The holiday season and the dreaded months of winter are often cited for the reason for decreased phone calls and visits to a property. The reasons cited for reduced visits and closing ratios matches the outside temperature.
No one wants to move between Christmas and New Years.
No one wants to move in the winter
No one is looking at apartment advertisements,
The focus is on shopping.
While there may be a preoccupied interest in shopping. Winter months can be more challenging to move furniture than summer. Life Goes On.
Individuals are getting new jobs. Families are facing all kinds of life style changes. Babies are born. Relationships blossom or deteriorate. All requiring changes in the places families will need for their housing.
There may be less random decision making, less traffic that indicates they were just driving by..”Wow, that looks like a great place to live, maybe I should check them out.” People are making arrangements to move their households. Some need immediate accommodations. Some will need to be in place shortly after the first of the year.
Continuing to maintain the focus and goals for the property throughout a slower leasing season will bring results. If visits are decreasing, where can the property create community partnerships to assist with outreach marketing? Is there a realtor that specializing in relocation services? Is there an economic development office for the county or nearby municipalities? This might be a great time to distribute and advertise the referral program with many residents spending time with families, friends and co-workers at holiday events.
Making sure the model apartment (whether furnished or unfurnished) is warm and inviting is no less important in winter months. The property curb appeal will continue to influence the decision whether individuals will stop at your property or not. Are the grounds free of debris? If snow dominates your environment, are the parking areas, sidewalks and leasing path cleared? Someone that slides around the corner trying to make a turn; is going to slide on by.
Time and time again, the answer on weekly property reports reflects, weather was horrible; no leasing calls. With the exception of truly horrible weather conditions, ice storms, a foot of snow, four inches or rain–a challenge to compare what kind of traffic is on the roadway in front of the property? If, so much traffic is from driving by? Whats different that they aren’t stopping in for a visit?
Taking advantage of a season where others may lower their leasing focus could result in leases that will give the property occupancy a boost even on December 31.