3 Brilliant Ways to Attract Tenants in Coronavirus Times

3 Brilliant Ways to Attract Tenants in Coronavirus Times

2 min read
Ashley Wilson

Ashley Wilson is an avid real estate investor from the suburbs of Philadelphia. She owns several real estate businesses and focuses primarily on the operations of each business.

Ashley began her real estate career investing in short- and long-term rentals. She then started flipping houses in the suburbs of Philadelphia, while living in Europe. Upon her return, she moved into large multifamily.

Over her tenure, she has been involved in over $40M of real estate and has overseen over $5M in construction. Today, she focuses on both flipping houses and operating large multifamily properties, as the Asset and Construction Manager.

Currently, Ashley is a contributing blogger to BiggerPockets. She also was on BiggerPockets Podcast episode #277 and previously provided live content for BiggerPockets YouTube and Live Stream.

Ashley has also been featured on several podcasts, including The Real Estate InvestHer, Purchase to Profits, Best Real Estate Investing Advice with Joe Fairless, The Real Estate Syndication Show, The Multifamily Zone, Multifamily Marketing, and Cashflow2Freedom. In addition, Ashley has spoken at several real estate events including IMN Multifamily Property Management & Operations, MidAtlantic Summit, Diversified Investors Group, The Real Estate InvestHer, and Strategic Investor Alliance.

Ashley attended Colgate University and then later received her Masters of Leadership Development at Penn State University, where she was inducted into the Beta Gama Sigma Society. Ashley also holds a Six Sigma Lean Professional Certification and an Independent Rental Owner Professional Certification from the National Apartment Association.


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Someone once said to me, “There are a finite number of people looking to move in any given month, in any given market. Our goal is to capture the highest percentage of movers each month.”

Today, the finite number of people looking to move, across all markets, has drastically been reduced—mainly due to the shelter-at-home ordinance. Thus, it is more important than ever to capture prospective tenants.

Utilizing the standard methods to identify tenants will most likely not work in this market. So, here are three new takes on traditional tactics to help capture attract new renters.

1. Establish an Employer-Based Referral Program

Referrals have historically been a “set it and forget it” program. The common school of thought entailed establishing a referral program for residents and employees, paying out some sort of financial compensation to the referrer (in the form of a bonus or a rent credit).

hand drawing on blackboard with chalk social or social media network scheme

The overhead on the program was minimal and results were reflective of that—minimal. However, taking a more active approach could drastically increase your results.

For example, with my properties, we call weekly to check on the welfare of each resident. During this call, we also ask about any employment changes. The primary reason we gather this data is to assist with applying for unemployment and to know our rent delinquency exposure.

However, an added benefit is identifying businesses that are still open and are not at risk for laying off their employees. We then take this list and reach out to these businesses to establish a referral program.

Related: Rental Showings & Social Distancing: Creative Ways to Fill Your Vacant Units

2. Tap into Where Tenants Spend the Most Time Online

Once again, this is a very well-known tactic that most apartments use to attract tenants. While apartment leasing sites like Apartments.com, Rent.com, and so on are still valuable, people are spending more time than ever before on social media platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Facebook.

Depending on your market, the frequency and creativity of posts to social media accounts might translate into a greater return than the traditional methods. Who knows, you might even end up with a post that goes viral. Then, people will be begging to live in your property!

3. Prioritize Curb Appeal

Even with the stay-at-home order, people are still going out to run essential errands. This is why the look of the property—whether it is fresh landscaping, updated LED lighting, or overall cleanliness—is still so important.

In fact, after two full months of lockdown, well-maintained properties will likely stand out even more than usual, as other properties have paused upkeep routines.

Related: As a New Landlord, Here’s How I’m Keeping Good Tenants During the Coronavirus Crisis

The Bottom Line

In this unprecedented time, we must take unprecedented measures. Rethinking traditional methods not only creates opportunities for your property, but it also generates buzz within your market. (Look how progressive you are!)

And as Dr. Seus says, “You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s no limit to what you can do.”

What are some other unique methods of attracting tenants?

Share below in a comment.