Originally published November 7, 2019. Updated For 2022.
According to a 2022 study by WeAreApartments.org, the U.S. would need to build 4.3 million new units by 2035, or 266,000 new units annually, to keep pace with the demand for housing.
There's a strong probability of newer communities being added to your local marketplace over the next decade, making it challenging to stand out in the race to attract prospective residents.
How can your community rise above the increasingly crowded field of competitors? Start by focusing on your apartments' future and current customers.
Give Future Residents The Best Online Apartment Search Experience
A customer-centric approach starts with your community's marketing strategy. Today's apartment shoppers are more comfortable completing their entire leasing process online. It's essential that your apartments are easy to find in a Google search and that your community's website features visual media content that shows the inside of your units (like walkthrough video tours that give showings anytime from anywhere). Your website should also allow visitors to schedule tours or speak with a leasing office at their convenience. We built RentVision's apartment marketing system to give your prospective residents their desired shopping experience.
Offer Accurate & Transparent Rent Prices
Pricing will be a significant factor over the next decade as supply and competition increase. You can help your apartments stand out by offering accurate and transparent rent prices in your lease offers. You can build more transparency with your pricing by showing up-to-date rents on your website that account for different unit amenities, supply, and lease terms. It's also crucial for your pricing to be set accurately, specifically with revenue management software that emphasizes your community's unique data. You can find our methodology for developing accurate and transparent pricing in our ebook Best Practices For Multifamily Revenue Management.
Go Above & Beyond For Current Residents
Customer service and human interaction almost always outweigh tangible items. If your community doesn’t make someone feel welcome or cared for, they’ll often choose to live somewhere else, no matter how nice the luxury pool is.
Your current residents must have a great living experience, as that can grow your apartment's reputation and overall attractiveness to prospective residents now and into the future. There are a lot of creative and unique things that you can do to make your current residents feel special, but we've thought of four recommendations to help:
1. Help residents stay up to speed on community and neighborhood events.
Most cities, and even neighborhoods, will have occasional community events open to the public. Perhaps, there is a movie night in a local park, a free concert, or a new restaurant opening. These are all things your residents might be interested in, and sharing these fun events with them on a printed newsletter, social media post, or community email is a great way to improve their experience in your community.
2. Promptly respond to maintenance calls.
Most residents understand that appliances break, heaters can go out, and light bulbs need to be changed now and then. However, suppose your team can respond to problems better than any other community and leave a lasting impression. In that case, you’ll be able to outdo any fancy amenities a brand-new community offers.
3. Greet everyone with kindness.
A 2021 study by Cigna found that around half of all Americans are lonely. Therefore, statistically speaking, many of your current residents are likely struggling with feelings of isolation. One minor but profound gesture you can make in response to this is to train your staff to greet every resident with warmth and kindness. People who live in your community have lives outside of paying rent, coming and going through your lobby, and hanging out in their apartment, so see them as a whole person and genuinely acknowledge them every chance you get.
4. Respond politely to phone calls.
Train your staff to respond politely to all calls. If the call is from a prospect, they’re in the middle of an apartment shopping process that is often tedious and stressful. If they’re residents, presumably, they're calling your office because they have a need or problem that you should promptly address. Both of these scenarios have in common that they deal with a person encountering a situation they’d rather not have. You can make that experience less complicated by how you interact with them.
Offer Favorable Renewal Terms
Offering favorable renewal terms makes business sense and is an excellent way of communicating care and value to your current residents. Please download our free whitepaper Renewal Strategies For Apartment Communities by completing the form below.