1. Strategic Planning
Before determining tactical execution, think of the overall umbrella that answers the question, “What do we want to achieve?” Within your property, you want to first increase revenue overall, then you can think about the tactical execution of what needs to be done to achieve this.
2. Create a dashboard
With your strategic plan in mind, create your own dashboard; this could be with your property management software or just a simple checklist of what to keep your eye on. Focus on the key components that can move the meter, such as lead conversions, lease expirations, and other income.
3. Amenity Pricing
Evaluate. each apartment on its own. Rents should be established starting at a floorplan, then a unit type, and then any additional “amenities” of the unit should be in addition to the base rent – these are features that make the apartment special. For example: View, floor height, upgraded appliances, first-floor location and others. Each has a value – $25 extra for a view doesn’t sound like a lot, but over 12 months— multiplied by the number of those apartments in the community— your rent potential starts to dramatically increase.
Much like amenity pricing, each apartment should be looked at individually, taking into consideration how far off of the “market rent” the resident is and increasing the rent in an appropriate and thoughtful manner and not with a blanket approach that could either push residents out or not maximize your income.
5. Additional Income
Look at ways that your community can capture additional income – pet rent, community rentals, partnerships with Internet providers and more. Determine where you can leverage your partnerships.
Revenue management is not just about increasing profits, it is also about decreasing expenses. Examine how things are done as a whole and where extra steps are taken that equal time and money for your teams and properties.
7. Market Trends
Don’t be reactive, be proactive! Be aware of businesses coming to the area that may allow you to increase rents because of demand. Make sure you are aware of what is in the housing construction pipeline – what are their apartment unit mixes and how does the property compare to yours? Being aware of this allows you to be forward-thinking with your property – capital projects may need to be planned, unit renovations may need to be completed to stay current, and new renewal strategies may need to be implemented. Be prepared.
8. Customer Experience
The quest to perfect customer service does not stop with getting the rental application. By creating an experience that carries through the entire lifecycle of a resident’s stay through their move-out pays back tenfold. Every resident interaction is important, from conversations to work orders. Residents will stay longer, pay more and promote your property and brand if they feel that they love where they live.
9. Training: Invest in your people
Spending the time to train them to be the best employees they can be not only elevates them in their careers, it also elevates your property and company. Onsite teams are the ones interacting with the resident day-in and day-out – prepare them for success.
10. Technology: Embrace it, use it, promote it
Nearly everyone is on their devices all day – embrace this as it will allow you to cut out time and money. Using Web-based and app-based programs are the way to communicate with residents and prospects. Online payments allow you to receive rents quicker, a resident online forum allows you to contact your residents immediately, social media allows you to spread the word quicker about your community — residents can even sign their leases online. All of these things put money in the bank faster, increase resident retention and provide your team with more time to be part of their community.