It can be difficult to get new tenants during the holiday season, as most people do not want to add moving to their to-do lists at such a busy time. They often take a break from looking at properties until after the new year. An open house is often poorly tended, but you can change that by getting into the spirit of the season with your plans.
Make It Festive
As you plan your open house, make it fun and festive with holiday decorations and snack foods. Have holiday music playing in the background and decorations like candles, strings of light, and wreaths hung around the property. For college housing, ask current and prospective tenants to participate in the holiday festivities and hold a holiday costume contest or even a holiday potluck hosted by you.
Choose a time when everyone won’t be busy with other activities. For example, a weekend evening is probably not a good time, since most people will have other obligations. A weekday afternoon or late Saturday morning may be your best choices.
Be creative about advertising your open house. If people have taken a break from house or apartment-hunting at this time, they may not be looking at the classifieds or on rental websites. Instead, advertise on news boards or websites for holiday events. If you have planned for your open house to be festive, people will include it in with their other holiday activities.
Don’t forget to promote it on your social media networks. People who have signed up to follow you will get the posts. Be creative and make it sound more like a special holiday event. Announce door prizes and let people know that they can tour an empty unit that is decorated for the holidays.
Get current tenants involved. Have them spread the word and award prizes or give out coupons to every tenant who brings someone to the open house. Offer to take $5 or $10 off the month’s rent for every person that comes as a result of their invitation. Everyone likes to have spending money for the holidays, and this is an easy way for a tenant to make some extra while you expand your pool of potential tenants.
Everyone Likes Gifts
Be the ultimate gift-giver at your open house by giving away gifts and prizes. Start with a small door prize to get everyone to leave their name and email address. This gives you a head count and a way to follow up later on.
Make the gift something the person would enjoy using in a new apartment. For instance, a new TV or gaming system would be a hit with college students. In a property with mostly professionals or families, a coffee pot or espresso machine would be a great choice.
Consider adding in a prize that people can sign up for that is directly related to applying for an apartment. For instance, you could have a drawing where the winner gets half off the first month’s rent. You could also set it up where everyone who fills out an application on the day of the open house has the application fee waived.
Planning an open house during the slow season is a little different from planning one during a time when everyone is looking for a place to live. Turn your traditional open house into a fun holiday event that is sure to be a hit with your target audience. With a little creativity, you can still see a good turnout and maybe a few new tenants.
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