September 22, 2016
How to Sharpen Your Competitive Edge – Today, Tomorrow and Beyond
Today’s rental market is in flux. With the rising cost of home ownership and a growing number of people – from millennials to recent immigrants – looking to rent, many property owners are now happily faced with bidding wars over their apartments.
For the time being, the market is smiling on owners. But this new trend is also spurring a huge spike in purpose-built rental apartment construction. And that spike isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon.
As property managers are well aware, reputations can take years, even decades, to build, but no time at all to ruin. And while renters may not have much choice in where they live at the moment, that won’t always be the case.
You need to make your best efforts now so that you remain competitive in the long-term. Not only will your property be top-of-mind when the market becomes saturated, but you’ll also be more likely to attract top tenants in today’s market.
Here are five tips to help you stay competitive, at any time:
Secure Stakeholder Satisfaction
As a property manager, it’s important to have a good reputation, with your residents and also your property owners. So survey them regularly to make sure you’re giving them what they need and meeting (or exceeding!) expectations. If there are any issues, resolve them promptly and follow up to ensure that stakeholders are fully satisfied.
Raise Your Game
Look for opportunities to upgrade your property whenever possible. Providing a well-equipped gym, comfortable lounge, swimming pool or even extra storage space goes a long way toward making tenants feel at home. Just make sure you don’t overcommit; if you have to hike the rent to cover the costs of your amenities, you won’t win favour with current or potential residents.
Be Proud, Not Humble
Identify the perks that set your properties apart and that are most in demand in your market. And be sure to emphasize them. Whether it’s ample visitor parking space, high ceilings or great views, determine what stands out about your building and units. Then feature your unique assets prominently in marketing materials and call attention to them during walk-throughs.
Offer Modern Conveniences
Today’s tenants expect fast, on-the-go service. They don’t want to bother with in-person cheque delivery or manual application forms. Look for ways to modernize the entire leasing process. Switch to an online application process, and consider offering options for online rent payment, including direct deposit, e-transfer and credit card. Not only will this appeal to residents, but it will minimize errors and cut back on admin time and costs.
Increase Online Visibility
It’s a digital world. Make the most of it. Enhance your web presence by being active on social media. Create (and maintain!) accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – all the major players. Take advantage of these platforms to post photos and videos of your buildings, as well as short-and-sweet messages about the benefits of living on your property.
The current market may feel pretty comfortable for property owners. That doesn’t mean you can afford to get sloppy. By putting in the work now to build a solid and lasting reputation with renters, you’ll always be in a position to attract, and retain, the people you most want living in your building.
To learn more about how you can improve the rental experience on your property and stand out from the competition, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.