Inventive Incentives

By on Aug 18, 2022 in News

Even with multifamily rents continuing to rise nationwide, property owners still need to work to get people into their units. At the height of the pandemic, some renters in metros like Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco relocated to lower-cost communities, prompting landlords to adopt creative measures to attract and keep renters.

“Incentives are not what they used to be, primarily because market conditions and expectations have shifted, and offering the right incentives for lease renewals is more important than ever to capture the attention of today’s busy renters,” according to Zillow.

Here are some ideas that can help property managers attract prospects and maintain high-quality residents, courtesy of Zillow, Multi-Housing News and other industry sources:

Upgrade inside and out. Paint or landscaping improvements and new appliances, flooring and furniture can make a property more attractive to residents and prospects. There’s also the option of offering renewing residents a menu for choosing the services or upgrades they value or need most, whether it be a ceiling fan, new shelving on the walls or a better stove.

Let free stuff ring. A period of free parking, cable service, laundry or dry cleaning, storage space or Wi-Fi is always appreciated, as is a temporary or permanent suspension of amenity or pet fees. Gift cards for ride-sharing services, food delivery services and more provide other options. “Free parking is the most common perk this year, but there are many ways to engage with renters in ways that are important to them,” ZillowRentals reported in its Consumer Housing Trends report.

Amped-up tech. Cutting-edge technology like high-tech door locks, thermostats, tablet devices or smart home automation devices save property owners time and money and make a favorable impression on today’s tech-savvy renters. See how RentCafe Home IQ attracts prospects and increases revenue, efficiency and resident satisfaction with smart home automation.

Meters that matter.  One potential game-changer is individual unit natural gas meters, which Deric Tomenko, managing partner for BTT Management LLC, calls “really a win-win for both sides.” Individual units give residents control over their utility use and spend while also relieving property managers of the uncertainty and fluctuations that come with managing multiple units or whole buildings.

Cash reigns. Well, maybe some incentives haven’t changed much. Having cash in hand never gets old. A survey of renters by Software Advice, a business software consultant, found that 52% of residents prefer incentives in the form of cash or spendable rewards.

Prioritize service. Good customer service might be the most effective and least expensive incentive to offer new and existing residents. “There are a million places you can live. If you want to retain [residents], the best way to do it is to treat them like they have never been treated before, which is getting their requests done quickly, being responsive and being respectful,” says Nick Mertens, a vice president with Denver-based Atlas Real Estate Group. Read how RentCafe Chat IQ, an AI-powered bot, improves the resident experience by answering inquiries 24/7 via chat, text, email and voice.

“Residents want to be treated like people, not just a means to fill a unit,” Zillow adds.

Read more ideas for incentives from Yardi Breeze.