A quarter of all landlords have never used a coupon to lease up, are you one of them? Many that have tried to use coupons have given up…sound familiar? Fact is there isn’t a Groupon or Google Offers or a one-stop site for rental rebates, coupons or deals for renters. Tons of sites push time-shares, vacations and so on but little for consumers willing to commit in contract to spend $18,000 for 12-months (2 bedroom/modern averages).
If you are buying a car there are hundreds of websites dedicated to rebating and coupons – Why not Residential Multifamily?
How are the Lead Aggregators sorting out coupons? A quick review of MyNewPlace, ApartmentGuide and Rent.com illustrate and maintain some staple elements in the apartment ad presentation across the board. There are photos/videos, price ranges, details and a shopping basket (for lack of a better word). But to the point of couponing, ApartmentGuide lures you in with a “Current Rent Specials” button which opens up email communication with the apartment manager which seems like an unnecessary step instead of jut listing the move in specials. Rent.Com lists the special in a pop-up screen with “Move-In Specials”. Coupons have secured placement on the initial presentation – which is the most important take-away. In fact, I think most ads are incomplete without one. Consumers are expecting deals – so let’s give them one.
Coupons have come a long way since the days of printed ones attached to your apartment ad in the guide books. And those were a bit suspect because often potential residents were urged to retrieve the guide for the coupon as sales tactics by leasing staffs. Renter referral programs are great but really help the incumbent renter and not the prospective one. Our industry also offers current renter’s deals to release so all the existing forms of couponing are still in use today. However, online distribution, bar-coding and CRM campaigns are taking complete advantage of tracking our consumer’s fascination with coupons. Here are some quick tips for your campaigns.
- Whatever the deal is – Make sure all staff (leasing to maintenance) know about your current Coupon Deals. Nothings worse than a consumer inquiring about one and staff fumbling about the details. Consumer distrust of the value sets in.
- Keep our Coupons at a 15-day shelf life. End of the month too. Set incentives for your Leasing Staff to remarket old rental prospects and set urgency for new ones walking in the door.
- Learn or re-learn how to update and maintain your deals, specials and coupons on the lead aggregators and guides. Document it and make it handy. It’s the first thing to teach new staff on the first day. A poorly managed Coupon Program can hurt your reputation on apartmentratings.com. LOL! – Just what we all need but yet another thing for people to complain about.
- TRACK IT! Long gone are the days of the printed coupon stapled to the lease application being the end of the process. The tracking doesn’t stop there. Aggregate it on a spreadsheet. Compare what services are bringing you coupons; are their similarities in the applications, apartment sizes rented, what seasons which work better and so on.
- Treat your Coupon Programs like GOLD. After all, it’s money coming off your bottom-line. There should be an excitement around them. Prospects should use them and tell their friends. Renter referrals work that way and coupons are more viral. Ask the renters to use them to gloat about it in Facebook, Twitter and all. It’s a win-Win.
And the last tip – Remember the ABC’s of Leasing - Always Be Closing
About Resident Places
Resident Places is a zero cost amenity to residential and mixed use properties where residents receive valuable money saving offers from local businesses through a co-branded coupon portal. These neighborhood deals are made available without any sales activity by leasing staffs or IT teams. Every deal printed through the co-branded portal will include the name of the property and is shareable via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, which expands the reach and audience of the community’s brand to their residents, prospects and area businesses. For business owners, our unique offering gives access into a typically difficult advertising market – multifamily communities, with a low cost, high tech solution.