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Tips for Occupancy Recovery & Preservation in 2021





Occupancy recovery and preservation is the name of the game in 2021. If you have been operating in a market that has enjoyed strong demand for the last few years, you may need to brush up your marketing and leasing skills. Prospects and residents have a lot of options in the market right now, and we marketers are slinging a lot of content and information at them.

Bottom line, price will be an issue in the absence of value! And, in the eye of prospects and residents, value is based on perception.

So, how do you think your property is perceived amongst all the other options? If you're finding yourself in a position of stubborn vacancy, tackle this list to refresh your view, and approach it from the lens of your prospective renters. How do you measure up? And what can you adjust?


Use this checklist as a road map to increase occupancy, achieve realistic rent levels, build stronger retention, and improve professional leasing skills to compete in your market.


Understand the comps in the market

  • First, your comps may have changed! Shop your market as a prospect by price point, not by property type. Lux lease-ups may have dropped rents to match yours.

  • Identify who your comps are and monitor their pricing and fees monthly. How does your pricing currently compare, and your “value for the rate”?

  • Explore the leasing process. How does the experience at your property compare to others prospects are experiencing in the market?

Marketing presence

  • Access your reporting. Which sources are most effective and how can they be polished and maximized. Don’t just rely on your PM reporting, ask your ad reps what they’re seeing on your accounts.

  • Website, what could improve? Is there a friction factor in the process for prospects to get info quick?

  • Google. Are you maximizing Google My Business? There’s so much free value here!

Leasing experience

  • Leasing is all about sales & requires polished skills. Shop 2 comps and note how you feel as a prospect. Note, the industry average lead to lease rate is 5%. Also, the industry average response time is changing to under 2 minutes with all the chatbot tools available.

  • Rewrite your email response using the KIS method (keep it simple). Link back to your property website specifically to the availability page, the photo gallery, and the online app .

  • Create a follow-up plan. New industry average is 8-12 prospect touch points to convert a lease. How will you follow-up daily with both personalized messages, and nurturing messages to stay at the top of their email inbox?

Application & move-in process

  • Do prospects get stuck in the app process? Can you see “started apps” in your PM system that don’t get completed?

  • Prospects apply at multiple properties in this market. Is your app process fast, smooth and trustworthy?

Baseline metrics & goals

  • Monitor your lead volume - if you aren’t getting enough leads, look to your pipeline - 95% aren’t making a decision...yet.

  • Be sure to record ALL leads!


P.S. Don’t forget the human hand-off is more important than ever in our new normal of automation. How are you ensuring your hand-off is smooth? Are you interested in learning more about how Cadence can support you this year when it comes to occupancy recovery and retention? Send us an email @ jrosseth@cadencems.com.


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