BY LANCE EDWARDS— Tenants are the lifeblood of your properties. Marketing for tenants falls under your property manager’s job description but you need to be aware of the different ways to market. Your knowledge of marketing for tenants will enable you to direct your property managers to see how good a job they do in thinking of creative ways to get tenants. Here are some ideas to get you started.
The first place you can look for marketing ideas is through tenant referrals. You can offer $150 off rent in three-month increments. If the tenant that is referred pays rent on time, the tenant that gave you the referral gets $50 off rent. If the referred tenant is late paying the second month, they don’t get the $50. They will get it if the third month’s rent is paid on time.
Another source of referrals could be local churches. Churches can be a great resource of people who are looking for affordable housing. You could even offer them $50 for each referral that signs a contract. Not only is that a nice donation, but it generates great word-of-mouth.
Churches can also “adopt” your property. Churches have discretionary funds that can be used to assist people that are close to ending up on the street. Tenants can receive assistance when they have fallen behind on payments.
You can run ads in free local ad inserts as well as create bandit signs which are blank signs with handwritten messages on them. Some possible words for your bandit signs are: free rent, move-in specials, and under new management.
Banners are also a great way to attract potential tenants to your multifamily property. 10×4 banners are a nice size and you can order those from any number of websites or even find a local printer. You can have something as simple as “Move in Special” or “Under New Management ” and always be sure and include a phone number. The key is to catch people’s attention and draw them to your property.
Section 8 office flyers for Section 8 properties are also an effective marketing tool. You can put move in specials and cash back bonuses. You can advertise $500 cash back at move-in. You pay the tenant $250 when you get the check and $250 at the 6-month anniversary as a rebate.
Apartment placement agencies and local shop referrals with gift certificates are two more possible marketing venues. Beauty shops are one example of a local business that you can issue flyers to. You can get $25 gift certificates at the beauty shop and not only is that an incentive but it generates business for the shop owner.
Use your creativity when marketing for tenants. It does not have to be a huge, expensive campaign. Test various methods and you will soon find the ones that are effective and give you the best results.