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  • Writer's pictureJoani Schumaker

The Skinny on Stale Units

Stale /stāl/


  • Having lost freshness, effervescence, or palatability.

  • Lacking originality or spontaneity.

  • Ineffective or uninspired, usually from being out of practice or from having done the same thing for too long.  

A stale unit is more than just an aged vacant or a loss leader. It represents a challenge in the realm of revenue management, often prompting considerations for discounts or special promotions to entice immediate move-ins. While this approach may seem logical at first glance, delving deeper reveals potential pitfalls that could disrupt the delicate balance of pricing and leasing strategies.

Before rushing to implement discounts for stale units within revenue management systems, a comprehensive analysis is paramount. While the immediate goals may be to fill vacancies quickly, it's crucial to consider the long-term implications on overall revenue and leasing patterns.

Rather than resorting to discounts as a knee-jerk reaction, it's essential to explore alternative strategies to address the underlying reasons behind a unit's prolonged vacancy. This involves a thorough evaluation of factors such as amenities, leasing team efforts, and the overall appeal of the unit to prospective residents.

Here are some best practices to consider instead:

  • Find the root cause behind why the unit is not leasing.  

  • Evaluate whether the unit has the right amenities associated with it.

  • Always assess unit-level amenities to identify any shared characteristics among aged vacant units.

  • If there is something that makes the unit more challenging to lease, consider taking a proactive approach such as implementing a negative amenity premium, for example, proximity to rubbish

  • Is the leasing team showing the unit?  If they’re not showing it, they won’t lease it!

  • Does the tour path leave something   to be desired?  

  • Exercise patience and remember, it takes the right kind of prospect to lease a vacant apartment. Not everyone shows up with a moving truck out front! 

By approaching stale units with a strategic mindset and implementing targeted solutions, owners and operators can effectively minimize vacancies while maximizing revenue potential. It's not just about filling units quickly but also about maintaining a sustainable leasing model that prioritizes long-term profitability and resident satisfaction.

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