The 2009 Take On Pride of Ownership

The 2009 Take On Pride of Ownership
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM

With the multi-family housing rental market growing more competitive than ever, a battle of specials and promotions has become standard practice. While some firms are more likely to promote the idea of free rent and discounted security deposits, others focus on the actual product that brings prospects in the door. In any case, with consumers looking to save money anyway possible while not compromising their quality of living, a hybrid of the two mindsets is key to succeed in our current economic conditions.

In response to the economy, our customer and our desire to constantly improve the properties we manage, we have established a cost-effective method of upgrading and enhancing our apartment homes so as to attract residents and minimize downtime. Our apartment homes now feature a custom interior paintjob complete with designer colors, stainless steel finishes, updated, energy efficient fixtures and more. In the process, I have been surprised as to the overall cost-effectiveness of some of the projects. It is my firm belief to not reduce prices unless the market has been thoroughly tested and the available product has been extensively marketed to prospects through multiple forms of print and online advertising. While we may not be getting the rents we were a year and a half ago in some instances, we are still upgrading our product and strengthening it for the long haul.

We have no control over outside influences on our industry, such as the economy, job losses or increases in population that can otherwise increase occupancy. What we can control is the curb appeal and interior upkeep of our own apartment communities and how they are seen by the public. Modernizing your apartment homes, when done correctly, can help not only to maximize income but to preserve your investment as well.