Improving Apartment Community Revenues

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There are many options to consider improving apartment community revenues. Sometimes some good old fashion brain storming can help bring about ideas to fit one of your projects. Here are some areas to think about for communities under your watch.

Curb Appeal

Your prospective residents’ first impressions often will determine whether or not they pull up and park at your leasing center or not. Start at the entrance and monument sign. Does the signage represent the correct first impression to attract quality tenants? Is it clear how to get to the leasing center? Does the landscaping illustrate that the property and tenants needs are well maintained? Are the ground and shrubs freshly cut, and are flowers planted? Are the beds kept weeded and mulched? Is there any erosion that needs attention? If some curbs are painted red or yellow, is the paint fresh-looking? Are the streets, sidewalks and grounds free of trash and debris? Does the surface of the drives, parking lots and sidewalks look nice? Are the buildings, roofs, and fences in need of paint or cleaning? If there is a playground, is all the equipment complete and in good repair? Is the surface of the playground safe and maintained appropriately (clean and soft landing area)? If there is a pond, does it look inviting?

People

Does the maintenance staff wear uniforms identify them as part of the program? Do you have the friendliest people possible greeting and showing around prospective residents? Have you shopped the leasing staff lately? Are they showing enticing rent ready apartments?

Profit Centers

Adding vending machines, a laundry room (or perhaps more for larger communities), storage units, garages, in-unit washers and dryers, cable, phone and/or internet services (controlled by the property and offered to residents), or even a day care center, a coffee shop, or a convenience store on site are just a few ways to add money to the bottom line. Some of these could be used as an enticement to signing or renewing a lease.

Amenities

In some communities and areas of the country you could consider covered parking, a pool or clubhouse, playground areas, ball fields or other recreational amenities, hiking paths, outdoor picnic areas, fitness centers, gated access, car wash, free cable or internet services, a staffed after-school program or summer camp for kids, regular activities such as speakers, seminars or classes, bingo in certain communities, and sports teams.

Ask residents and staff for ideas. Consider asking tenants who don’t renew and new tenants what they like and don’t like about the community. If your staff and management are consistently asking and considering options, you are half way there already. Some of these ideas or others like them can help attract and retain tenants. Increasing the closing ratio of shoppers to tenants and retaining existing residents can certainly increase revenues for any community.

Ernie M. Eden, CCIM, SEC
Senior Vice President
The Apartment Group
Bull Realty, Inc
Ernie@BullRealty.com