February 6, 2020

How to Increase Your Multi-Family Occupancy for Rentals in Detroit

In Detroit, if your multi-family occupancy rate is less than 78%, you may be falling behind the competition. However, this is a relatively low figure: nationwide, the occupancy rate is above 93%!

If you want to keep up with the rest of the country, you will have to have—on average—all of your units rented about 340 days out of the year; 13 out of 14 units should be occupied at any given time. Given the challenges in keeping multi-family rental properties adequately occupied, what steps can you take to help keep the kinds of tenants that help fuel your property investment portfolio?

Here are some important considerations when trying to increase your multi-family occupancy.

New multi family house construction

1. Marketing Your Rental Properties

Marketing is often confused with advertising.

  • Advertising is simply letting people know that a product exists.
  • Marketing involves the step-by-step process of identifying a target market, making sure a product is ready for it, and then creating awareness about it.

Many investors undervalue marketing as a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy real estate portfolio.

Marketing your rental properties involves more than just putting up ads! You have to make sure the property is catering to the needs of your target demographics. A real estate investment portfolio can include several types of properties aimed at different groups, so it’s important to make sure the needs of each one are met, specifically.

For example, if you are trying to attract and retain millennials, you should make sure you put the kinds of amenities they like in and around your multi-family rental properties. Such perks may include things like an outdoor space for entertaining or proximity to entertainment and dining. On the other hand, if your target demographic is active professionals, your nearness to transportation and easy access to highways can be a big plus!

After your property has been prepared for your target market, then you can start attracting applicants. To get the most bang for your buck when marketing your rental properties, try:

  • Putting plenty of well-chosen, professional photos in each listing.
  • Updating your listings periodically to keep them on point
  • Making sure each listing focuses on the strengths of your Detroit rentals
  • Include aspects of the surrounding area, landscaping, and views around your units
  • Make sure you include details about local conveniences, shops, and activities
  • Put a blog section on your website that discusses aspects of everyday life in the local community.

The more tangible you can make the living experience for a potential renter, the more likely they are to come by and check out what you have to offer!

2. Using Referrals to Get the Word Out

A word of mouth referral carries just as much weight as any Google review! When your tenants share their experiences with friends and family members, they give them a vibrant, realistic perspective that helps them “feel” what it’s like to live there.

You can encourage word of mouth referrals with active involvement across your multi-family rental properties with some simple steps:

  • Provide small brochures describing some of the strong points of your multi-family units or the surrounding area. Put them within arm’s reach of entryways so visitors can pick them up, and they can turn into talking points during their visit.
  • Design a referral program that gives tenants a rental incentive for referring people who rent for a year or more.
  • Give your tenants things to talk about: it could be random, small gifts, or thoughtful considerations that make their daily life a little easier.
  • Do things that tenants may want to photograph and post on Instagram or Facebook. Small gift baskets, baked goods, or particularly well-done gardening can all inspire a quick photo and share.
  • Post a QR code in a common walkway that leads to your website or that of the multi-family unit being marketed. Tenants can scan it, forward the site, or have their friend or family member do the same.

Happy Family Outdoors3. Keeping Existing Tenants Happy

Communicate with your tenants to make sure they are happy and that you’re doing everything you can to help keep them that way! While you don’t want to crowd your tenants, you should maintain positive, productive contact with them.

If you’re at the property, don’t just offer a friendly “Hello!” Take the next step and ask about how things are working in the unit, how they like the area, if they have tried a certain restaurant in Detroit, and offer other local hot spots that might be of interest. Be genuine but professional, and try to provide timely solutions to any challenges they face.

4. Hiring a Detroit Property Manager

Managing your investment portfolio often requires a multi-faceted approach—and this is especially true if you're trying to increase the occupancy rate for a multi-family property. Although you may be able to survive on your own, it would be easier to thrive with the help of an expert Detroit property manager.

When selecting your property partner, focus on a professional in Detroit that's experienced with multi-family units. With effective property management, you gain access to a marketing professional!

A skilled Detroit property manager knows how to keep your multi-family units well-occupied for years. If you're ready to take your investment portfolio to the next level, then you're ready to reach out to JMZ Management! Let us put our skills to work for you to increase your multi-family occupancy rate! Learn more about what we have to offer to multifamily investors.

Topics: tenant relations, Marketing, Multi-Family Property Investing