resident retention after summer

How To Maintain High Occupancy Rates in Apartments Beyond Summer

June 13, 2019 9:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts
Last Modified: February 28, 2024 12:46 pm
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Every season has new opportunities and difficulties for apartment management teams. As we move through the seasons, it’s important to remember that demand for apartments and rental units fluctuates and evolves throughout the year, rather than peaking at a single point.

It’s an easy mistake to assume that once your units are full, you can take a break and relax. But, maintaining high occupancy rates and guaranteeing tenant satisfaction is a year-round effort. To keep your apartments filled and your tenants happy during each season, you need to adjust your marketing, maintenance, and tenant interaction strategies.

How are you going to maintain high occupancy after the summer months? Market Apartments has a few ideas to help you maintain a high occupancy rate by keeping your residents involved and happy. We’ll also help you prepare for the slow months that follow after summer.

Learn how to maximize your summer apartment leasing! Join me as we explore the nuances of keeping your apartments filled throughout the seasons. I’ve learned that success lies in adapting to market trends and tenant needs. I’m here to simplify this for you by uncovering the strategies that work best, beyond the summer buzz.

What are the Market Dynamics?

Understanding how seasonality impacts occupancy rates is like unlocking a secret door to year-round profitability for apartment owners and property managers. It’s a game of numbers, trends, and strategic adjustments. Let’s dive in and explore this fascinating dynamic together.

Seasonality shapes the demand for apartments in ways that can make or break your occupancy rates. During the summer, when the sun is out and the weather is warm, people are more inclined to move. This is when students are looking for housing before the new school year, and families decide it’s time for a change. But as the leaves fall and winter approaches, the moving frenzy cools down, leading to a dip in occupancy rates.

Seasonality and Its Impact

This pattern has solid supporting evidence; it is not just a hunch. Nationwide, occupancy rates peak in the second and third quarters (April through September) and then gradually decline towards the end of the year. Analyzing local rental market trends allows property owners and managers to efficiently change their strategy, resulting in higher occupancy rates throughout the year.

Across the board, summer months boast occupancy rates hovering around 95-98%, a testament to the bustling activity during this season. However, as autumn leaves start to drop, so do these numbers, with rates often slipping to around 90-94% in the colder months. This fluctuation isn’t trivial—it represents a significant challenge for maintaining profitability and stability.

The key lies in innovative marketing strategies that adapt to these changes. For instance, enhancing apartment amenities or offering flexible lease terms can make your property more attractive during the off-peak seasons. It’s about creating a compelling reason for tenants to choose your property, even when the general demand is low.

Keeping Occupancy Rates High Beyond Summer

As the summer activity fades, you need to stay creative and proactive to fill your apartments year-round. Imagine turning the calmer months into opportunities by using tactics that suit your audience. Staying ahead of the market by improving your internet presence to attract new renters and customizing your amenities and services to market demands is crucial.

Consider giving variable lease terms to attract short-term renters or modifying your pricing to stay competitive without undermining value. Turn your tenants into property champions with feedback and community-building events. These strategies reduce seasonal downturns and boost your brand, making your apartments the go-to choice year-round.

Start Analyzing Local Occupancy Trends

Studying local occupancy numbers takes some detective work, but it’s a game-changer for year-round apartment occupancy. First, collecting local occupancy rates requires more than numbers. Understanding their background is key. A professional management company can streamline operations and enhance tenant satisfaction, ensuring your rental property runs smoothly year-round.

Look up public documents, real estate reports, and local news. These sites show how many individuals have moved in and out of your area. Don’t stop at the surface. Attend local real estate events or network with property managers to learn more. They may offer insights not in reports.

Think of your apartments as a product and potential tenants as customers. Who are they? Students, families, and young professionals have different demands and preferences. Students may prioritize inexpensive rent and university proximity, while families may value safety and decent schools. Young professionals? They may want gyms or high-speed internet. Integrating smart home technology, like thermostats and locks, can appeal to tech-savvy tenants and differentiate your property.

Marketing and facilities tailored to these demographics can make your resort enticing. The goal is to create a community where people want to stay, not just fill vacancies.

Get Residents Involved in Your Community

Resident Events

Coffee and 3 donuts

Resident events are a great way to show your appreciation and get people excited about where they live. You don’t always need to have big events to get people talking. Sometimes all it takes is coffee and donuts to make someone’s day. Ice cream socials are also fun, and it’s something families can look forward to after a long day at work or school.

