How To Fill Your Apartment Vacancies During The Winter
Nothing puts a damper on plans quite like winter. Cold temperatures and harsh weather really limit outdoor activities and cause most folks to stay indoors as much as possible. It’s also a period of downtime for the multifamily industry. Most potential tenants prefer not to move during the winter months (since the weather is often uncooperative), unless it’s a necessity. That’s why it’s fairly common for available apartments to remain vacant until spring arrives.
Three months may not seem like much time to some, but in the multifamily industry, it feels like an eternity. The lifeblood of the industry is monthly rent. And if a property is vacant for multiple months, it can have a negative impact on revenue.
Rather than accept winter apartment vacancies as a normal part of the business cycle, there are a few simple steps property owners can take to encourage potential tenants to make the move during the winter months.
Offer a “Winter Special”
As previously mentioned, most prospective tenants don’t want to move during the winter. In their mind, there are just too many things that can go wrong. Depending on the region, snow and ice could delay moving vans, cause injury, or just make for a messy experience.
In every part of the country, many folks refrain from moving to a new apartment until spring for financial reasons. Taking a break from any excessive spending during the winter season allows many to recoup from the holidays. Plus, the spring typically brings a tax refund that most folks use to pay off debt, invest in home or auto repairs, or put toward a lease on a new apartment.
To help motivate prospective renters to make the move now rather than in the spring, property owners can offer a “Winter Special”. From January to March, properties can fill their vacancies by offering incentives like 20% of the first three months of rent or waive various deposits and fees. Or, properties take it one step further and offer “Free Rent” for the first month. Although the rent on these units may be slightly discounted during this period, it’s more beneficial than the alternative.
Promote “Work From Home” Possibilities
Now that so many businesses are working remotely (or offer their employees the opportunity to work from home during inclement weather), many renters are looking for apartments that have offices or work-from-home options.
Properties that have converted spare rooms to offices or added remote-work friendly amenities to their units need to make promoting these additions a priority during the winter. Discovering that a local apartment community is more accommodating to their remote-work needs may be the motivation prospective renters need to move during the winter months. Spreading the word about these options is an effective way to prevent apartment vacancy.
Highlight Community Amenities
Winter weather keeps people indoors. The thought of being stuck inside for a majority of a season, leaves some folks feeling anxious and bored. However, if they live in an apartment community that offers onsite amenities like fitness centers, lounges with fireplaces or game rooms, they’ll be more active and social.
Highlighting these amenities (or adding these amenities to a property) gives potential tenants the opportunity to picture themselves in their new home enjoying their time indoors. Spending their winter working out a few doors down from their apartment, relaxing near a cozy fireplace or playing games with their friends and neighbors is vastly appealing to potential renters. And if onsite parking garages or covered parking options are available, daily commuters will appreciate never having to clean ice and snow from their vehicles every morning.
These are just a few of the ways property owners can compel potential tenants to fill their apartment vacancies during the winter. If you still have questions or need additional advice about ways you can curb apartment vacancy issues during this down period, our experts are here to help. Contact us today to learn more ways you can encourage renters to fill your vacant units this winter!