3 Creative Ways to Attract New Renters

You can learn a lot from ’80s movies. Like, when y...

You can learn a lot from ’80s movies. Like, when you have the house to yourself, the most productive way to spend your time is to dance in your boxers and Ray Bans. That you can win back the woman you love by blasting music from a boombox in the middle of the night. That if you play hooky, you should stay as visible as possible by performing on a parade float. Yup, ’80s movies are really informative.

One of the lessons property managers can take to heart is from one of my favorite movies from the 1980s: Troop Beverly Hills. In case you haven’t seen it, which you really should, by the way, the movie is about a rich woman named Phyllis Nefler (Shelley Long) who takes over her daughter’s Wilderness Girls troop, even though she knows nothing about the great outdoors. Hilarity and shopping montages ensue, of course. But the most valuable lesson [for us] comes when Phyllis has the girls sell cookies. Instead of going door-to-door (because the mean troops already went to all of the houses…never mind, it doesn’t matter), Phyllis has the girls set up shop in front of a gym. So when people come out after a workout, cookies are staring them in the face. Of course, the girls sell out their stock.

What important information can property managers learn from this?

Advertise to a captive audience, think out of the box and market to your target audience.

Online ads and social media are great ways to advertise vacancies in your building, of course, and are necessary today. But here are three additional creative ways you can appeal to prospective renters.

Run an ad on a movie theater screen. I always go to movies early so I have time to get a good seat, get popcorn, and get annoyed at all the people who are still on their cell phones (yes, I know the movie hasn’t started yet, but it’s still annoying). And, before the commercials that go on before the previews, in some theaters there are still ads that appear on the screen. Why not run an ad for your community? After all, you have a captive audience of people who probably live in the area. Give the people a break from those movie jumbles they repeat a thousand times.

Set up a booth on a college campus career fair. Once senior year hits, students are desperate to figure out what to do with their lives, and, despite the rumor going on about Millennials, most don’t want to live in their parents’ house after graduation. If your apartment community is near a major employment hub, or is transit-oriented, or has anything that would appeal to young professionals, you’ll be sure to get a lot of interest. Have a leasing agent there with pamphlets (and candy. Always have candy) and photos, who can describe all the great features of your community.

Host a “Bring a Single Friend” party. Sometimes when people are single, they’ll throw a party and tell all their friends to all bring a single friend. That way the singles get to meet potential suitors, and everyone has a good time. So why not throw a party in your community, and invite your residents to all bring a friend who’s looking for a new place to live, or whose lease will be up at their community soon. You can show off your great amenity space and show what a fun place it is, and you can offer up tours of the building and available units to all who are interested. Sweeten the deal for your current residents by offering them a discount on rent for a month if their friends end up leasing an apartment.

What do you think? What are some other creative ways to attract new renters? And what is your favorite life lesson from an ’80s movie?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: CREATISTA