7 Best Move In Special Ideas

Sometimes it can be difficult to get your rentals filled. When the economy is slow, or when the market in the area is dried up, it can be necessary to pull out the big guns. Move in specials.

Here are 7 great move in special ideas that you can use in a pinch to get those stubborn units filled and that rental revenue back on track!

#1 Half Off First Months Rent/Or 1st Month Free!

This is a great deal in a higher end rental property.

A deposit that is equal to one months rent, moving costs, plus any pet deposits, can be a huge sum of money for a renter to come up with at one time. Add all of these together plus the first months rent, and it can be several thousand dollars at once!

Offering a bargain on the first month they move in will ease the cost of moving for them and could be the deciding factor in them agreeing to rent from you.

It’s obvious that you would rather just offer half off the first month rent, but in a pinch sometimes the entire 1st month free is a difference maker.

You can even consider offering this deal with a 13 month lease to get that full 12 months of revenue! Just make sure to change this in your lease contract that your tenant signs.

#2 Offer Current Tenants Rental Discounts on Referrals

This can be a very lucrative deal for both parties.

You can offer upwards of $500 off of the next month’s rent to any current tenants who refer new renters that get approved and sign a 12 month lease! Just make sure that the new tenant meets all of your screening requirements, has signed the lease, and moved in before offering the referral.

Also, make sure that it is in fact a 12 month lease. You want to get the most bang for your buck.

This promotion costs a bit on the front end, but more than makes up for it after a new 12 month lease has been signed.

Offering current tenants this option is excellent because it is a very cost effective way of getting others to promote your property for you. The tenants also really appreciate getting the reduced rent, and usually convince one of their friends to rent in the same building. This leads to tenants that get along with each other too!

#3 Market Rent as Reduced!

This promotion can be a great way to entice new renters to check out your properties.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say that rent is usually $1200 a month. You can market the property on “special” for the current month.

For example, if a tenant signs a 12 month lease in the current month, you can say that the rent will be $1150 instead of $1200 for the entire lease term!

This is giving up some rental revenue, but a months vacancy is twice the cost of what you are giving up by running this promotion. Over the term of the lease, you are losing out on $600, but a months vacancy is $1200 lost, so it works in your favor.

The trick here is to make sure that the potential renter knows that this bargain will end at the end of this month, so they would need to make the decision quickly. It does not always work, but the added pressure can help make the decision.

If the apartment has not rented by the end of the month, you can choose to end the promotion, or extend it through the next month. The choice is up to you.

#4 Open House!

Yes, open houses work for apartments as well. This works especially well if you have a facebook or social media audience to promote this open house on. Have it on a weekend and invite anyone to come inside and check out the apartment or rental.

Open houses work best when coupled with a second deal, like half off the first months rent. This way you can pitch the move in special to the people who come to see the open house!

If you want to get real fancy, you can even offer drinks and snacks!

#5 Offer Cable and Internet!

This can be a great offer to get your potential renter to sign with you.

To a potential renter, free cable and internet can mean savings of hundreds of dollars a month. You can remind them to factor this cost into their budget if they are looking at multiple rentals.

Local cable and internet companies usually offer special packages that you can sign up for where they provide service to an entire apartment complex for a reduced rate!

You will be responsible to pay this bill every month, but you can easily have your tenants pay for it through rent. Simply factor the cost of the service in with the rent price, and you have an excellent selling point that you can use to promote your rental unit. Honestly you can even make a little extra off of the cost.

#6 Allow Pets!

This is not technically a promotion per se, but this is an excellent trick I have found for filling rental properties.

There are an extremely high number of animal owners, but there are not very many pet friendly properties for them to choose from.

It can be very difficult to find a pet friendly rental property, so why not offer one yourself?

You can require an extra pet deposit for each animal, have a weight and breed restriction, and even charge an extra amount of “pet rent” every month to make sure you have the capital to repair any damages done by the animal.

Allowing pets is a great way to attract more renters.

#7 Offer An Awesome Gift as a Move In Special

This is a creative promotion that you can run and have fun coming up with different ideas.

Instead of offering half off rent for a month, why not offer something of equal value? There are all kinds of options that you can think of.

Even better, offer a choice between different gifts of equal value!


  • $250-$500 Visa Gift Card
  • Flat Screen T.V.
  • Video Game System
  • Laptop in the same Price Range

These fun gifts will make you stand out from the other apartment rental places that your potential renter will look at. If it is a toss up between rentals, they will probably choose the one that gives them a flat screen to move in!


Move in specials are extremely helpful in getting an apartment rented out.

However, to be truthful, you should only use them as a last resort to get a unit filled. Your goal as a property owner is to maximize rental revenue, and move in specials will eat into your profits.

Do your best to market without them first!

Want to leave the marketing to a professional?

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