The subject property was a luxury community in the Pacific North West newly constructed in October 2012. As the result of constant construction setbacks the certificate of occupancy was delayed, causing the property to experience a loss of leasing momentum. Furthermore, complications with the onsite staff left the property without the necessary focus it needed to concentrate on procuring new leases. Although traffic was steady, the leasing numbers were not where the owners needed them.
As of January 13th 2013, the property had secured 10 leases with an average rent of $1,130/apartment. The property was leasing at a rate of about 3 apartments per month.
1. Offer low, introductory rents in the hopes that it would close prospects
2. Completely rehire onsite leasing staff
3. Hire CLASS to accelerate the lease-up
CLASS was hired to amplify the lease-up and avoid repeating the low leasing trends of the past three months. The owners also did not want to retrain a new staff which would have caused further delays in the leasing process.
CLASS recognized that the property needed a strong closer capable of converting current traffic into leases. Most of the traffic said they were “just looking” when in fact, they could be turned into prospects or utilized for word of mouth marketing. Moreover, increased marketing efforts needed to be implemented in order to drive more qualified prospects in the door. A detailed breakdown of traffic was necessary to discover how qualified prospects were hearing about the property.
CLASS implemented the following changes to the leasing and marketing platform:
1. CLASS maintained the leasing process and handled all phone calls, product demonstrations, closing techniques and follow-up. This resulted in the onsite staff being able to concentrate on approving applications and getting apartments ready for move-in.
2. In order to create a sense of urgency, CLASS limited the units being offered to only two apartments. CLASS also setup mini models in the apartments being shown to provide for a more appealing visual.
3. Strengthened outreach marketing: CLASS put into operation a thorough marketing approach to take advantage of the property’s strengths. CLASS was able to determine these strengths by tracking where qualified traffic was coming from and implementing unique approaches to target this market. When CLASS recognized that their most qualified prospects were young professionals, marketing efforts were increased to include cross-marketing with popular downtown hangouts. This better familiarized the young professional market with the property. Cross-marketing included creating coasters to distribute to downtown bars and restaurants young professionals frequented. CLASS also held networking sessions in the common areas for local proffesionals, as well as a weekly open house.
4. Increased social media platforms: CLASS knows that Generation Y relies heavily on their peers when it comes to purchasing decisions. They are more likely than any other group to research social media platforms of a community and search for resident reviews. For this reason, a reward system was implemented encouraging residents to post on the property’s Facebook page. When potential prospects combed through the property’s page, they would find positive reviews which would boost their opinion of the community.
5. CLASS eliminated specials from all marketing material and refused to give them out prior to the closing table. CLASS was then able to leverage these specials to secure the lease.
6. Capitalize on curious, unqualified traffic: Prior to CLASS’ arrival on the property, a good portion of traffic was comprised of people merely curious to look at the newest community in the area. Many of these individuals were already in leases themselves and were just stopping by to take a peek. Where others would see a dead lead, CLASS saw a marketing opportunity. By offering referrals to those just looking, they would begin to tell their friends and co-workers about the property. Positive word-of-mouth throughout the community increased.
By implementing these strategies, CLASS was able to increase traffic and leases significantly.
By CLASS’ third week on the property, the number of weekly walk-ins was more than the total walk-ins from the two previous months combined.
More importantly, the absorption rate more than doubled as a result of CLASS’ strong sales aptitude and closing abilities.
RENT REVENUE PER MONTH
WITH VS. WITHOUT CLASS
*assuming property continued the current unit absorption rate
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COST OF CLASS VS. INCREASE IN ANNUAL RENT REVENUE
*The increase in leasing activity resulted in 21 additional move-ins in less than 40 days.
*Annual rent revenue generated by these additional move-ins = $284,760.00
*Total cost of CLASS Service = $30,630
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