New Rental Policy:
Welcome to “Berkshire Airlines”!
Those who recently renewed leases or are first-time renters at HOP, know that the “new” rental policy (Revenue Management/Rental Optimization) is complex. The best way to describe it is to think of airline seats. Depending on when you book (rent an apartment), your travel dates (move-in date and lease term), where your seat is (apartment/building), and class (renovated or not), you will be charged a different price (rent).
The following factors are part of this complex supply and demand equation:
• size of apartment • view
• when you are renting • when you move in
• length of lease • rental fees for other apartments of comparable size in this area
• number of vacant similar apartments • how long apartment has been vacant
• renovation status • and your powers of negotiation (with the manager)!
This is certainly not the way it used to be, when all two-bed, one-bath apartments on the same level rented for the same rent. The new system is extremely complicated, and the we can only begin to grasp it. But you can arm yourself!
• First, DO YOUR HOMEWORK! When considering a move to HOP, or when your lease is up for renewal, go to the Berkshire Properties website and look for the apartment floor plan that you are interested in renting. You will find that every apartment has several possible rents, depending on the term of the lease and the move-in date. In each case, you will be shown the best available rental for the unit. Use this as a reference and as a bargaining tool.
• Second, TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBORS! Ask people what they pay for their apartments, and find out what their lease renewal offers are. This might seem nosy, but it will bring you information that you need to make comparisons.
• Third, NEGOTIATE! When you receive a lease renewal offer, do not simply accept it. There will always be an increase; but you can use your negotiating skills to bring your increase to a reasonable percentage of your current rent. Do not negotiate with the front office staff: while they can do many things for you, they cannot give the final word on rents. Instead, request an appointment with the property manager of the complex. Make your case for your rent increase to be lowered. Use the information you’ve gotten from your research and speaking with your neighbors to help you to get the best possible deal you can. Always be firm, but polite and respectful of the leasing agents and manager.