Topic: The do's and don'ts of lease ups

Katie Vohwinkle's Avatar Topic Author
  • Karma:
  • Posts: 1
Hi All. Lets talk lease ups! I'm going to be heading up a lease up with construction starting spring 2022. Anyone with experience in expectations the do's and don'ts I'd love all the advice possible.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Dennis Smillie's Avatar
Dennis Smillie
Manage available inventory pricing by unit type very closely. Lease ups have a unique one time opportunity for significant rent potential increases as units get delivered/absorbed.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Karen Kossow's Avatar
Karen Kossow
To add to what Dennis says, if you're using a Rev Management product for your lease up, you can work with them to ensure that you have the level of "being aggressive with rents" set so that it's helping you to do this.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Clay Short's Avatar
Clay Short
Bring the positive energy on a daily basis. I've completed dozens of lease up projects, and eventually the team ALWAYS get worn out. It's important that you energize (and incentivize) your team to keep working on that stabilization goal. Also... bagels.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Christine Allen's Avatar
Christine Allen
Keep organized!
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Katie Singleton's Avatar
Katie Singleton
Implement a killer virtual strategy! Those sight unseen leases will be a game changer for your stabilization goal!
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Vicki Hurley's Avatar
Vicki Hurley
Under promise and over perform. Don’t miss a move in date because of construction delays. If they tell you the 1st tell the prorated that or renter the 15th. You can always offer an earlier move in.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Amy Freeman's Avatar
Amy Freeman
We gave window of dates for move ins. This way we did not end of with disappointed people very much. We just completed 488 units and we are going to 768 total. Keep track of all appliances as they all break and the warranty process is much easier with model and serial numbers. Know all of the vendors for the warranties. New construction comes with tons of problems but if you are prepared for them, the process is much easier on the resident.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Erin Balta's Avatar
Erin Balta
Yes to the window of dates! And 100% on the warranty. I’m a warranty queen!
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Evan Happel's Avatar
Evan Happel
Establish a parking management system from day one. And I don't mean spreadsheets and generic decals. Save yourself the future headache!
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Nicki Johnson's Avatar
Nicki Johnson
Absolutely this!!! I just completed a lease up that didn’t have parking established and it became a nightmare once we hit 100%.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Leandra Rocafort
's Avatar
Leandra Rocafort
There are no firm dates of when a brand new apt will be ready.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Stacey Pichette's Avatar
Stacey Pichette
Don’t get ahead of yourself. The owner always wants to push leasing even if they know the dates are unreasonable for completion. Be ready to overcome objections - even though it’s new construction, prices still need to be competitive. I usually shop the competition to see exactly what I’m up against and real prices (market surveys aren’t reliable). Basically look at the 5 P’s of property management, smile big, and be prepared to close every prospect. Ask for the sale (are you ready to submit your application today?) and follow up with everyone who doesn’t apply at least 3 times (twice via email and the final contact should be phone). I did 2 lease ups last year in Raleigh and since I was prepared, all units were occupied within 45 days. All leases were signed within the month. 22 units at one property and 64 at the other. I love leasing - always have - and with the added challenges of covid I felt even more accomplished when I approved the final application and completed their move in. Good luck
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Jamie Bentley's Avatar
Jamie Bentley
Don’t offer upfront concessions…
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Shonda Lloyd's Avatar
Shonda Lloyd
Do your best to build a working relationship with the construction supervisor before/ during the turnover(he can be your best friend or enemy). Ask for the vendor list. When you receive keys, walk all your units as they are turned over to management! I would suggest making a walk sheet for every unit (turn on all facets sinks /tubs, appliances, etc.) Feel free to message me anytime!
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Stacey Wilson's Avatar
Stacey Wilson
Excel notes excel notes excel notes
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Richard Stone's Avatar
Richard Stone
Yeah do one mock up final walk as the standard and leave it at that. Utilize maintenance as much as possible instead of construction team. Get maintenance to coordinate with construction team in final turnovers for faster smoother process.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Charla Neta's Avatar
Charla Neta
When managing your leasing targets and actuals keep a keen eye on the inventory, ensure its all moving at the same pace (relative to delivery of units). I.e. By bedroom size, floor level, the posh locations vs the dog locations... If not you'll be left with all the less appealing homes or the most expensive options at the end and struggle to acheive stabalization. Also management of lease experations!! Year two and beyond can be just as hard as lease up if your not looking at the long term impacts.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Abby Jennings's Avatar
Abby Jennings
Definitely agree with giving a window of dates instead of firm completion dates too far in advance. It avoids so much headache (for the staff AND new residents) of scrambling to rearrange move ins and schedule new dates. Also, it can be really overwhelming to have too many move ins scheduled on the first day a building or set of apartments is delivered. Yes, everyone wants to move in ASAP, but not only will you be stressed on the day of, you could be kicking yourself down the road if, for some reason, they do not renew. Then you have multiple move outs on the same day a year later and a big drop in occupancy % all at once.