Hosting a big resident event can be more challenging, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort! Many residents look forward to community events, especially if they’re new to the area. There are so many things you can do too! For example, have a Wine and Cheese Night, a Grill and Chill Day, or have a Dive in Movie Night at the pool. The point is to bring your residents together to bring your community closer. For more ideas on resident events, check out our Pinterest Board to maintain or achieve high occupancy this summer and in the months to follow.

To keep apartment occupancy up during quieter months, consider implementing a referral program that rewards current tenants for bringing in new residents.

 Resident contests

Another fun way to keep residents engaged and feeling excited about living in your community is by having resident contests. Resident contests are fun because most people like competition, especially if a prize is involved! You can offer gift cards, resident goodie bags, or a one-time discount off their rent. You’ll have the whole community involved!

Apartment contests can be tricky sometimes because people are busy, so you have to keep it somewhat simple. However, if you play your cards right, you can keep your current residents happy, and potentially gain some new ones too! For example, if you have a decoration contest for the best-decorated balcony, have your residents post a picture to your community Facebook Page, then share the results! For more ideas on resident contests, check out our boards.

Innovative Marketing Tactics for the Off-Peak Seasons

First and foremost, let us think creatively about our marketing strategy. Traditional advertising may not be effective during slower months. Why not highlight your community’s unique features? Consider using virtual tours to emphasize winter-ready apartments or your community’s interior amenities such as gyms, saunas, and game rooms. Social media marketing can also be seasonal, concentrating on what makes living in your neighborhood so enjoyable, regardless of the weather.

Another game changer? Collaboration with local companies for cross-promotion. Consider giving new tenants discounts at neighboring cafes or gyms when they sign a lease during the off-peak season. It’s a win-win situation: you increase occupancy, and local businesses gain more clients.

Improve Customer Service

Good customer service goes a long way! Sometimes word of mouth travels faster than any other marketing tactic out there! If your residents have a good experience, you can bet they’ll tell their friends. One way to provide excellent customer service is to make sure things are working properly in your community.

Maintenance requests can be stressful for all involved. That’s why it can be helpful to be proactive and ask your residents how things are going at their apartment. Are all the lights working? Are the sinks and bathtubs draining properly? These are just some questions you can ask your residents to make sure things are taken care of before they become an emergency.

Property managers must be responsive to improve resident satisfaction. This requires going beyond property management basics to encourage immediate and effective communication. When residents believe the management team will listen and handle their concerns quickly, trust and contentment grow. From responding quickly to emails and calls to processing maintenance requests and inquiries quickly, responsiveness should be visible in all interactions.

When you make sure your resident’s needs are taken care of before they have a chance to ask, you’ll have happy residents who know you’re staying on top of things. We can almost bet that the positive reviews will start flowing in afterward!

Competitive Pricing and Flexible Lease Terms

When demand dips, consider adjusting your pricing strategy. This doesn’t necessarily mean slashing prices across the board, but maybe offering a month free on a 12-month lease or reducing the deposit amount. These kinds of deals can make prospects take a second look.

Flexible lease terms can also be a magnet for tenants looking for short-term options. Maybe they’re in town for a temporary job assignment, or they’re students not wanting to commit to a full year. Offering 6-month leases or even month-to-month options can fill vacancies quickly and keep your occupancy rates healthy.

Offering short-term lease options can attract those in town for temporary work assignments or individuals in transitional life stages, enhancing occupancy during traditionally slower periods.

Person jumping in water.Get a Jump Start on SEO

There is no better time to work on optimizing and marketing your apartment website than during the summer. As you begin to make changes to your content, URL’s and schema markup, it takes time to build up your website traffic. This is because SEO needs time to be tested, to see what works and what doesn’t. Doing SEO during the high season is the best time! By the end of the summer, you will have an SEO-optimized website ready to engage new users.

At Market Apartments, our multifamily SEO specialists will make sure your website gets back on track to make conversions when you need it the most! Head over to to find information on our affordable SEO packages!

Enhance Your Online Presence

High-quality online listings are your first meeting with potential tenants; they set the stage for what’s to come. Picture this: apartment listings that pop with professional photos, detailed descriptions, and virtual tours invite prospects into your community before they’ve even stepped foot on the property. It’s about making a stellar first impression that sticks, ensuring your apartments stand out in a crowded market.

