Finishing strong on a multifamily lease-up

By Chris Arnold
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Getting Over the Final Hump

Over the past many weeks, we’ve had an increasing number of conversations surrounding properties almost leased or almost sold (condos). And more often than not, we try to understand what type of marketing strategy is in place.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of these properties have waned away from essential marketing pillars that we’re quick to recommend turning back on.

The great thing about this (not so great) situation is that we usually turn to a few key switches to push partners over the hump.

Let’s jump into those most commonly suggested recommendations.

(Re-) Activate the Property

Most immediately, we request pictures from the building as it sits today. If we have a teammate local, we’ll run over ourselves and snap some images.

What does the property look like?

Is fencing down?

Is landscaping in?

What other barriers exist?

Ironically, a well-curated and buttoned-up building without signage is actually a barrier because those passing by have no idea there are available units.

Depending on the above factors, we kick start the organic drip again by recommending onsite marketing to re-activate the building.

Remember: no one knows what’s available unless you tell them.

Nurture, Then Nurture More

It’s a bit comical that the idea of nurturing renters is so crucial at first but somehow falls off a cliff when leases begin to be signed.

Nurturing renters shouldn’t stop, ever, and namely, it shouldn’t stop before you’ve reached full occupancy.

I’m not talking about closing the back door or nurturing existing renters, but literally continuing to push your property's message to the nurture list(s) through a completed lease-up.

Later in a lease-up, messaging can switch to being more unit-focused or even angled towards themes of time or scarcity, along the lines of, “Only three 2-bedrooms remain! They’re going quickly…”

That’s not a literal tagline I suggest, but you get the point!

Nurturing contributes significantly to the initial lease-up process, so keep it moving through completion.

If it’s been turned off, we turn it back on.

Don’t Forget Paid

Paid campaigns get a bad rap.

But, they work for you at all hours and shouldn’t be ignored when you have 20% of a building left to fill up.

Interestingly enough, we have seen lease-ups hobbling in the door that don’t have an activated property, don’t have a nurturing campaign running, and, to top it off, have shuttered their paid campaigns.

Why aren’t they signing our last batch of leases? Hm…

Nonetheless, paid isn’t the enemy.

A group might need to invest thousands into paid late in the game, but the aim is to add many, many more thousands to the rent roll as quickly as possible.

Paid is not a pre-leasing play only.

It should be an always-on play with budgets that adjust according to the lease-up.

Consider Local Programming

It’s not uncommon to see the best-performing properties containing a link to the local business community.

Case and point: if you’ve leased 75% of your building and you’d like to see more of the same filling the remaining 25%, consider pulling together a Friday evening meet and greet event that runs for a month.

Call in a few local food trucks from 6-8 p.m., give your renters a coupon for free tacos for two of their friends, and get the lawn games and music rolling.

An event that creates some excitement could go a thousand different ways but don’t hesitate to think outside of the box.

Going local, depending on your area, could be a big differentiator.

What do you have to lose?

Even if it’s not a blockbuster success, you’ll have built more community and likely shut the back door on some of your renters as a result.

What Else?

I’m fascinated by the possibilities for pushing leasing success, especially in the final innings of the big game.

Much can depend on location, building size, neighborhood/location, and general renter demographics.

Have you found something to be particularly successful?

Would it work for any property?

I’d love to hear about it! Send me a DM on LinkedIn or reply to this email.

Happy Leasing!

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