In the Right Place at the Right Time

by Drew DeMasters

landlord helpAre you in the right place at the right time? To show prospects your apartments? To respond to maintenance needs? To motivate tenants to renew their lease or upgrade to a newer, nicer unit?

Much of what we do in life and in business depends on where and when. Looking for a job. Asking for a date. Buying a car. Think about it. Retailers ramp up for Black Friday and online sites for Cyber Monday. Accountants prep for tax season. What are you doing?

As landlords and property managers, we have our own busy season. U.S. Census data show that about 18% of US households move in a given year and half of them do so between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Example: Los Angeles County has 3.1 million households. So, over 280,000 households move each year during just the 90 days between those two holidays. That’s 3,000 households moving every single day, just in LA County!

Landlords and real estate agents alike know they must show properties at night and on weekends because that’s when people are out looking after work. We have to be in the right place at the right time to show apartments, handle maintenance emergencies and resolve that occasional parking dispute. But take it a step further.

How can you make more money by being in the right time and right place?

1) Renewing lease or rental agreement.

Perhaps the most obvious example is renewing lease or rental agreements. At month ten of a one-year lease, or month twenty of a two-year lease, send a package with a special offer to renew their agreement. Make a strong offer that’s relevant to your tenants. Some ideas:

· Rental rate discount for upgrading from one-year to a two-year lease

· No annual rent increase for the next year, if tenant renews one-year lease

· Free access to your “VIP Members Club” (and all the perks that you offer), if tenant renews for two-years

· Schedule an annual ‘Good Neighbor Meeting’ one-on-one with each tenant to find out if their needs are being met. Are there any big changes or life events you can respond to? Are they interested in upgrading to a nicer, newer unit with FREE movers for the day?

2) Referrals. Wouldn’t it be great if when one of your tenants knew of a friend of family member looking for a new place, they would recommend you? It CAN happen if two conditions are met.

First, your tenants must obviously be satisfied with their own rental experience.

Second, you must be ‘top-of-mind’ for your tenants to remember to send referrals to you. Give them an incentive to refer others and consistently remind them about it. A great place to do that is in your monthly newsletter. Dream up great incentives for your current tenants to increase new rental prospects! Hold a contest, have a giveaway, turn it into something fun to create some excitement and ‘buzz’ in your community.

3) Local events and tourist attractions

My hometown is the home of the Missouri state fair. Each year over 300,000 visitors flood this small town of only 25,000 residents for two weeks in August. And concerts, conventions and car races draw thousands at other times throughout the rest of the year. Every hotel and restaurant in town is booked up weeks in advance.

Orlando, Florida has the same dynamic on a much larger scale. Theme parks draw millions to the area, especially during winter holidays and summer vacations creating a real boom for vacation rentals.

What seasonal events or destinations in your area can you leverage to fill your properties? Another upside: rentals rates during these peak periods are always at a premium! So make more money by seizing the opportunities in your market.

Put yourself in the right place at the right time to fill your properties and increase profits from your tenants.

Drew DeMasters is a landlord, author and award-winning marketing strategist with 15+ years in the rental business. His new book is now available at of a 2009 Echo Award from the Direct Marketing Association, DeMasters holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Missouri “ Kansas City. He is available for coaching or to speak to your landlord or business group and can be reached at [email protected].


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