Tenants Want a Home
May 10, 2013
They are not renting an apartment or a house. They are moving into a home. Sure, you know that, but do you understand what that means as it relates to rental property marketing? The home your new tenants move into will be where they go when they leave work, where they look forward to coming back to when they are gone, where they welcome friends and family, where they create lifetime memories.
What you provide is a place that will be a part of several people’s lives, maybe even multiple generations’ lives, and will stay with them forever. Your rental property will be in the background of the family photos, the celebrations, the new babies coming home from the hospital, kids heading off to first days at school, senior proms, and kids’ graduations,. Someone is making your rental property his or her home.
We lived in a rental home when we first got married. We brought both our children home from the hospital to rental homes. The photos that we took show rental homes in the background. Our family’s beginnings are all recorded with rental homes as a backdrop. Those were our homes. They weren’t just a place to live.
Think about that and then think about how to get a vacant unit rented. Does 2 BR, 1 BA $950 convey “home”? No, that’s just a cold, clinical description that doesn’t welcome anyone. Does it get the job done? Some times. Does it get the job done better than those other landlords? Not a chance. And that’s the point. You and your property are in competition with other landlords’ properties. Anything you can do to get an edge on other properties that might suit the needs of prospective tenants could put you just enough ahead to get that wonderful new tenant who will make your property his or her home.
What we’re going to look at here is selling “home.” We’re going to take features, those things that describe a property, and show how they can create an image of “home.” People don’t rent features; they rent what those features will do to make a home, to make a house or apartment a place that will be home. We’re going to help people picture your property as their next home.
Understand that we have to be somewhat careful about the words we use because if we use the wrong words, the Fair Housing prosecutors will come knocking. We most likely don’t want to use words such as family and children. After all, those imply that a couple of different protected classes are not welcome. But we can use words such as celebrations, get-togethers, warm and friendly, quiet surroundings, quality neighborhood, and top-rated schools. But that’s not enough.
For those descriptions to convey home, we need to attach how those features might create a home.
What do you think of when you think of home? Let’s see if we can weave those things into “celebrations.” How about this? A back yard made for celebration. Imagine the fun as you revel in the wonderful moments in your life on the spacious patio. Memories to last a lifetime.
How about warm and friendly? You won’t be able to wait to walk through the door of this warm and friendly home after a hard day’s work. It’s an oasis amid the storms of the world.
Then there’s “quiet surroundings.” You can relax in peace in this home that is a retreat from the hubbub of the world.
“Quality neighborhood” offers a possibility. One reason people buy anything is to impress friends and family. You’ll know you’ve arrived as you pull into the driveway of this home in a quality neighborhood. You will be proud to invite anyone to your home.
Families with children usually want good schools. Well, at least the people you want renting from you want their children to attend good schools. Mentioning schools is okay under the Fair Housing Act, while appealing to children may not be. Go figure. Maybe it’s because good schools equate with a better neighborhood. The top-notch schools that serve this home are the envy of the entire city.
To be successful in the rental property business, we must be marketers. Marketing means we take tips from the pros in the advertising business who know that people buy for their own reasons and they buy what the product or service will do for them, not the feature itself. Tenants don’t rent 2 BR 1 BTH $950. They rent “home.” Help them find their new home.