5 Apartment Move-in Specials to Offer Your Tenants

By Alicia Geigel on February 4, 2022

Being a property manager, one of your most important responsibilities is bringing in tenants and having your units occupied. Depending on the condition of the rental market or the location you are in, this is not always as easy as it should be. While there is little you can do to control the demand of people seeking to rent your units, you can take steps to entice potential tenants by offering move-in specials or deals on their lease upon moving in. This can be a simple way to bring in a potential tenant and work with them depending on their current financial situation. This not only helps your tenant by giving them a little wiggle room, but it also helps you by making you look like a reasonable, understanding property manager- which can attract more tenants!

Are you a property manager actively seeking tenants to fill your rental properties? Looking to offer some kind of move-in special or deal on your lease? Unsure of how to go about this? These five tips will help you along the way and give you the proper information you need to successfully manage all of your properties!

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Waived Application Fees: For renters, a dreaded part of the application process is filling out the renter’s application and painfully paying the fees to process it. While fees are necessary for a number of reasons regarding applications (i.e. background checks, processing software, etc.), the $40, $50, $60+ price tag is something that can discourage a potential tenant from wanting to rent out your unit. The costs of moving are enough, why spend extra money on something that they aren’t guaranteed to get? In this case, it can work for both your potential tenant and you to waive the application fees. Though it is a bit out of your own pocket now, the person will certainly appreciate this break. If they are denied application, they may refer a friend or family member to your property, which could give you more business!

Waived or Reduced Security Deposit: One of the biggest expenses for tenants when moving into a house or apartment is the move-in expenses. As a property manager, you are no stranger to how much these expenses can be, typically requiring a first and last month’s rent with a security deposit equal to the monthly rent. Waiving or reducing the security deposit can help give tenants breathing room and less financial stress, and they may be inclined to work with you in the future because of your generosity!

Waived or Reduced Amenities: Similar to waiving or reducing the security deposit, amenities fees are an expense that takes up a good chunk of the money tenants have to pay for upfront. Ed Gandia of B2Blauncher writes that you have a few options for this, to cut the fee or keep it intact but offer something of value in exchange. He writes that if you were to cut the fee, to either ask for the full payment upfront or ask for a longer deadline. If you go the route of keeping it intact, he suggests throwing in some extra work for free.

Reduced Rent: Reduced rent is often something negotiated by tenants because they want to stay in the property for an extended period of time, but may have better housing options elsewhere. The deal in lowering the price of rent would make the tenant happy and give them more wiggle room financially, while it also could ensure that you have a long-term tenant, alleviating the stress of having to fill a vacant property. Before you reduce the rent on the lease, evaluate the current rental market, consider whether or not you can feasibly do this, and if not, try offering renewal incentives like fresh paint or new carpet.

Free Rent: The idea of free rent may take your breath away as a property manager and make your potential tenants swoon with excitement, but before you get ready to pass out, here’s what you need to know about offering ‘free rent.’ Free rent, also known as ‘abated rent’ is typically offered during the first few months of a lease, with a span of around one to three months. As a property manager, this can help to entice potential tenants and help you rent out a space that you otherwise would have trouble renting. Ron Bockstahler of BizJournals notes, “Although not necessarily free — some landlords offset the “savings” by charging tenants slightly more for the subsequent months —many tenants appreciate the financial flexibility this gives them as they settle into their space.”

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While being a property manager is a difficult job at points, offering these move-in specials or deals on a lease can be a way to make your job easier and make your tenants happy, which ultimately, what more could you ask for?

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