LMC can make a pretty strong case for being the epitome of the multifamily development boom. Since its inception in 2011, the organization has built 54 communities, representing 15,500 apartment homes. Today, it maintains a development pipeline valued at more than $7 billion.
Beth Tuttle and the LMC marketing team have contributed to the lease up of many apartment homes and have more to go. We talked with Tuttle to get her thoughts on leasing up communities in today’s market. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: In which markets are you leasing up today?
A: LMC is developing apartment communities in some of the best places to live throughout the country. Most recently we’ve begun leasing in great cities like Minneapolis, Hollywood, Seattle and Boca Raton. These communities are in walkable locations near the shopping, dining and entertainment destinations where people want to live. It helps that our communities have unique, meaningful amenities that simply make our residents’ lives better. Who wouldn’t want a dream suite in Hollywood with an exclusive entrance and a home automation system that controls the lights, shades, and temperature?
Q: What are some of the challenges you are experiencing with lease-ups in current market conditions?
A: Every market is different, especially when you’re dealing with hyper-local submarkets where the economy can change quickly. Some of our communities face affordability issues, while others face heavy competition from other lease-ups taking place at the same time. Because our development team has been so thoughtful about the locations and amenity offerings they select for our communities, most of our lease-ups have been very successful.
Q: How are you addressing those challenges and overcoming them?
A: When we have a challenge leasing up a community, we follow a pretty stringent process to identify the problem, create and test solutions to the problem, and implement solutions that work. We don’t jump directly to price when we are behind schedule on leasing up a community. We examine every potential cause, including call recordings of interactions between residents and leasing agents, performance of online marketing channels, tone of online reviews, local public relations issues, and more. Through that process, we might find that we need to spend more on an ILS for better placement online or retrain associates on how to close a lead. You never know what you might be experiencing.
Q: What are some of the unique, innovative tactics you’re employing today to lease up your communities faster?
A: We take an innovative approach to lease ups for one very important reason – it’s not about us. It’s about our residents. If you know the lifestyles of your residents or prospective renters, you can develop innovative approaches to encourage them to lease at your community. Outdoor enthusiasts might choose to live with the community that offers a gift card to REI. Health enthusiasts would rather have on-site fitness classes. And everybody is salivating over Alexa and the convenience she can bring to their lives. By utilizing more targeted marketing tactics, we can tap into what drives the most likely prospective renters to lease a home from us.
Q: When you have a new community that struggles to lease up, what are your go-to methods or tricks to get traffic fast?
A: While we’re developing our strategic plan to increase traffic, there are a few go-to tactics we employ right away. First, we implement tactics to expand our reach, such as LeadMail, which empowers us to promote to a larger number of qualified prospective renters quickly. Second, we upgrade our internet listings or add a Spotlight, if we can, to boost the visibility of our communities where qualified prospective renters search most. In addition, we increase our pay-per-click spend and regularly adjust and refresh our content to engage more prospective renters online. And since we like to think of ourselves as both high-tech and high-touch, we also make sure to ramp up our marketing outreach, building mutually beneficial relationships within the community.