When it comes time to list your rental properties, you may start feeling anxious and stressed. After all, there is a lot to consider when managing and marketing your rental property correctly. Plus, finding great renters among numerous applicants is never fun…
But, your success and failure to attract and retain tenants depend on your ability to market your listing. We know it’s not an easy job, so we’re sharing 7 amazing strategies to market your rental property that will set your listing apart and invite quality renters. Take a look:
Start marketing your rental property by creating an impactful listing. It should focus on all the best features of the listed property and other basic details that tenants often seek.
To craft the ideal rental listing:
An engaging, catchy, and unique property description is the most crucial aspect of your marketing. You’ll want to invest sufficient time in brainstorming and developing an attention-grabbing headline or introductory phrase. Also, don’t forget to mention what makes your rental stand out and present every detail using professional yet easy-to-read words. And yes, It should be free from grammatical errors and spelling slipups. Of course, the information must include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, property size, neighborhood, and other vital aspects.
A lot of people don’t realize the power of words in advertising. When you’re writing your ad, take some good advice… focus on BENEFITS, not features.
Tell me which ad speaks to you more…
3 bed, 2 bath in Inverness with a fenced-in backyard. The house has been painted and the carpet replaced. The school system is Oak Mountain… blah, blah, blah. You’ve already lost interest.
A spacious three-bedroom, two-bath home with more than enough room to fit your king-sized bed along with your nightstand and armoire. The yard is fenced-in for ultimate privacy. The school system is rated one of the best in the state, and the home is just 10 minutes from the elementary school and five minutes from the high school. Our neighbors are some of the friendliest people and would make great friends for anyone looking for a quick connection in a new neighborhood! We’ve just painted the house and replaced all of the carpets so it has that “new house” smell again… you definitely won’t need to do anything – it’s ready to rent RIGHT NOW!
It’s the same house. But I think you know which one tenants will respond to. The key here is to put yourself in a prospective tenant’s shoes and write for them… write to them… sell them on why your house should be lived in.
Going digital is a non-negotiable in today’s tech-savvy world, and property listings are no exception. For effective and result-driven marketing of your listing, create a single property website showcasing its details, features, and videos. Ensure the website is responsive, easy to navigate, and captivating for users. Provide the link to the website so prospects can be redirected to it.
Visual representation of your listing is another aspect you can’t ignore. Capturing photos and videos of rental properties and sharing them across multiple platforms has become the latest trend. Although we consider ourselves great photographers, your listing images may need professional help. These images and videos should be shot beautifully to grab prospects’ attention quickly.
People need to see the best possible pictures of your house. Taking high-quality photos is easier now than it’s ever been. You probably have a phone that might do the trick, but finding a DSLR with a wide-angle lens would be better.
Here are a few tips for taking great photos:
Make sure the picture order is:
This puts the most important pictures first and immediately creates a specific impression.
If you’re serious, find a photographer to take the images for you. This might cost as much as $300, but chances are you’ll be thrilled with the images and can use them more than once.
Price is one of the first factors that potential renters assess before zeroing in on a property. So, while finalizing the rent price of your listing, ensure that it aligns with the local market standards and your competitors. Setting a higher price than competitors can off-put potential renters, while a too-low price can create doubt about the quality of the listing. Therefore, do some research and go for the competitive rent that makes sense and matches other similar units. You can look at the area’s comparable listings, their price, and the amenities they offer to get a basic idea.
Finding the correct market rate is both an art and a science.
While you’re working on finding the market rate of your home, keep in mind one essential truth: Prospective tenants, unlike home buyers, are very shortsighted.
When a buyer is looking to purchase a home, it’s not unusual for them to take months or even years to purchase one. Prospective tenants are typically looking to move within a month or two.
Tenants tend to have just three or four characteristics they’re looking for in a home. They’ll settle on the first one in their budget that checks all those boxes – typically for fear of someone else renting the house.
Why is this important?
Prospective tenants will compare your home to what is available to them in their short time window. Therefore, the most important data you can obtain is an accurate measurement of the rent value of the homes you are competing against.
Further Reading: How much should I rent my house for?
Before visiting a property, prospects tend to prefer checking it out online. Hence, going digital is one of the most impactful marketing strategies for renting a property. You can post photos or videos on popular listing websites, social media groups, and trending pages to generate maximum leads. Many platforms are available to find rental properties, so you can consider posting your listings in multiple places.
It’s best to figure this out on the front end. You don’t want to put your house out there before you’ve figured out your traffic plan.
