As a property owner and/or manager, you may already have many successful ways to quickly fill your vacancies with well-qualified, new residents.  My hope is that I can add a long list of intuitive and counter-intuitive suggestions that have worked and will keep on working.

So, here are three suggestions that can insure that the rental income stream keeps flowing to your clients and yourself.

Go to the Restaurants You Frequent

Ask the owner or manager to allow you to display a tastefully crafted “take one” box at the check-out counter or hostess table.  Make sure it clearly displays the message that a gift certificate for that restaurant will be given to the individual who takes one of the special display cards and gives it to a prospect who becomes a resident.

A variation of this is to tell the restaurant owner, manager or hostess that if someone rents one of your units, you’ll buy a gift certificate from the restaurant and give it to a new patron who has never been to their restaurant.  It will generate a fresh batch of regular customers for the restaurant and a repetitive source of referrals to you.  You’ll be amazed at how many restaurants will love the idea as they’re always looking for new ways to increase their clientele.

Create a Full-Page Handout

It may seem old fashioned in this age of digital, mobile media, but creating a full-page, colorful, glossy hand-out that lists all of the benefits, accoutrements and features of your available rental still works.  Make sure you show some photos of how nice the vacant unit looks and when you take the photo, “stage it” with a few perky pieces of furniture or wall furnishings.

List any extra features like a new dishwasher or free Wi-Fi and provide information about the local area, bus routes, schools, laundry and conveniently popular shopping venue.  You’ll be providing a valuable service that few property managers take the time to offer.  Let your prospects take your hand-out and tell them to call you if they have any questions.  Ask for their contact information so you can follow up.

Ask Current Residents for Referrals

Ask your current residents, clients and “happy campers” for a glowing testimonial of what it’s like to be a resident in one of your well-maintained and thoughtfully managed buildings.  Let your prospects know ahead of time how much current and past residents appreciated your services.  Ask for as many testimonials as possible and use them to attract more owner-clients as well as prospective renters to fill your vacancies.

There you have three more ideas on how to fill your vacancies as fast as possible.  Keep in mind that if you haven’t tried these ideas lately, you can’t objectively know why they work or how they work.

These ideas derive from my property manager colleagues and my own experiences.  Together we have decades of management and marketing expertise and that’s why I literally have at least 50 of these tried and tested tools.

They’re based on the principles that if you’re will to do what few property managers are willing to do, you’ll have the kind of success that few will enjoy and experience.  Also, your clients and residents don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care.  So, get busy and show them! 

These three ideas are from my upcoming article “50 Ways to Fill Your Vacancies”.   Marc Courtenay, www.PropertyManager.com, a service of AppFolio.  Reprinted with permission of the Rental Housing Journal, Metro.

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