1. Pre-Leasing is Key.
The most important phase of a new-construction community lease-up is the pre-leasing. The benefit to the resident is first pick of the units—and often a better price. The benefit to the developer is immediate occupancy upon completion of the development. Begin these efforts by grabbing the attention of prospects through signage at the construction site or via a soft advertising campaign that directs them to a webpage where you can capture their information and begin your prospect list. Then, roughly 90 days before expected occupancy, begin a full campaign for the community and reach out to your ready-made list.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency.
When there is an entire building available, prospective residents may feel like they can take their time because there are plenty of available units. Use special incentives or offer exclusive options to build a sense of urgency among your prospects. Another way to encourage them to take action is to have a visual layout of the community where you can highlight what has been reserved.
3. Know the Competition.
Take time to tour other comparable properties in the area. Know what they’re offering in terms of pricing, floor plans, amenities and services, and use that to differentiate your community.
4. Set Monthly Goals.
The market changes quickly—your plans should, too. Be prepared to offer different lease terms or adjust price points to close the deal.
5. Be Flexible.
Just as the construction team will have monthly goals to meet, so should the leasing team. When developing these goals, balance pricing expectations with the velocity—or the pace at which units should be leased.
6. Invest in Renderings.
It can be difficult for people to envision what the community will look like once it’s completed, which could keep them from committing to a lease. Showing detailed renderings will help sell the value of the property.
7. Enlist the Media.
Share community updates such as construction progress, timing for first move-ins and more with local reporters. Well-placed articles can create buzz for the new community.
8. Use Social Media.
Utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a no- or low-cost way to share images and property updates, show off the personality of a community and connect with prospects.
9. Offer Hard-Hat Tours.
Once you get the OK from the construction team, offering a “sneak peek” to prospects and media is a way to drum up interest—and leasing activity.
10. Plan a Grand-Opening.
When the community is ready, make a big splash with a grand opening party. These events are a great way to show off the units, amenities and overall lifestyle available. It’s also a nice way to say “Thank you” to your current residents and reignite interest among prospects.
Name: Andrew Kiener
Title: Vice President, Director of Project Sales and Leasing
Company: Kinzie Real Estate Group