Don’t you feel like everyone is sitting on their hands waiting for something magical to happen? “How did Black Friday effect the economy?” “Did the auto companies get their bailout?” “Was spending up for the Holidays this year?” “Is Barack Obama going to change things?”
We are in a recession. The economy is awful. So what? Let your competition sit around to see what happens while you blow by them and lease some apartments. You don’t have to change things drastically because we are in a recession. Just do what you do best a little better.
Here’s what you can do RIGHT NOW to navigate the current economic environment:
1 Train and motivate your leasing team today. Literally! Email them or call them or have a meeting and get them on board. Let them know how important they are, especially now. They are your front lines. Don’t send them into battle with low morale. Have a contest today! Most follow up calls, most outreach calls, first lease or anything. As long as they aren’t waiting for the phones to ring or traffic to walk in the door.
2. It ain’t getting better tomorrow or next month. Or at least that’s the approach you need to take. Update your ads now and make sure your specials are updated and as obvious as possible. If heat is included you might want to emphasize that. People want to save money any way possible.
3. STOP NICKEL AND DIMING!!! NO FEES!!! Apply applications fees to first month’s rent if you are worried about losing money on denials. Reward approved applicants with no fees.
4. Figure out a way to compete with homes for rent. Provide prospects who are comparing your apartment to a home for rent with this article from USA Today.com:
5. If you offer a home purchase program make sure you promote the heck out of it. Many of your prospects will have lost their homes to foreclosure and are not renting by choice. A home purchase program might give them a glimmer of hope.
6. Don’t forget about your existing residents either. Your customer service should be top notch right now. Make sure your maintenance team is trained and motivated as well. They are also on the front lines making sure residents don’t leave. Remind your residents about your service guarantee if you have one and make sure you live up to it. Oh, and make sure the snow is cleared!
There are a lot of everyday things that can be done to get through a down economy. Just don’t wait around to see what your competition is going to do.