With the tremendous amount of competition in the rental housing market evident in the United States today, you must be able to differentiate yourself from the competition. There are certain obvious facets of your rental offering that are static: the price that you charge for rent (for the most part), the location of your rental properties, and the age of your available units for rent. However, by utilizing a bit of creativity and ability to think outside of the box, incentives can be introduced that will aid you in your quest for a higher occupancy rate. Here are 5 leasing incentives for renters.
1. Early payment discount - Paying rent on time is expected; however, offering a nominal discount for renters who pay 10 -- or even 15 days -- early is certainly an incentive to motivate the prospective renter to choose one of your units.
2. Rent decrease - On the face of it, this seems counterproductive to your bottom line. It's a given that the numbers need to be crunched to ascertain if this is economically viable, but $50 discount for 12 months would cost you as the landlord $600 per year. When faced with the prospect of a possible vacancy, the question that needs to be asked is "Will keeping these renters for another year save me $600?"
3. Property upgrades - Updating your rentals benefit both the landlord and also the tenant. These give the renter a sense of ownership, while increasing the value of the property. A true win-win.
4. Flexible lease terms - Examples of these include the option to break a lease with 30 days notice, or perhaps granting the ability to have a pet. A risk versus reward must be weighed in these type of scenarios.
5. Zero or partial security deposit - While larger apartment complexes have the luxury of waiving a security deposit, smaller landlords oftentimes do not have this option. In lieu of this, a landlord could consider a partial security deposit spread out over the first few months of the renter's lease. An example of this would be to allow the prospective renter to pay three equal deposit payments over the first three months of their lease term.
In order to differentiate yourself from other landlords offering similar rental properties at comparable prices, it is incumbent upon you as the landlord to offer perks that while may not cost much on their face, will end up returned dividends in the form of higher occupancy rates for your units.