Creative Tips for Bringing In Red-Hot Prospects This Winter
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are right around the corner and only 2 months of shopping days left until Christmas. Where does the time go?
Leasing has slowed down as we enter the months of November and December. I have people asking me, “How can I attract the few prospects that are out there looking to move in the winter?”
‘Tis the season to stand out among the crowd
We surveyed approximately 700 communities to find out if they are doing anything special to increase the level of service or make any changes to increase the level of traffic during these slow months of the year. I was surprised that almost 85% of the communities surveyed were not doing anything different at all. The remaining 15% stated they are making changes so they can increase their resident referrals and also attract more prospects to their communities.
Some communities are staggering their office hours so they are open earlier (e.g., 8 a.m.) and staying open later (e.g., 8 p.m.). By changing their hours, they are more flexible for residents’ needs, which leads to more resident referrals as well as more hours for prospect tours and follow up. Three percent of the communities said they are increasing their resident referral dollar amount during the next few months too. From the properties we surveyed, they said it is working for them.
Other communities are “going where there are prospects.” These communities are surveying their current residents’ files to find out where the majority work, then focusing a strong, targeted outreach program to those employers and offices. One community is asking residents if they can buy pizza lunch for their office so they can deliver the pizzas and pass out information to all of the employees. Another community is focusing on getting their name out into the local malls and shopping centers. Partnering with stores, they are sponsoring “Drawing for free rent if you leave your business card” promotions, and renting kiosks to show their website and hand out brochures to passing shoppers.
Although these next few months are typically slower than any other time of the year, there are still people out there looking for apartments. A little extra effort and creativity goes a long way. If only 15% of the communities in your area are trying to step up their efforts to make a difference, you have a great shot at really standing out among your competition and making a big impact to your bottom line.