Need Quick Results In 2024? Leasing Advice From Multifamily Pros

24 Q2 APR BLOG Need Quick Results In 2024_ Leasing Advice From Multifamily Pros_Blog Header

Peak leasing season is quickly approaching, but the question is: Are your onsite teams actually ready? According to various moving professionals, 70% of all apartment moves happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day, making it a goldmine of opportunity for multifamily properties! 

But are your onsite and portfolio managers equipped to handle the surge in prospects and convert them into satisfied residents? In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of peak leasing season, offering valuable sales advice from industry experts. By learning their secrets, you’ll empower your team to optimize leasing performance and propel both your property’s success — and your career — to new heights.

Peak Leasing: A Crucial Time for Multifamily Success

Peak leasing season typically spans from May to August and is considered the golden quarter for multifamily properties because renter activity explodes. During this time, an influx of potential residents are in the market and on the hunt for a new place to call home, all within a few short months. It’s a property manager’s dream, a chance to fill vacancies quickly and potentially secure higher rents.

However, with this surge in opportunity comes a wave of peak leasing challenges. Competition heats up as renters have more options. Existing vacancies can become even more glaring as new listings flood the market.

Onsite teams face the pressure of managing a higher volume of inquiries, tours, and applications, all while maintaining a positive experience for each potential resident. With so many moving parts, peak leasing season requires strategic planning, exceptional salesmanship, and a well-equipped team to convert leads into happy residents and maximize your property’s success.

Industry Pro Insights on Peak Leasing Sales Success

To help you navigate this peak leasing season frenzy, we’ve turned to three multifamily industry experts — Shermaine O. Thomas, Highmark Residential; Cole Cason, LMS Investment Management; and Anastasia Schwartz, Entire, Inc. — for actionable insights and sales tips that lead to leasing sales success. 

After all, you just can’t beat “been there, done that” advice from the pros!

⇨ Importance of resident retention (renewal rates) during peak leasing.

“During peak leasing seasons, it’s easy to get caught up in acquiring new tenants. However, it’s equally important to focus on retaining current residents because doing so ensures stability, positive word-of-mouth and community atmosphere, and cost savings.” –  Shermaine O. Thomas, Highmark Residential

While peak leasing season is a prime time to attract new residents, retaining your existing ones shouldn’t be an afterthought. Shermaine is an experienced leasing specialist with Highmark Residential and has a track record of sales success.  

She shared with us three reasons why renewals are just as important as new leases during this busy period:

  1. Stability and Consistency: Retaining existing residents provides stability to your community and ensures a consistent revenue stream. This reduces turnover costs and marketing expenses, allowing you to focus resources more efficiently on attracting new residents.
  2. Community Atmosphere: A high retention rate contributes to a sense of community within the apartment, which can be a significant selling point for prospective tenants.
  3. Positive Word-of-Mouth: Satisfied residents are more likely to recommend your apartments to their friends and family, which can be invaluable for attracting new residents. By fostering a sense of community and addressing resident concerns promptly, you encourage them to renew their leases and potentially recommend your property to friends and family, generating a valuable stream of qualified leads without additional marketing spend.

Here’s where a tool like Fetch can be a valuable asset in your resident retention strategy. As Shermaine noted, satisfied residents can quickly become your best brand ambassadors. And because studies show that convenient package delivery is a top priority for renters, you can boost resident satisfaction and the overall living experience when you eliminate delivery hassles.

After all, happy residents tend to stick around, which translates to lower turnover rates and higher retention.

⇨ The power of effective lead nurturing during peak leasing.

“Always be closing disarming.” –  Cole Cason, LMS Investment Management

During peak leasing season, inboxes overflow and in-person tours get booked solid. It’s easy for leads to slip through the cracks. But here’s the secret: effective lead nurturing can turn those “maybes” into “sign-me-ups.” However, lead nurturing must be nuanced to be effective. 

So we asked Cole Cason, Director of Training for LMS Investment Management, his thoughts. With over 10 years of multifamily experience, Cole’s sales and training expertise is vast. He has held various positions within the industry, is CAM (Certified Apartment Manager) certified, and is part of the NAAEI (National Apartment Association Education Institute) faculty. 

Cole sees a training shift emerging as today’s renters become highly attuned (and put off) by the “always be closing” sales mentality. “Today’s renters can feel the ‘always be closing’ attitude from a mile off,” says Cole. 

