How to Market Your New Building: Apartment Lease-Up Strategy
It’s exciting to begin pulling in renters for a brand new apartment or other rental building. However, your marketing strategy will have to be a little different from rental properties that already have people residing in them. Your ultimate goal from the jump should be to go from 0% occupancy to 100% occupancy (or at least 90%).
We understand that getting there can be a little tricky, especially when the building is still in the construction process. But our apartment marketing strategists at LeasingKC have the inside scoop on the best methods to attract new renters and reach your occupancy goals.
Keep reading to learn more about creating a marketing lease-up strategy that actually works.
Spend more marketing dollars
Some managers try to cut corners and skimp on marketing, but when you’re building a lease-up strategy, you have to understand that the money you spend on marketing is crucial. Typically, a lease-up marketing budget will be more than an existing, occupied property.
Why? It’s simple—there’s a sense of urgency to fill spaces.
As your apartment continues through the construction process, you will have less and less time to get renters into those units. Therefore, you need to pull out all the stops if you want your new building to be successful.
But wait… you don’t just want to throw out money and hope everything works. When you create a budget, you also need to make sure you have a clearly established marketing plan with attainable goals. You can’t compete with other properties if you’re going with the wind in terms of marketing.
Start with your current resources. Do you have a social media page? What are you using for marketing materials? Are your listings strong or do they need more work? A thorough glimpse into what you’re doing now can help you determine what gaps you need to fill before the property opens. Again, it is totally okay to splurge on your marketing budget to get you where you need to be. Once you reach about 90% occupancy, you’ll probably be able to drop that budget as you go into maintenance mode.
Never ignore the right timing
Timing, timing, timing—you absolutely cannot ignore timing, because it can become a little tricky in the lease-up process. During early stages of marketing, you probably won’t have property to show yet, especially if the property doesn’t open for another few months. The question then comes, “How can I effectively attract renters if I can’t showcase my units?”
We definitely understand that there are a lot of unknowns and different variables that could change in an instance. It may be hard to balance meeting important deadlines with trying to gain leases. To make things a little easier, you can try following this general timeline:
Three months from opening: We highly recommend that you get professional renderings of your building. This allows you to showcase what you have to offer while construction is still underway. Truth be told, prospective renters usually won’t sign a lease without knowing what they’re getting, so renderings are a vital component of your overall marketing plan.
Two months from opening: If you really want to pull people in, start planning a fun grand opening event to take place a few weeks after people begin moving in. Events are a great way to engage with your new renters while gaining positive exposure to your property. You can invite local businesses to participate (i.e. a local pizza shop can donate discount coupons as part of a raffle). Your goal here is to build anticipation. A few ways you can do this is by:
- Starting a countdown on social media
- Sending out press releases about the event (usually takes about a month to get picked up, so don’t wait until the last minute!)
- Posting update photos on how the build is going
With any leads you gain from the event, make sure you follow up with them within two weeks and schedule a tour as soon as possible.
One month from opening: At this point you’ll want to stage the layouts that are either most common or most difficult to lease. From there, make sure you get professional photos and videos of the staging to add to your listing (LeasingKC can definitely help with that!). If you’re touring prospective renters, keep in mind that if you haven’t obtained a certificate of occupancy or a temporary certificate of occupancy, everyone has to sign a waiver.
This final month also gives you a chance to take a look at your pricing. Throughout the process, you should’ve already been doing your homework and monitoring market pricing that way you don’t have to worry about specials. However, you still want to make sure you’re competitive and create a sense of urgency for prospective renters. This may include offering same-day look-and-lease specials to get them to commit.
When in doubt, let LeasingKC jumpstart your apartment lease-up strategy
For those in the Kansas City area, LeasingKC has got all of your lead-up marketing needs. As a local listing site, we have inside knowledge on what renters look for in properties, allowing us to be your bridge toward future residents. We can equip you with the best tools and resources to reach 100% occupancy (or at least close to it).
Here are key aspects of your marketing plan you’ll to think about when considering seeking our help:
- Showing up on search results
- Professional photos of model units
- 3D tours
We offer higher-level services and marketing packages that include 3D videos, higher exposure on multiple platforms, social media marketing, and more—all at a competitive price that will maximize your budget.
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