• Promos are a great way to fill a vacant space with an incentive for tenants to move fast
  • Open houses can save time and create a sense of urgency
  • Don't forget about your friends and family as a resource to build a network of potential future tenants

A property listed for sale during off-peak times is likely to face a similar situation. While there is no magic bullet, catch-all solution, we have compiled our top five expert tips on creatively creating exposure for your listing—from fix and flip, buy to hold, rent and repeat, or something else, these ideas can be utilized during peak seasons too!

Open up

Stage your property and have an open house. The majority of your audience want to see a property in person before signing the lease. So spruce up your available property to allow impromptu walkthroughs. Be sure to schedule your open houses during convenient times. For example, you could make open houses between 6 and 8 p.m. during the week or mid-day on the weekends.

Open houses enable multiple property viewings to be conducted at the same time, which ends up saving time, as there’s no need to schedule multiple showings. Instead of scheduling showings at specific intervals for vacant properties, invite interested parties to open houses and ask them to stop by.

Open houses also generate a bit of positive and indirect pressure to submit an offer, as they see others may be interested in the property too—this can definitely work in your favor.

Valid promo code

Promotional and move-in specials are a creative option when working to fill a vacancy—especially in luxury condominium and apartment buildings. The key to using promotional deals is finding the right fit for your dream tenant. For example, you could offer Bulls tickets or a “free” TV to a tenant if they close the deal or sign the lease by a certain date.

Another popular promotion for apartments is to offer half off the first month’s rent if they sign by the specified date. These move-in specials create a sense of urgency for potential tenants, much like the pressure of multiple interested parties during an open house. You may come to find that there are even more ways to generate positive and indirect pressure to get your property filled as quickly as possible; this is one more of them.

Utilize value

When it comes to rental units, the vast majority of tenants seeking residence are trying to live within their means, on a budget. Target audiences for properties listed for sale can vary depending on the goals of the buyers and sellers. So by creating additional value to a party who may be interested in a lease or deal, you can increase the odds of a property being converted at a faster rate.

From a leasing perspective, this can be achieved by offering to pay for one or two of the utilities, and marketing the unit as such. Obviously, Chicago winters are rough, so maybe include heat as a bonus to attract a larger pool of potential tenants.

Are the utilities too expensive to cover for the entire lease? No worries, you can still create added value by offering to pay for the first month or two.

Create a spectacle

Maybe you can’t cover the utilities but your property has other eye-grabbing, value-adding options available. Create an added, time-sensitive incentive of a free parking spot or maybe even free laundry for the duration of the lease. Much like the promotional deals, make sure all extras are contingent on the new tenant or owner signing by a certain date.

Although these added benefits might seem silly, it is important to make your target audience aware that it is a great time to rent or buy due to low prices—remind them they may increase when spring arrives and peak season begins again.

Spread the word

The famous adage, “It’s all about who you know,” can ring true for the real estate investment market just as well as any other industry. If you think about it for a minute or two, you probably already know a handful of wonderful people, right? Create some brochures or pamphlets to give to your friends to pass along to their friends. You could even ask them to share your flyer on their personal social media accounts.

Get creative: make an awesome infographic about the neighborhood or about the property itself; offer a reward for successful conversions; create a showcase for excellent photos. Be sure the flyer also contains information about upcoming open house events so interested parties can make a future plan to stop by for a viewing. This will help to get the word out about your available property to interested parties.

If your area of business is property management or leasing, these tips can also lead to a continuous stream of tenants; an automated lead generator means your properties will always be filled with great tenants, and you are able to focus your additional efforts on creating a strong customer service presence.

With your newfound knowledge of seasonality as well as our top 5 expert tips, you’ll be on the fast track to real estate investment success! Okay, now go out and apply what you’ve learned in the real world. We wish you all the best!

Andrew Nast is the founder and president of Lofty Real Estate Co.

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