The COVID-19 outbreak didn’t cause people to stop renting apartments in March – in fact, Lloyd Companies set an all-time leasing record.
“Our property staff are on site every day, and we’re taking extra precautions to keep them safe,” senior vice president of property management Christie Ernst said. “They have been so creative and innovating in the way they have been able to show apartments that we had a record-breaking month for rentals in March, and we saw an increase in occupancy from February to March. Housing is an essential service, so people are using this time to find new housing.”
Staff is offering prospective residents virtual walk-throughs of units and leaving keys in a predetermined location instead of physically handing them off.
“We’re cleaning our buildings frequently, and we’ve got sanitizer and wipes by the doors for people to use as they walk by,” Ernst said.
Lease-up of new properties also is going well, driven by The Cascade, which opened its second building in early March and is just 15 units away from being stabilized.
Lloyd will open Technology Heights II apartments in northwest Sioux Falls in two months, and the project already is 30 percent leased.
“Our Greenway and Whisper Ridge apartments on the east side will also start leasing up soon, so we have good activity on the residential side,” Ernst said.
Parade of Apartments
On April 18, Lloyd will turn its semi-annual Parade of Apartments into a virtual event, with tons of video tours showing properties citywide along with giveaways and incentives for renters.
“We’re marketing and building excitement around that event and have a lot of plans for engaged prospective residents that day,” Ernst said.
Many Lloyd apartments are strategically located near schools and parks, which is especially welcome as people seek ways to be outside without gathering.
“And in our newer communities, we’re really focused on putting in the right mix of amenities that keep our rents at a level people can absorb. They aren’t complete luxury properties but provide really nice amenities at a good rate,” Ernst said. “We did a promotion where if you paid three months up front you got 5 percent off, and a lot of people took advantage of that, which was great. There are a lot of programs out there for tenants, residential and commercial, to take advantage of so we’re hoping they do so we can all stay in this together.”