by Nikki Boehle
With 2020 firmly behind us, apartment owners and operators have reasons to be optimistic about the road ahead.
To cite just one example, consumers by and large are maintaining healthy credit profiles. The pandemic has undeniably presented major economic challenges for many, but the average credit score in the U.S. increased by 1% (seven points) in 2020, according to Experian.
This statistic suggests that many consumers could be well positioned to sign new leases and renew their current ones as 2021 unfolds. And as apartment owners and operators prepare for the recovering economy, it’s critical that they have access to data and tools to navigate the market intelligently, while mitigating as much risk as possible.
“Future-Proofing Your Rental Playbook” by Experian outlines several ways apartment companies can strike the right balance between meeting the current and future needs of prospective residents while also protecting their portfolios.
The e-book recommends operators take the following three steps as soon as possible:
Implement tools that will allow prospective residents to have a fully digital leasing experience. During the pandemic, prospects undoubtedly grew fond of being able to navigate the leasing process from their homes. Accordingly, apartment owners and managers should think of these capabilities as long-term investments and always seek sensible ways to reduce friction in the leasing process.
Use technologies that reduce risk and prevent fraud. Emerging from the difficulties of the past year, operators understandably will be laser-focused on processes and procedures that build and maintain occupancy rates and mitigate the chance for financial losses.
Utilize the right opportunities to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. The pandemic has brought with it new expenses that stem from cleaning requirements and staff safety protocols. Fortunately, many of the solutions designed to improve the renter experience and reduce risk also yield cost savings and operational efficiencies.
For example, online leasing tools can slash the time and resources needed by associates to review lease applications.
Looking ahead, it’s clear the pandemic and its effects are not over. Operators and residents could be dealing with safety concerns and economic uncertainty for a while. But there are reasons to believe demand for apartments will be strong in both the short- and long-term. By implementing the right solutions and strategies, operators can both successfully navigate the short-term and position themselves for optimal success in a sustained recovery.
Read the full “Future-Proofing Your Rental Playbook” for more thought leadership on navigating the current leasing environment.