As 2023 dawns, the housing market is expected to continue its roller coaster ride. Yet the reality that skyrocketing mortgage rates have put a hold on many people’s plans to buy could be great news for luxury communities. That’s because despite rising inflation, many consumers now flocking to the rental market still have the monthly cash flow that make them prime candidates for these desirable properties.

However, owners and operators of lease-ups don’t have any room for error, and marketing teams are compelled to fill properties quickly yet responsibly—maximizing revenue by renting out units at the best possible price per square foot, while mitigating risk.

As you aim to create a cohesive community, how can you reach promising tenants? One thing’s for sure: Balloons and free coffee won’t cut it with these discerning consumers. We’ve compiled 10 tactics that will intrigue this sought-after demographic and establish the vibe that will attract the type of clientele who will help your building reach its potential.

1. Host a grand opening event to create buzz and showcase the property's allure.

The best way to sell your property is to get the right people onsite to experience it firsthand. That means designing an event that will appeal to taste makers—definitely power brokers and agents, but also influential community members and key nearby employers. Hold the event in your trophy amenity space, such as a poolside fete in the summer, or in your most opulent penthouse unit. Plan it around a seasonal event or just theme it to upscale glamour with curated wines and catered bites. Other special touches might include hosting an art installation and encouraging the artisan to mingle with your crowd, or inviting a jazz quartet to add to the ambience.

2. Align yourself with elite brokers.

Would-be residents of a high-end building aren’t necessarily going to walk in off the street. Given their busy schedules and numerous priorities, they’re likely working with a broker who is conducting initial research on their behalf. Holding posh open houses is a smart technique to reach these savvy power brokers, but occasionally you might have to go a little farther to get on their radar. One tactic that works particularly well in some markets is concessions that include owner-paid commissions to brokers. While many markets don’t offer this, in New York, for example, it’s typical for an owner to pay a commission, usually up to a month’s rent, to outside agents and brokers. Publicize this offer clearly to have them clamoring to get in on the action.

3. Advertise your property as “deposit-free.”

Conducting due diligence on properties can be exhausting, and it’s easy for renters to become weary of the fine print and nickel-and-diming they encounter at every turn. That’s why many owners want to eliminate any barrier to a frictionless transaction, such as requiring a deposit. By offering TheGuarantors’ Deposit Coverage, you can provide this perk as a form of concession during lease up, without putting yourself at risk.

4. Offer rent coverage.

Eager to expand your pool of qualified renters without compromising on qualification requirements or increasing your risk?  TheGuarantors’ Rent Coverage can accomplish both goals. When offering TheGuarantors’ Rent Coverage and/or Deposit Coverage, introduce the benefits early on in the process to help capture more visitors. Banner it in your advertising or outdoor signage, include explanatory collateral in your introductory materials and have brochures visible in the leasing office.

5. Prioritize an exceptional first impression.

Most future residents will start their search online so make sure you have an inviting website with professional photography of units and common areas along with floor plans, video tours and other details that will entice them to make a visit.  Double-check that Google maps has a clear, updated picture of the front of your building, along with the correct address and concise directions. Include details regarding onsite parking and have a friendly, knowledgeable representative available to greet visitors, show them around and answer questions.

6. Showcase your amenities.

When a guest visits your property, you want them to picture themselves living their best life there—basking poolside, enjoying an al fresco beverage, meditating in the yoga studio and grabbing a bike to head off on their errands. That’s why you should ensure the amenities and services are as complete as possible and staged with impressive furniture and finishings prior to in-person tours to make a positive impact.

7. Create a tech-forward visitor encounter.

Today’s renter expects a frictionless experience from their first contact. While obviously lightning-fast WiFi is expected throughout the property, there are other ways you can showcase your technological savvy. A chatbot on your website means the most commonly asked questions can be answered immediately before a visitor loses interest. You also should offer an easy and efficient way to schedule tours, such as the AI-powered “Meet Elise,” which helps with appointment scheduling. A community app will assure future residents they can seamlessly take care of tasks like scheduling maintenance or booking time at the gym or a conference room.

8. Become a neighborhood expert.

With renters spending less time commuting and more time exploring their own surroundings, you want to accentuate what makes your location special. Be a tourist in your property’s neighborhood and compile lists of all the top-tier local amenities, from dog parks and fitness centers to grocery stores, shops and restaurants. Walkable neighborhoods are especially prized so make sure to emphasize that quality if applicable. You want to show you have your finger on the pulse of the community and communicate how easy it will be for them to quickly become immersed in their new home.

9. Invite an influencer to live at the property in exchange for publicity.

One of the top ways to appeal to sophisticated prospects is to showcase the aspirational lifestyle your property offers. To promote a variety of facets, why not invite an influencer to stay on site? They can create content that reveals the highlights of your community through “Day in the Life” videos and other popular posting formats. While your first inclination is to engage a high-profile figure with an impressive following, you may be able to accomplish the same goals with a micro-influencer who is a “celebrity” in your own area. Consider collaborating with a noted chef, fitness guru or local TV personality who brings their own cachet and niche audience.

10. Hold group events for prospects.

One of the most coveted aspects of a prestige property is the networking and social capital it can offer so your future residents are undoubtedly curious about their neighbors. Foster a sense of community before they even move in by hosting social events that will appeal to different types of personalities: 

  • Schedule a meet-and-greet at a local restaurant or bar

  • Convene at the property and head out for a hike on a nearby trail

  • Invite local merchants in for an informal market and line up food and music. 

  • Hold a cooking class or pool party

These events work well for those who have already made a commitment but the same concept can apply to group tours to help fuel excitement. Take note of guests’ various interests and make informal connections as they arise; for example, connecting prospects who are both entrepreneurs or attended the same college.

Are You Ready for a Successful Lease Up?

The goal of all these various strategies is to expose the right demographic to your offerings in a way that drives not only interest, but urgency. There’s nothing like some healthy FOMO to help would-be renters picture their ideal life at your property.

However, remember that while all these tactics can help draw people in, there’s no substitute for being approachable and available. Whenever a lead arrives, act on it immediately—renters are likely shopping around at multiple properties and typically whoever gets to them first has a big advantage.

You want to get them in the door so they can experience your property for themselves—soaking up the ambience and envisioning themselves as a valued member of your community.

Do you have ambitious goals for a fast and successful lease-up? Schedule time to talk to a member of our team to learn more about programs such as TheGuarantors’ Rent Coverage and TheGuarantors’ Deposit Coverage that can help you maximize lease ups while minimizing risk.