There may have been a time when renting was seen as a step towards homeownership, but for an increasing number of people, owning a home is no longer the end goal that it used to be.
Tap this growing segment by establishing an emotional connection with them:
- Fine-tune your branding
Whether you work as an individual or own a real estate company, project a warm and personable image by fine-tuning your branding. Convey your brand’s personality through content-driven marketing and make sure that all your marketing pieces have a cohesive look and messaging.
Pay attention to your brand voice and see how it strikes a chord with prospective renters. You need to do more than list features and amenities; describe the experience of living in the apartment and the neighborhood it’s located in.
- Understand why people choose to rent
More and more people are renting instead of buying because of the freedom and flexibility it gives them. It makes more sense for those who travel or relocate frequently because of work to sign a year-long lease than a 30-year mortgage. Then there are renters who don’t want to be tied down to a home loan – some individuals prefer to have fewer financial obligations in life.
People prefer renting in expensive housing markets. Desirable urban areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco come to mind, but they’re not the only places in California with high housing costs. Not everyone can come up with half a million for down payment but just about anyone can afford two to three months’ worth of rent for a security deposit.
- Play up the benefits of living in the property
As mentioned earlier, you have to do more than give prospective tenants a run-through of the property’s features. Encourage them to rent the place by playing up the benefits. Tell them exactly how living in the apartment will enhance their lives.
Instead of simply stating that the home has high-end appliances, for instance, mention how these items will lessen the time they spend on housework.
The same goes for the neighborhood. If it’s centrally located, emphasize the convenience of short commute or how exciting their weekends can be if they lived near shops and restaurants.
- Make it feel like home for prospective renters
For people who choose to rent, leasing is more of an emotional experience than a transactive one. There’s more to it than getting value for their money or snagging an apartment with high-end features. It’s about finding a place that feels like home, even if they don’t own the space.
A RentPath study found that over 52 percent of recent renters owned a home in the past, while more than 50 percent move every three years. That’s why it helps to market your property in a way that makes them feel as if they’re building a home but with none of the burden that comes with owning one.
Depersonalize the apartment in preparation for viewing so that prospects can imagine themselves moving in with their things. You can also give them some leeway when it comes to decorating and making minor changes to the place such as re-painting the walls to their preferred color.
Don’t treat the transaction like a one-time sale – there are people who may want to stay in your apartment indefinitely.