For that reason, he believes a move toward “disarming” is necessary. “By disarming, you aim to alleviate any apprehension or skepticism the renter may have, fostering a sense of trust and openness,” added Cole. “It’s not about being dishonest; instead, this process involves building rapport, actively listening to concerns, and empathizing with needs.“

Here’s where targeted communication comes in. Don’t blast generic emails. Tailor your messages based on the prospect’s interests. Did they inquire about pet-friendly units? Send information about your dog park or onsite grooming services. This extra effort shows genuine care and makes your property stand out from the competition.

📌Theory in Action
A prospect inquires about a two-bedroom apartment but hesitates to schedule a tour. With timely follow-up, you stay top-of-mind. A personalized email highlighting the unique features of a two-bedroom or a quick phone call to answer lingering questions can nudge them closer to a decision.

Below are four strategies each of our experts recommends. 

4 Effective Lead Nurturing Strategies:

  1. Prompt Follow-Up: This helps keep your property top-of-mind and might include calls, emails, and/or text messages. Proactively address concerns and objections. Providing clear and transparent information will help build trust and confidence in your community.
  2. Personalized Communication: Tailor your communication to each lead’s preferences and needs. Use their name in emails and reference specific details they’ve provided to show you’ve paid attention to their inquiries.
  3. Provide value: Offer helpful resources, such as virtual tours, community guides, or FAQs, to assist leads in their decision-making. Since many prospective residents may not be able (or want) to visit in person, providing virtual tours and video content that showcases your property allows prospective residents to visualize themselves living in your community.
  4. Stay Engaged (even after they sign the lease): Even after a lease is signed, continue nurturing relationships with residents to encourage lease renewals and referrals. Providing excellent customer service and fostering a sense of community can turn residents into community advocates.

Remember, nurturing isn’t a one-time event. Consistent communication throughout peak season keeps your property at the forefront of prospective residents’ minds. By providing valuable information and addressing their needs, you build trust and, ultimately, convert leads into happy residents.

Using a package management and delivery service like Fetch returns precious time to your onsite teams. Peak leasing season is busy enough. You need your teams focused on nurturing leads, renewing leases, and building community; you do not need them stressed out by package management!

Receiving, cataloging, organizing, managing, and delivering packages does nothing to enhance your bottom line, and unfortunately, when package management is not done well, it quickly creates dissatisfied residents.

Every hour an onsite team uses to manage packages is an hour they are not managing the property, leasing, or renewals. With Fetch, you relieve the burden on leasing teams and deliver value that residents — and future residents — will appreciate. 

⇨ The art of showcasing unique apartment amenities during peak leasing.

“Product→Feature→Bridge→Benefit: Paint a picture to tell a compelling story about each amenity.” – Anastasia Schwartz, Entire, Inc.

In the competitive world of multifamily housing, especially during peak leasing season, every community needs a way to stand out from the crowd. While pools and gyms are nice, they’re no longer unique selling points. The key lies in identifying and amplifying your property’s truly unique amenities.

These could be anything from a rooftop dog park with stunning city views to a co-working space with high-speed Wi-Fi. Maybe your complex offers onsite pet grooming services, EV charging stations, concierge services for everyday household chores, direct-to-door package delivery, or popular fitness classes. Whatever sets you apart, shout it from the rooftops — or at least your listing!

Here’s where the art comes in. Don’t just list your unique amenities — showcase them! Anastasia Schwartz, a CAM-certified multifamily expert with over 10 years of industry and consulting experience, says it’s important to “highlight and explain amenities that make life easier for residents, such as package delivery services, smart home technology, etc., while also understanding the competition to know how your community stands out.” 

Anastasia also shares the importance of tailoring your sales pitch to address prospective residents’ specific needs and preferences. She offers the following tips for “how” best to showcase unique apartment amenities during peak leasing season:   

  • Engage and Listen: When interacting with a prospective resident, actively listen to their needs and concerns. Ask open-ended questions to understand what amenities they desire in an apartment community.
  • Demonstrate: Be prepared to showcase the features and amenities of your apartment community. Have working keys, walk your path, engage in conversation, and overcome objections. 
  • Paint a Picture: Sell the sizzle by vividly describing the lifestyle prospective residents could enjoy in your community. Describe ways the amenity can benefit and improve their lives (see callout box for an example).

💡Paint a Picture to Tell a Story 

Here’s an example of using feature-benefit selling to tell a compelling story about each amenity.

