shows them that you’re a modern property manager looking for ways to improve their lives. It’s a win-win.