Proactive Leasing: Top 3 Tips For Staying Ahead Of The "Slow Season"

Most of us in our daily lives are somewhat reactionary. We deal with what's in front of us instead of planning for the future. This bleeds over into our work as well. The problem is compounded when it is is applied to leasing apartments.

I see examples almost daily of what I like to call "reactionary leasing". I get calls all the time at the beginning of the slow season from owners and developers asking how they can "get more leads". Or managers complaining that a leasing agent has left and they need to find another quickly. I always wonder to myself, why are you not prepared? And why were you waiting to do anything about it?  

So many owners, developers and managers are content to wait until a problem exists to fix it. That being said, there are ways to combat "reactionary leasing":

CREATE A SEASONAL MARKETING PLAN

Do you have a seasonal marketing plan?  A lot of firms and owners may not even have a marketing plan, much less a seasonal one. A seasonal marketing plan takes into consideration time of year when allocating budgets and resources. A plan like this is an extremely useful tool for combating anticipated drops in leads and traffic.

DEVELOP A STAFFING PIPELINE

A pipeline of talented candidates is a must have for pro-active leasing. These are candidates that you regularly communicate with regarding opportunities with your organization. So when an opening comes up, you can immediately contact about the opportunity and onboard quicker. Great way to build a pipeline is using Jazz (www.jazzhr.com) and online recruitment software.

STOP NEGATIVE REVIEWS

One major point that should always be addressed is how to stop negative reviews before they happen. Consider using a 3rd party service like RepEngage (www.repengage.com).  This service allows you to reach out to your residents via surveys and collect their feedback. They will then be asked to rate your business, and if the rating comes back positive, they will be asked to leave you reviews on Yelp, Google+ and other review sites of your choosing. It's a great way of staying ahead of negative reviews.

Author: Justin Cleary is an almost 20 year veteran of the Multifamily Industry. He has owned and operated several multifamily focused businesses and startups including The Philly Apartment Company, The DC Apartment Company,  BlueSquare Real Estate & Property Management, LeaseUp and his latest venture, BreadBox (http://breadbox.consulting)