Finding Renters During the Slow Months

Tips for finding renters using great branding and marketing

Apartment search activity peaks from May through October, so your property might experience a lull in leases at this time of year. Finding renters of course remains a top priority for you year-round, so we have some ideas for how to maintain a full pipeline. 

According to Apartment List

“Since the majority of renters find moving in winter dreadful, it’s the best time to rent an apartment and find deals on your next lease. The demand for apartments is typically at its lowest in December and January.”

For renters, the lure of a great move-in deal might encourage them to sign a lease in winter, but lower rents and concessions don’t have to be your only options. Here are some tried and true ways to attract renters year-round:

Brush up your branding 

Your prospective renter has visions of icy sidewalks and blustery winds when they contemplate a winter move, so you need to change their vision. 

Do your units offer cozy fireplaces, or do you have a warm, inviting lounge area for residents? In winter, play up all the aspects of your property that convey: 

  • Warmth
  • Coziness
  • Security and safety
  • Well-maintained grounds and parking lots
  • Opportunities for year-round recreation
  • Places to meet neighbors and connect in community (to beat the winter doldrums)
  • Fun 
  • Ease in terms of live-work-play (think wifi, work spaces, game rooms and more)

Regardless of the month on the calendar, your branding should scream “Hey, you! You need to live here now.”

Ok, maybe screaming isn’t the right approach, but you see what we mean. You want your promise of home and lifestyle to speak louder than any objections in a renter’s imagination. The right branding helps create a sense of urgency. If they feel a little FOMO, they will be motivated to sign and move in sooner than later. 

Your consistent brand story should appear on your website and across all marketing channels, including social media. Each time someone interacts with your brand, they should leave with a clear sense of your community’s culture and lifestyle. 

Use your existing network 

By existing network, we mean your current residents. The people who already live in your community and love it are a referral gold mine. If you haven’t already created a resident incentive program, try it in 2022. Offer residents some kind of perk (from gift cards to a discount on rent or fees) for sending you renter referrals.

Resident referrals can significantly decrease your lead time and bring higher quality prospective renters to your door. According the Apartment Association of Metro Denver:

“Loyal residents grow a multifamily property much quicker than marketing or sales, and it all begins with a strong resident referral program. Additionally, a referral is 18 percent more loyal than other customers, and they are four times more likely to refer more customers to your brand.”

When residents’ friends move in, that’s even more incentive for everyone to stay longer and renew their leases. Let your people help build your community. 

Connect with your community 

We are eleventy billion months into this pandemic thing, and people are over it. They are ready to break up with their couches, and they are looking for new experiences and places to connect. 

Done right, your property can become a community hub. While you probably don’t want to host a party every night, opening your spaces for occasional public events can elevate your visibility within the community. Public events can include: 

  • Community volunteer projects
  • Outdoor recreation, such as a fun run or courtyard yoga
  • Demonstrations, such as an ice sculpture contest or cooking class
  • Entertainment, such as a live band
  • Education, such as bike repair clinics or tax prep help 
  • Business networking events 

Each non-resident who attends an event hosted by your community could become a future renter – or refer a friend to you. That first-hand experience in your space will prompt them to think of you first when someone needs a new apartment home. 

Take advantage of this lull time to start planning some creative ways to build a bigger following, and applicant pool, for your property.

Need help? Multifamily branding, marketing and design is what we do. We can help you develop a brand story and marketing strategy to take your property to the next level. Reach out today.

Posted By

Sara Bess