by John Wilhoit, Jr.
Every operator wants rent growth. Rent growth, rent growth, rent growth. Ok, ok, ok. I understand. Year over year rent growth is the most important driver of revenue growth. How do you get it?
1. Renewals. Always at the top of the list. Nothing keeps income ticking like retaining in-place residents. Start the renewal process early. Recognize this as your number one tool for maintaining stabilized occupancy.
2. Resident screening. Our customers make or break our business. Set your standards, stick to your standards. This ‘great recession’ has created the need for some changes in credit underwriting but not so much as to bend past the point of reasonableness.
3. Expand other income. If your other income revenue includes only application, late and pet fees there is room for expansion. Storage, services, cable revenue sharing, RUBS (Renter Utility Billing Systems), parking (premium parking spaces). Do some brain storming to see what works best for your assets.
4. Resident referrals. Are you offering existing customers an incentive to bring in their friends and co-workers? Resident referrals are a cost effective method to create an opportunity to have satisfied customers introduce your property to new customers.
5. Email. Do you email your customers and potential customers? Oh no! Not another task! Like with this blog, we try to keep in regular contact with our readers via email. An email as often as only once a month can assist in maintaining name recognition. Its just one more place to keep your name in front of your customers. Thats why Nike pays and pays to have their swoosh on every moving object possible. Multifamily Insight uses, and highly recommends, the Aweber email management system.
John Wilhoit, Jr., is President of Wilhoit Investment Network, LLC, (WIN LLC) in Columbia, Missouri, an owner and asset manager of apartments, condominiums and town homes, and a contributor to Multifamily Insight Blog, providing tips on best practices in multifamily property management.
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