Also, we did a lot of move in specials and leasing incentives to increase leasing numbers. We had **amazing** owners that would spend money left and right for us to do exciting events, giveaways, etc. And yes, everyone loves it and it’s so much fun at the time. But it’s important to keep in mind that you won’t (realistically) be able to keep up that elaborate momentum forever. Especially when the property stabilizes and you potentially go through a sale and change in management/ownership groups. You could possibly have residents who are there from the beginning end up saying, “well, with XYZ Management they did blah blah blah for us”. I got hired by the new management company when my property sold after stabilization in January. I hear it All. The. Time. No, the other management and ownership groups weren’t necessarily “better”. We just had more monetary resources with them in lease up to be able to do more things.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Last edit: by Amanda Hill.
Jaime Conde's Avatar
Jaime Conde
Call center. Yes, I work for one and would be biased. However, there is no time where a call center makes more sense. You are leasing non-stop, your staff is running around with more tours and people they can handle. You will miss 75% of your inbound phone calls.

They can start the interest list before tours start, and set lots of appointments for you when the staff is ready.
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago
Andrea B's Avatar
Andrea B
As stated earlier... Watch your lease expiration dates closely.  Otherwise, year 2 and beyond can turn around and bite you.  Don't end up with 40% of your leases expiring on the same month.
Posted 10 months 1 week ago
Anonymous's Avatar
Agreed. In the lease-up I just completed we added 2 weeks to every delivery date (fortunately our construction team was dead on with dates we would get our CO and legally be allowed to move people in). But I knew there would still be things to complete in the buildings/units so I added the 2 week buffer for my teams' sanity and so we did not have to disappoint our future residents.
Posted 10 months 1 week ago
Jessica Yanny's Avatar
Jessica Yanny
Market early (6-10 months), get involved in the community, attend events, get prospects excited by offering teaser info.  offer hold reservations at least 6 months before first move in.  Taking the reservations early has allowed us to exceed pro-forma on the last 4 lease ups. 
Posted 10 months 1 week ago
Lindsay Herrick's Avatar
Lindsay Herrick
I have done many lease ups and staying in constant communication with your prospects and applicants is key. They love to know what is happening as their new homes are being built - even small updates such as plumbing being installed. Use programs such as Canva to make a newsletter to send out on a monthly basis (or time frame of your choosing) to keep everyone informed of the latest construction updates. However, any delays or adverse news should be delivered to the applicant personally.
Another great idea is to use this time to get involved in the community. You want to generate a buzz around your new neighborhood. Host "hard hat tours" so people can get a sneak peek, even if it is in the framing stages. People still love to see it and feel like they are getting an exclusive first look. Happy leasing!!!
Posted 10 months 1 week ago
Brittney Nelson's Avatar
  • Karma:
  • Posts: 2
You have received some great feedback and advice! I have completed a few lease ups, and with each one, there's always something new to is so much fun. Please remember, while you're staying very busy, and sometimes very overwhelmed, to enjoy the ride. The journey of a lease up is so incredible, you will look back and have some of the most fulfilling memories. Alright, so my list of "advice":

OVERCOMMUNICATE _ there is no such thing as too much your future residents, your prospects, your team, your development team, your regional, everyone. Make sure that everyone remains on the same page and that you truly value every single opinion, consideration, or input. 

TRUST and VERIFY _ there is nothing more important to a team dynamic (from the team you choose to build and the team you're working with in development) than trust. The trust they place in you will be a direct result of the above, overcommunicating and being transparent. However, while trusting, make sure you are also verifying. 

MONITORING _ Everything. Someone above mentioned monitoring inventory and pricing. I'll just give you a list of a few very important things to constantly monitor: move-ins/dates, release dates, leases, pricing, inventory, market comps, traffic sources, overtime, social media (yours AND your comps). We had weekly checks in for each item and weekly marketing calls as well. 

ENGAGEMENT _ make sure your social media is consistent, you have planned socials and events, don't forget that B2B marketing, build PARTNERSHIPS with your local community. Relationship marketing is so important when you're the new building in town. 

KEYS _ rule of thumb is once those keys are given to you, it's officially Operations apartment, not Development. Make sure you have a ready apartment and all is in working order....including the keys being Operations keys and not still keyed to Development. 

SET EXPECTATIONS _ The joy of a lease up is you can do this early. With your residents and with your team. Have a move in letter and a move in orientation process ready to go. Make sure you know the move in process....where the trucks will park, how many move ins you can actually do at a time, do they need to be controlled a certain way.

WALK THE BUILDING _ walk the building(s) regularly. Like you are a resident. Are there trash issues? Does trash disposal make sense? Do the gates work? Are there small details that require a pivot? Get ahead of it if you can. 

I am sure there are more....most importantly HAVE FUN! :) Good luck to you friend! 
Posted 10 months 1 week ago