  • Product: Fitness center
  • Feature: Variety of equipment available
  • Bridge: You can save money by not renewing your gym membership.
  • Benefit: Enjoy convenient workouts without the extra cost. A fitness center isn’t just a gym — it’s an opportunity for residents to stay healthy and active without leaving home.

High-quality photos and virtual tours are essential, but take it a step further. Use engaging video content that demonstrates the resident experience. Social media is also a fantastic platform for showcasing your unique offerings. 

“To promote a sense of community, share stories and reviews from current residents to showcase the community atmosphere,” adds Anastasia. “Feature photos taken by residents to highlight the beauty of the surroundings and the sense of belonging they can experience.”

The more you can visually demonstrate the value your amenities add to everyday life, the more you’ll differentiate yourself from competitors with generic features. Shermaine adds, “Showcase communal areas such as lounges, BBQ areas, or co-working spaces, [as] these spaces promote social interaction and community engagement, which can be major selling points for many renters.”

Wondering what to add to your amenity stack?
Check out this one-page comparison of service amenities!

A premium amenity like Fetch can be your secret weapon in this battle for resident hearts (and wallets). Fetch package delivery isn’t just a convenience – it’s a unique amenity that directly enhances the resident experience and delivers peace of mind. For residents, knowing their packages are safe and secure, even when they’re not home, translates to happier residents, which leads to positive online reviews and referrals.

By showcasing unique amenities in your leasing strategy, you demonstrate your commitment to resident convenience and well-being. And that’s a message that will resonate loud and clear during peak leasing season and beyond.

Actionable Leasing Tips for Your Onsite Teams

As the competition ramps up during peak leasing season, make sure your leasing teams are prepared and ready to sell. Here are 10 tips you can take action on starting today!

  1. Highlight the Savings of Staying Put: Renewing > Moving. Emphasize the financial benefits of renewing a lease, such as avoiding moving costs and enjoying consistent rent prices. 
  2. Offers and Incentives: Renewal incentives and perks encourage retention, but they must matter to residents. Know what is important to your residents and create an offering for your onsite teams to use.
  3. Listen to Learn: Gather resident feedback to gauge satisfaction. Address resident concerns promptly to cultivate loyalty and encourage renewals. Happy residents are loyal residents, which translates to lower turnover rates and a consistent revenue stream.
  4. Be Speedy With Your Response: Respond to inquiries quickly and across multiple channels (phone, email, text) to ensure your property stays top-of-mind. Make sure your team knows and understands the process for this. 
  5. Make It Personal: Generic responses just won’t cut it. Actively listen to prospective residents’ needs. Ask open-ended questions to understand what amenities they are looking for in an apartment community, and tailor your communication to each lead’s needs and preferences. Record personalized videos for prospective residents that highlight the features they are interested in.
  6. Up Your Online Game: Provide virtual tours and high-quality videos and visuals that emphasize lifestyle benefits and showcase your community and amenities. Refine your listings to highlight what makes your community unique and special. Virtual tours, community guides, and FAQs empower leads and demonstrate your commitment to resident well-being.
  7. Sell the Lifestyle: Paint a picture of how your community and the amenities you offer will improve a resident’s lifestyle, adding convenience and ease to their day-to-day. 
  8. Stand out from the crowd! Identify and amplify your property’s unique offerings, whether that’s a rooftop dog park or a co-working space. Tell a compelling story using the “feature-bridge-benefit” method to highlight the value proposition of each amenity. 
  9. Nurture, Don’t Pressure. Consistent communication with valuable information builds trust and positions you as a trusted advisor, ultimately converting leads into residents.
  10. Promote Community: Help prospects see themselves in your community. Everyone wants to belong. Showcase resident events and social gatherings that foster a sense of inclusivity and belonging.

Ready To Conquer Peak Leasing Season?

Consider this your roadmap to peak leasing success! By leveraging these valuable insights from industry professionals and implementing these expert-backed tips, you’ll be well-equipped to maximize resident retention, effectively nurture and convert leads, and propel your property to new heights. 

Just remember: The relationship doesn’t end when the lease is signed. 

It’s time to jumpstart your leasing strategy; contact the Fetch team today to learn how our package management and delivery services benefit you and your community.

Watch this video to see how fetch works!

Peak leasing season doesn’t have to overwhelm you! Use Fetch’s package management and delivery service to free up your team’s time for lead nurturing and resident relationship building while offering a unique amenity residents will appreciate.

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