It's not about the money

In one of the first posts, I described my opposition to concessions. Concessions should be avoided where possible for several reasons:

  • They reinforce price sensitivity and commodity behavior
  • When allocated over a lease term, they harm renewal increases
  • They're unmemorable and cannot be used for additional marketing
  • Concessions are about money and talking about money makes people uncomfortable

In property after property we used other tactics to attract and retain residents, stand out from competing communities, and forge a stronger bond with residents.

We secured the services of Indianapolis' Pike YMCA to provide summer camps, tutoring, afterschool activities, and other services for residents. Summer camps were provided free of charge for all children, leaving them happy and exhausted at the end of every day. While competing properties were offering 1-2 months of concessions, the total cost of the camps and other move in items amounted to half a month of rent.

Just as importantly as savings, securing this resource improved retention, reduced delinquency, and provided a shared topic of conversation for residents, prospective residents, and the site team. The money a resident "saves" from a concession is immediately spent for household necessitites. By contrast, summer camp, classes, and other benefits become bonding points that reinforce a positive image of the property.

Avoiding concessions means conversations about experiences.