How To Maximize Multifamily Occupancy Rates
How can multifamily property investors maximize their occupancy rates?
1. Start Marketing Units Earlier
Whether it is taking over a property, constructing a new apartment building or annual management, the earlier you start marketing units for rent the better. Don’t wait until they are a drain on your resources and are costing you money every month that comes out of any positive cash flow you have.
2. Know the Competition
Consistently research the market and competition. You shouldn’t only find out that you are losing tenants to the competition because of a deal they’ve been running after your leasing staff has lost half a dozen good leads. Always know what they are offering and which direction the market is trending.
3. Trial Special Deals
Everyone likes to feel they are getting a deal. Tenants are no different. There are various ways to structure leases, upfront money and other costs to provide value and appealing offers. Trial them, track performance. Keep those that work, retire those that under-perform.
4. Turn Units Quickly
Every day a unit is vacant means losing money. Have quick response contractor teams ready to turn units immediately once vacant. They should be on the job site the day tenants leave. They should be sufficiently incentivized to complete turns as fast as possible.
5. Get Ahead of Expiring Leases
Always connect with tenants well in advance of lease expiry dates. Renew them early to keep them locked in. Inspect units in advance if renters are leaving so you know exactly what to expect when you can activate new leases, and any costs coming up.
6. Regularly Monitor Online Reviews
Watch online reviews and reputation every month. There are a rapidly increasing number of review sites focused on rating landlords. Smart prospective tenants will do as much checking on you as you do on them. If you aren’t watching what is being said, challenging fake reviews, and responding to good ones you are going to have a hard time leasing at any rates.
7. Commit to Great Customer Service
Prioritize long-term tenants and cultivating tenant loyalty, and there will be far fewer vacancies and costs of turning units. If the customer service is great tenants will stay, even if you consistently raise the rent at each renewal.
8. Optimize Your Tenant Application Process & Qualifications
This should perhaps be the number one item on this list. Many asset managers are blowing it right here. There is a huge disparity in property performance and vacancy rates today. Often this is due to failure to recognize the difference in local tenant pools, landlord-tenant laws and what is common in that market and neighborhood. In some areas, you may be incredibly lucky to get any security deposit and a tenant with a 600-credit score and job. In other areas, renters can find it impossible to find something with less than a 680-credit score and 3 months of rent upfront. Don’t be stuck with vacant units because of this gap.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Zahller is the Managing Partner of Park Capital Partners, LLC and resides in Asheville, NC. As a Multifamily Real Estate Investor and Syndicator, he founded Park Capital Partners, LLC in 2016 after 14 years involvement in real estate investment. He works with accredited investors and professionals who are interested in real estate investment, diversification, and financial freedom.
Bill has been flying since high school. His father was a Naval Aviator and Captain for TWA. Bill has been flying professionally for over 25 years, 23 of those at his current company. He has accumulated over 12,000 hours and 7 Jet type ratings. He has also held Instructor, IOE Instructor and NRFO pilot positions with a large fractional flight company. He is currently flying the Global 6000 in a long range mission capacity. This keeps it interesting – one week its Beijing or Sydney; the next Rio or Rome.
Bill is also the founder of the Asheville Multifamily Investor Club. Visit www.ParkCapitalPartnersLLC.com for more information.