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How to prepare for the busy leasing season

By Sean Organ, Morgan Properties

A successful leasing season starts with a well-formulated plan. That plan starts with knowing where you are today and where you want to be in September. All of the decisions you make over the next several months are guided by resident turnover levels. However, before you make any moves, you must have a plan that addresses staffing, pricing and promotions, curb appeal, and the make-ready management to ensure your site team is well-prepared to provide a positive move-in experience.

Staffing

Having the right team in place is the key to successfully managing any multifamily property, especially during peak leasing season. It’s important to fill open positions as early in the year as possible and to spend extra time training new and existing team members so they are ready to go come spring. These training sessions are also a great time to reinforce expectations for customer service, professionalism, and general performance. Schedule time to check-in with your team members, provide them with feedback, and identify ways you can support them.

Pricing and Promotions

One way to support your leasing team is by ensuring that your apartment homes are priced correctly. Whether or not you utilize pricing software, you should have an up-to-date market survey and verify that your pricing is competitive. Additionally, market surveys will help you understand your competitive advantages so that you can strategically promote your property value to prospective residents.

Curb Appeal

With the right people in place and correct pricing, the next step to being prepared for the busy leasing season is ensuring your property looks great. Most renters today have already researched housing options online, determined that the price fits their budget, and that your property can meet their needs before they visit your community. But, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Prospective residents are touring to verify that the place they will call home is as beautiful and welcoming as the photos and videos they saw online. Are the building entrances clean? Does the grass get mowed? Are the dumpsters well-kept? They are there to meet the property team that they will depend on to solve maintenance issues, answer questions about their rental account, help with noisy neighbors, or assist when someone parks in their reserved space. A positive experience during this initial visit often determines if a lease will be signed.

Move-in Experience

The best way to say “welcome home” is with a hassle-free move-in. A five-star experience starts with exceeding residents’ expectations from the moment they enter their new home. During the spring and summer leasing season, it is important to remain focused on your production schedule so that every vacant unit is move-in ready on time.

Delays result in extended vacancies and limited time to triple-check that the turned unit is up to your standards. Every resident begins to determine if they will renew their lease during those first interactions with their new home. A clogged sink or dirty oven creates short-term problems that could cost you a lease renewal next year.

Conclusion

First impressions matter, so be prepared by having your spring leasing plan in place. With adequate staff and training, accurate pricing, curb appeal, and an exceptional move-in experience for residents, you will surely outpace your competitors and see increased resident retention over time.

Sean Organ is area VP at Morgan Properties.

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