What Are You Waiting For?

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:

Renters can’t escape

housing foreclosure crisis

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. 



  1. You make some interesting points there. Nevertheless it’s been said many times that around 95% of the population prefer to sit around and stick their head in the sand, expecting some magical events to happen and save them from such a crisis. What you mention in your post all boils down to action, which is one of the key aspects to surviving such a crisis!

  2. […] My arguement to compete against homes for rent written at the end of 2008 is out the window.  Now owners of apartment communities are losing their investments and the fallout is impacting their former residents and will begin to impact all of us in one way or another.  For management companies looking to grow, if you’re on top of things, you should be able to pick up some management deals out of this.  If you’re looking to expand your business, this is a tremendous opportunity to grow exponentially and there will be business out there for everybody.  You just need to decide if this type of business is a fit or a distraction for your current business model. […]

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