Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Move-In Month

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Move-In Month
By: Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM

The retail sector of the consumer marketplace is not the only place to find value or bargains this holiday season. Landlords across Southern California who own or manage multifamily, commercial, office and other property-types are looking to fill vacancies and avoid what can generally be a one or two month slowdown in activity. While we have not drastically reduced rents, we have in fact introduced move-in specials as needed in our best attempt to deter the slowdown.

On approved credit, applicants can move-in to a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment home in Anaheim for just $500. Their 2nd month will be their first full month of rent which will be paid in the amount of $925. Holiday slowdown aside, the economy is in the gutter and the C+/B- property-type has been hit hard. Prospective applicants often have poor credit, borderline sufficient income and a difficult time coming up with the full $1,450 move-in expense. Truly understanding the marketplace and introducing specials to attract more prospects is the best solution that we have found. Knowing that our customers are strapped for cash so-to-speak, the low move-in expense allows them the ability to move in for a fraction of the cost.

Look at your most recently approved or rejected applicants. Do they share any commonalities? Do they have a short-sale or foreclosure that damaged their credit score? Did they not take an application because they could afford the rent but not the upfront move-in expense? If you notice a pattern, consider introducing a special marketing campaign to fill your vacancies. Just think, you can potentially prevent 2 month’s rent loss if you act quickly.