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Enticing Today’s Renters

Enticing Today’s Renters

How to stand out in a crowded rental housing market

 

As we dug our way out of the Great Recession developers broke ground on apartment and condo complexes in cities across the U.S. Whether you travel to Seattle, Dallas, Portland, or Nashville, you see cranes and hard hats almost as much as you see Starbucks and McDonald’s.

With the proliferation of housing options available to today’s selective renter, how do you stand out in the crowd? It’s more than a mix of diligence and service. Unless you are a brand new luxury brand in the early stages of design, you are going to find yourself with a fixed set of amenities and an iron-clad budget. How do you stand out year after year without constantly investing in expensive, high-end finishes, redesigns, and upgrades?

Have you taken the time to consider the importance of relationship building in your role as a property manager or landlord? We talk about it all the time at work or when we find ourselves in a new community, but how often do you focus on fortifying your relationships with your residents?

Is your place as clean and shiny as it could be? Or are there things that need to be hauled away, cleaned up, and cleared out? When you go through updates and remodels, you inevitably find yourself stuffing storage space and dumpsters to the gills. And then the junk sits there, collecting dust, or it costs you a fortune to remove.

The right mix of amenities is much more important than the newest and freshest thing. When you offer the right stuff in a spotless and polished environment to people you have skillfully built relationships with, you are setting yourself up for immense success. Quality referrals will roll in from trusted residents, your job will be made easier by the clutterless closets and storage spaces, and residents will live content, happy lives with the right amenities at their fingertips.

 

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Relationship Building

Let’s start with the toughest one. It’s not easy to build quality, lasting relationships with hundreds or even thousands of residents. That’s why you need to consider the relationship of your brand and your company to residents. They see you and your colleagues as an extension of the company brand. You are the warm handshake that introduces them to their new community and home.

Remember that your residents may not have had positive rental experiences in the past, at no fault of their own. Show them how different you are by offering the highest levels of consideration and service.

Answering concerns promptly, with a smile, is a sure way to win over folks. Many of your residents are quiet or reclusive, so remember to “touch” their lives in different ways. You can make your presence known and appreciated without talking regularly to each individual person. Try posting and sharing thoughtful, encouraging messages. Hand deliver packages that went to the wrong place. Or simply leave out coffee with a business card every Friday morning.

 

Clean it Up

You know this. Your place is probably close to spotless. Remember, though, that your residents call this place home, so they will notice each and every little thing. Sure, they will see lightbulbs that are out or scuff marks on a wall from someone’s move-in, but they will also notice a million tiny things that will bother them to no end, and you can fix them.

It’s better to have no couch in the lobby than to have a frumpy, torn mess. And you cannot hide your messes in closets and basements. Your residents will know. It is their home after all. Use Go Trashy, the junk hauling app, to keep your place organized and spotless with just a few clicks in the app.

Start by finding one place that isn’t as good as it could be, and get it into better shape. Maybe it’s the roof that is only used by smokers, or maybe it’s the seldom utilized workspace on the first floor. How could it be better?

 

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Have the Right Stuff

You might not have a state of the art sauna and whirlpool, and there is no way your budget will accomodate it anytime soon. That’s fine. Focus on the things you can have or that you can make better. WiFi is a great example. Is it strong, powerful, and quick in each and every room, public space, and outside the building(s) as well? How about phone signal in the units? Do you need to work with Verizon or T-Mobile to improve their reach in your units?

Being pet friendly is a two way street. Keep your non-pet owners happy too. That means offering a separate space for dogs and their owners to play and exercise. You might also, when possible, try to keep pet units and non-pet units on separate floors or far away from each other. Your non-dog-loving residents will appreciate the quiet, bark-free environment.

Ask your residents what they want or what they liked about their last place. Collect as much info as possible, and then look for common requests and start there. They will appreciate being listened to, and it’s a great way to offer what residents actually want, not what you think they want.

 

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