If You Must Offer Specials…: Part Three
Concession Strategies that Cost You Less
Why does Macy’s Department Store have all the incredible specials during the holiday season when gift-buying reaches its peak? How can Jareds Jewelry discount their top brands 30% during the Christmas season when demand is so strong? Strategy!
Retailers know that buyers love to get a deal, a special. A strategic discount or BOGO – Buy One Get One – accelerates sales during the season when people are in the mood to buy. It gets customers in their stores and on their websites, too. Yet, often these great deals are an illusion and cost the vendor very little. It is a strategy apartment operator can implement. It’s all about perception.
The perception of a special
Create demand and motivate commitment by carefully structuring your rent and fees so the prospect gets the feeling they are getting a deal. A well-played special does not always cost the property. Here are a few specials that will be perceived as valuable but cost little or nothing to the community:
- Flat Fee vs 1 Month Free – If your average rents are $1500 try a rent incentive of “$1,000 Off 1st Month!” instead of the first month. You don’t have to always match your competition and $1,000 is still a very healthy concession.
- Waive a Fee – Any fee. App fee, admin fee, amenity fee. If you don’t have these fees, all the better. Implement these fees on a nice written fee schedule…and then give them away, “If you leave your deposit Right Now…I can drop the $300 amenity fee.”
- Double Your Deposit – And then offer if for half off. What a deal! Remember Jared’s Jewelry? During Christmas, they are tripling the price of that watch and then offering it at half price.
- Increase Your Market Rent $50 – And then offer $600 off the first month on a 13-month lease. You are coming out ahead and set a new market rate.
- Free Rent “Before” Their Scheduled Move-In Date – If a unit is ready and leased, give it to the prospect NOW, before their actual move-in date. You have given away rent you would have never received. It is a pre-leased vacant ready apartment. This will also move the utilities faster to the resident and secure the apartment.
Don’t Forget the FEP – Be Friendly, Enthusiastic, & Professional
These are not “tricks” to manipulate the prospect. That is not how you use these incentives. If all you do is throw out a special and hope to hook someone, these no-cost concessions will seem insincere and amateurish. Rather, focus on connecting with the prospect and creating a relationship. Then your little “gift” of rental accommodation will be appreciated and will push them to commitment.