An apartment community's leasing velocity is determined by the amount of time that occurs between one resident moving out of a unit and another moving in.
Everyone wants to be able to make this transition happen quickly—after all, the faster you're able to fill a vacated unit, the better your occupancy metric will look.
To improve leasing velocity, we recommend seeing the length of time between residents as two separate time frames: the amount of days before an application is received, and the amount of days after.
Viewing them separately brings into focus the value of your apartment's marketing plan. Marketing is most influential in shortening the amount of time that occurs before an application is received. On the other hand, marketing has zero impact on the amount of days after you've received an application.
If You Don't Have Leads, You're Not Going To Receive Rental Applications
Marketing impacts your leasing velocity because it is the engine that drives your lead count. If you don't have leads, you're not going to receive rental applications.
If your marketing approach is static—that is, you've purchased a 6-month Internet Listing Service package, or you keep the same budget for your advertising month after month—then you're consistently going to generate a fixed amount of leads regardless of your occupancy, which is ever-changing.
If this is the case, your marketing will have limited influence on improving leasing velocity and instead, you'll be fully dependent on how many notices you get and the timing of when those occur.
Your lead count must be timely in order to improve leasing velocity. This is why the only way to truly improve your leasing velocity is to make your marketing both dynamic and predictive so it will consistently generate the right amount of leads right when you need them.
Knowing Your Future Occupancy Can Help Speed Up Leasing Velocity
At RentVision, we've developed two metrics, Future Occupancy Projection and Future Occupancy Target, to help our clients make educated adjustments to their marketing plans. This allows them to know exactly how many leads they're going to need to prevent any potential vacancy crises weeks in advance. Watch the video below to learn how you can predict your future vacancy, as it's a highly effective method of improving your leasing velocity.
The next step is to set both a maximum and minimum budget for your digital ads. This way, when your Future Occupancy begins to look concerning, you know that by spending closer to the higher end of your digital ad budget, you'll be able to generate the right amount of leads you need and increase your leasing velocity. Then, when your Future Occupancy is stable, you can dial your budget back towards the minimum end and save money.
Even if you're unable to predict your future vacancy, developing a dynamic budget is still a helpful measure to take as you can use it to increase your leasing velocity during your busy season.
Our clients can also rearrange the featured floorplans on their website to direct more traffic to the ones that have the most availability. Plus, knowing their future occupancy also gives them the chance to begin marketing specific specials for those floorplans to garner more interest where they need it the most.
Apartment marketing should solely focus on generating leads, as it's the only way to also earn more signed leases in a timely manner. In order to improve leasing velocity, you need to deploy dynamic and predictive marketing tactics with the intention of shortening the time span from when a unit is vacated until an application is received for it.
This thinking runs counter to those who believe in brand-based marketing. We've heard from many multifamily professionals that they're seeking a boutique style apartment website. Having a beautiful website design isn't necessarily a negative thing, but in our industry it's vitally important that your website be your top lead generator as this will ultimately get you leases faster. To help you see if your community's website is effective, we've built a tool specifically for apartment marketers called SiteScore. Get a report on your website within minutes by filling out the form at this link.