Fall is the New Spring of Multifamily Leasing Season

While usually a bit slower, activity this fall season is actually destined to be more momentous than ever before.

As the summer heat cools down and the leaves begin to turn, many apartment communities may be gearing up for reduced leasing activity. However, 2020 has proven time and time again that it is a year unlike any other, and the fall leasing season is right there with it. While usually a bit slower, activity this fall season is actually destined to be more momentous than ever before.

45% of renters plan to move before the end of 2020

Forty-five percent of renters who delayed plans to move due to the pandemic earlier this year plan to move by the end of the year, according to CoStar Group’s Vice President of Market Analytics John Affleck. These figures are validated by the record numbers of activity and visitors Apartments.com has seen over the past few weeks.

Apartments.com renter visits are up 35 percent year over year, with leads to communities up 40 percent year over year. In August, Apartments.com logged 75 million renter visits, an all-time record.

Increased demand can be partially attributed to changes in renter needs

Why is there such an uptick in renter activity this fall? Well some of that demand is pent-up from renters who couldn’t move in April and May, and some of it comes from renters whose needs have changed. These renters are prioritizing more space to work at home, or lower rent as incomes have been lost. There are also a lot of renters looking to move to different markets. In fact, 38 percent of renters searching Apartments.com are looking for apartments outside their markets, which means creating a nationally-targeted marketing strategy to reach prospective residents is more important than ever before.

Traditionally, urban renters accepted higher rents to enjoy city living and be near an office or transit. With urban amenities still largely closed and most professionals working at home, many renters may feel that paying top rents no longer makes sense—particularly when the suburbs offer more space and, for some, the perception of safety. As a result, rental availability—and competition—in urban communities has soared, resulting in almost 80,000 vacant units in urban city centers. While the national availability rate has fallen back below 6 percent, just a bit above normal levels for this time of year, almost all of that decline is due to leasing activity in the suburbs, where availabilities have fallen to the lowest levels we’ve seen over the past few years.

Apartment communities are reaping the benefits of increased demand

Many apartment communities using Apartments.com to advertise their vacant units are reaping the benefits of this increase in activity. “After well out-performing forecasts for the summer months amidst these extremely unusual circumstances, lead-generation across our portfolio is still going strong into the fall when we’d usually begin to expect our ‘seasonal-dip’ at a lot of our locations. We are actually seeing better numbers than we were at this point last year and attribute a lot of that to Apartments.com‘s presence as a platform for our digital curb appeal, Apartments.com‘s investment in brand-awareness, and its prioritization of the renter experience, especially during atypical times,” said Gray Lane, director of digital marketing at JMG Realty, Inc.

No matter the location of your community, Apartments.com can bolster your marketing efforts to prepare for an influx in renter demand this fall. When you advertise today, you’ll have access to all of the exposure and high quality leads Apartments.com has to offer your rental communities. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your pumpkin spiced latte. You’re about to witness one of the greatest leasing seasons on record.

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