During a time where so much of the real estate market is uncertain, being able to increase renewal rates is one of the driving forces for today’s real estate marketing strategies. Whether it be apartment marketing, student-housing marketing, or any other renter-heavy market in between, here are 5 marketing strategies to boost your renewal rates.
Begin the renewal process early
Do not wait until lease-up time to begin the renewal process. Oftentimes, any changes this late in the process will not be met graciously by tenants, and will result in a loss of renewal. Giving your tenants a few months notice to make any necessary changes to their rates or lease conditions will be more well received. This can be done in-person or digitally, just be sure to follow-up to confirm that your message has been received and agreed upon before assuming they will be returning for a new lease period.
The last thing you want is a tenant who choose not to renew at the last second, and finding yourself scrambling to find new tenants for a property you weren’t expecting to fill. While this can’t always be avoided, knowing that you did everything you could is going to be a great strategy in increasing your lease renewals.
Create lasting landlord-tenant relationships
This can be done in many ways, but the best way to achieve this is to maintain regular communication with tenants. This way, they know that you are always available for any issues that may arise, and in turn know that you are always there to answer any questions – especially about lease renewals!
From a renter’s perspective, knowing that they have a landlord or property manager who is easily accessible and understanding of any issues that could potentially pop up, whether it’s in their home or their lease, is something that is very valuable! So much so, that it could be the deciding factor in renewing their lease or moving somewhere else.
Raise rent steadily, not suddenly
All renters and landlords alike know that rent increases are inevitable. However, raising rates in a more gradual manner rather than suddenly will go over much more smoothly with current tenants – especially long term tenants.
Rather than a large rate hike every x-amount of years, look instead at the possibility of small, gradual increases every 1-2 renewal cycles for your current tenants, and apply that fixed rate increase to incoming tenants. Long-term tenants will appreciate this, and will oftentimes feel a sense of loyalty to their landlords for allowing them to get a “better deal” than incoming tenants, all while you are still making the necessary profit you need to succeed.
Be ready to accept feedback
Nobody’s perfect, and there will always be challenges that renters and landlords alike will face when it comes to their properties. Knowing how to react and respond to both positive and negative feedback will result in stronger relationships that can create a lasting bond with tenants. If a tenant comes to you with an issue, whether it seems serious or not to you, it is your responsibility to handle it in the best way for your tenant. Tenants who know that their landlords will take their requests seriously will consider staying at a certain property much longer than tenants who know they will never be heard, or respected.
Keeping an open line of communication with your tenants is very important, and this can be done through your marketing strategies! Regular satisfaction surveys are a great way for you to receive quality feedback from your tenants. Surveys help gather data that you otherwise could be missing out on that can help maximize occupancy for your properties, as well as your marketing strategies for prospective tenants – double win!
Just as importantly, this type of open communication to allow feedback from your current tenants will help to remind them that their voices DO matter! This feeling of importance can go a long way when it comes time for tenants to decide whether or not they want to stay in their current property and re-up their lease.
Take advantage of content marketing
Content marketing does not need to be focused solely on new tenants. Building a healthy and sustainable social media and online presence with current tenants is just as important as working to appeal to prospective tenants. Keeping your tenants informed with current events, issues, and even promotions helps to build those positive relationships and maintain an open line of communication. This can be achieved through any number of strategies:
Social media is a great way to stay connected with current tenants, keep them updated on your properties, community events, and any other regular or emergency communication that must be relayed. Be sure to pay attention to your target audience, and what platforms are going to result in the most engagement.
For example, those with a senior living target market are going to want to focus heavily on Facebook, while student housing markets will be best to focus on Instagram and TikTok as their primary platforms. Syncing up your social media posts with any website, Google My Business, or other important posts regarding your properties is a great way to manage your marketing strategies.
Regular social media engagement lets your tenants know that you are an active part of not only managing your properties, but are also active in your line of communication. Even regularly scheduled posts, stories, and reels will be a constant reminder to them of all the great things that come along with your properties and can help with maintaining that personal connection they have to their home, and its management.
Biweekly or monthly blog posts to your website are a great way to keep your tenants engaged! Personalized content adds a touch of relativity and relevance for your audience that they would otherwise be missing out on.
This is also a great way to establish and emphasize your brand voice to your tenants, letting them know that behind the screen, you’re a real person just like them! This can establish a great connection with your tenants, and can encourage them to want to renew their lease with an organization that they feel a connection to, rather than one that only sees them as a paycheck. Giving them inside tips and tricks of the trade, local recommendations, and more can be a great way to show that you’re ready to go that extra mile.
Google My Business (GMB)
Creating, completing, and verifying a GMB profile for your properties can work wonders for your SEO, as well as your overall target audience engagement – that means current tenants. These profiles allow you to promote your business as well as give a chance to current and previous tenants to leave their own feedback.
This interaction allows for current tenants to review all of the things that make your properties so great! Not only from their eyes, but from the eyes of other tenants, too. What better way to convince them to renew their lease with your property than to show them all of the ways it is revered by others?
Email Marketing and Newsletters
In today’s digital age, it’s not uncommon to check your inbox at least once -if not multiple times- per day, so be sure and capitalize on that. Monthly or biweekly newsletters are a great way to stay on top of open communication with your renters. This can also be a great way to promote blog posts each month – see what we mean about syncing up your content marketing strategies?
These emails and newsletters can also include any possible promotions for your properties, local events and activities, seasonal announcements, and other information you’d like to relay to your tenants. This establishes a personal touch, and ensures that your residents are always aware of that open line of communication.
Even though there is no perfect one-size-fits-all way to manage real estate properties, hopefully these tips will allow for you to create better, longer-lasting relationships with current tenants to increase your renewal rates. After all, at the end of the day, increased renewal rates result in happier tenants and property managers alike!
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