Diving deeper and using social media isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook become your canvas, painting a vibrant picture of life at your community. Share snapshots of resident events, highlight amenities, and showcase testimonials from happy tenants. It’s about creating a buzz, a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out), that makes people want to be part of your community. Engaging content encourages shares and interactions, expanding your reach far beyond traditional marketing methods.

Targeted Promotions and Incentives

Targeted advertising and incentives can make off-peak seasons lucrative. Consider it adapting to the situation. Seasonal move-in offers can boost occupancy rates during slow periods. Try a winter welcome package with a first-month rent discount or free gym membership to beat the cold. Create an appealing offer that makes people ask, “Why not now?”

Promotions tailored to certain tenant groups make this method even better. Parents, students, and young professionals have different demands and preferences. By understanding these distinctions, you can tailor your offers. Consider lease periods that match the academic calendar and a study nook as a signing bonus for students. A waived pet cost may motivate families. What about young professionals? High-speed internet and a home office may secure the deal. Not only are you filling vacancies, but you’re developing a custom community by concentrating on what each group loves most.

Consider a Pet-Friendly Policy

Pets are family, and more renters are looking for places that accept their furry pals. By allowing pets, you can reach a larger market of potential tenants who value pet-friendly homes. This option can differentiate your property, making it more appealing and competitive, particularly during slow rental periods.

On top of that, pet owners tend to remain longer, which reduces turnover and saves you money in the long term. It’s a win-win situation: your tenants get to live with their favorite pets, while you benefit from increased occupancy rates all year round.

Offering pet-friendly amenities, such as dog parks or pet washing stations, caters to the growing number of pet owners and makes your property even more appealing.

Practices for Tenant Retention

The National Apartment Association estimates the average cost of turning over an apartment can range from $1,000 to $2,500, factoring in cleaning, repairs, and lost rent, highlighting the economic benefit of retaining tenants.

It’s necessary to understand why tenants may choose to leave. Often, it’s not about the rent or the location, but about the minor, easily fixed faults that go overlooked. Regularly communicating with your tenants to understand their concerns can reveal these hidden issues. For example, it could be as easy as improving lighting in public spaces or providing more flexible payment alternatives. Addressing these concerns shows tenants that they are appreciated, resulting in a considerable reduction in turnover.

Leveraging tenant feedback is like finding gold in property management. It is not enough to simply collect comments; you have to act on them in order to improve your services and facilities. Imagine converting a seldom-used tennis court into a communal garden after renters express a need for additional green space. Such changes not only fulfill the requirements of the tenants, but also promote a sense of community and belonging.

Economic and External Factors

When budgets tighten, you have to adjust your offerings or pricing to stay competitive. This might mean introducing flexible pricing models or value-added services that don’t necessarily cut into your bottom line but offer perceived value to prospective tenants. For example, incorporating utilities into the rent or offering a month of free internet service can make your apartments more appealing without a significant reduction in revenue. It’s about finding that sweet spot where your offerings resonate with what tenants are currently prioritizing: affordability and value.

Holidays and academic calendars play a significant role in occupancy rates, often dictating the fluctuation and flow of tenant movement. Preparing for these shifts means understanding your target demographics and tailoring your marketing and leasing strategies accordingly. For instance, offering semester-based leases can attract students, while promoting family-friendly events around the holidays might appeal to families looking for a sense of community.

Get Started Now!

The real magic happens when you apply these strategies consistently, adapting to each season’s unique rhythm. Imagine your apartment community as a vibrant, welcoming space that draws people in, no matter the time of year. By focusing on what makes your property stand out, whether it’s through engaging community events, responsive customer service, or flexible lease terms, you create a compelling reason for tenants to stay and new ones to join.

Keep your high occupancy rate up by going the extra mile this summer! Make a living in your apartment community a great experience. Start planning those resident events ahead of time and visit our Resident Retention Pinterest boards for exciting new trends! Most importantly, get started with SEO! Make sure your website is ready for when the slow season approaches.

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This post was written by

Chandra Lloyd

Chandra Lloyd is a writer for Market Apts with a focus on SEO copywriting and digital marketing for multifamily housing.

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