So let’s talk about some easy ways to drive traffic to your house… going from most obvious to least obvious.
There are much more modern ways to advertise for new tenants, but Craigslist is still an option if that’s what you’re going for.
“When in Rome…” Love them or hate them, everyone is looking at them. You must be listed on their sites. Postlets.com gives you an easy, free way to be on both. You simply need to create an account.
We’ve found one of the most excellent marketing tools is marketing the home to your friends on Facebook. Isn’t it fun to help a friend out? Just imagine, if someone connects you to a tenant – who is also their friend – they get emotional credit for helping two friends. Never underestimate the value of friends helping friends.
Although online marketing is gaining a lot of attention lately, offline advertising is still effective and can deliver brilliant results. Flyers, newspaper ads, word of mouth, and a simple ‘For Rent’ sign are also effective in finding renters.
Distributing flyers in your area and nearby locations can get your listing tons of exposure. Many property owners and agents still use real estate flyers to inform the relevant audience about their rentals. The best part is that it’s an inexpensive yet powerful marketing strategy to attract residents. Please include details, photos, descriptions, and contact information somewhere prominent.
It’s no secret that word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly powerful in real estate and beyond. After all, we tend to trust our family and friends more than ads or salespeople. So, why not make the most of it and use chatter to your advantage? Share your listing with your friends, relatives, and acquaintances so they can help you rent it out. You might also consider requesting your existing customers leave feedback on your website and recommend your listings to their friends. Offer incentives for bringing new renters, as this can encourage them to give you a shoutout.
Host an open house to pique prospects’ interest and offer your property for rent. This is also a great opportunity to meet potential renters face-to-face and interact with them. You won’t have to organize multiple physical visits and separate viewing for each of them. Post about the Open House on different websites to generate more traffic for maximum reach. You can also put up a sign with all the necessary details.
Showing is selling. Making sure you’ve completed all the items below will ensure you can lease your home to the right person in the least amount of time.
Make sure the home is ready
This takes place before doing any of your marketing. What is the point in getting someone to the home if the home is not ready to lease?
People commonly show the home before it’s completed. We highly suggest you do not do this. While it is tempting to get someone in the home quickly, it usually ends in unmet expectations from the tenants – “I thought you were going to paint the WHOLE house!”
What does a ready house look like? Probably about what you’d think… neat and clean. Tenants aren’t expecting perfection. Keep in mind that they are typically looking for only a few things. Their baseline for leasing a home is neat, clean, and safe.
The paint should be cut in and neat. The house should be cleaned regularly. Roaches die, and dust accumulates whether you’re there or not. We suggest arriving 15-20 minutes early to ensure the home is ready before the tenant shows up. Bring a broom, wipes, and a mop.
Don’t crowd the tenant
When they’re previewing the home, the last thing they want you to do is to go through and point out all the “awesome” amenities. Again, they’re looking and checking off a few boxes in their mind.
We typically stand by the front door and allow them to walk alone through the home. If they have questions – and they will – they’ll ask. Once they begin asking questions, if you have something you think they might like and want to point out, this would be the time to do it.
Have applications ready
Tenants are not like buyers. Once their boxes are checked, they are ready to rent. Make sure you are ready to rent to them.
Listen and (tactfully) ask for feedback
When they give it, don’t argue with them. Simply write it down if it will be helpful to you.
Showing up at an unoccupied home with someone you don’t know can be dangerous. Here are a few tips to help you:
Once again, showing is selling. Your job is to get the prospective tenant to fill out an application. Like getting a prospect from a phone call to show, getting one from showing to the application is the next sales step.
All other tactics are useless if you fail to provide a great experience to your current and potential clients! Treat every prospect respectfully, whether they finalize the deal with you or not. Value their rights and be attentive while showcasing a unit. This could compel them to leave a positive review about your services and increase the odds that they recommend you to others. Make things easier than rigid, and always prioritize their needs.
Further Reading: 3 ways to decrease vacancy rates
Whether you have marketing in your DNA or not, these tips will be the tools you need to get your house rented fast. If your traffic-generating systems are strong and you’re maximizing the conversion aspect of your home, you will find that perfect tenant, get them to apply, and have yourself a new, highly-qualified tenant!
Rahul Agarwal is the Co-founder & Chief Business Officer at Styldod, where he has taught a computer to do interior design! Styldod provides the most hassle-free & inexpensive virtual staging solutions for real estate agents to sell their listings faster and for higher prices. Rahul was also a co-founder of Mebelkart (which was acquired by Ask Me). He’s your everyday IIT Kanpur nerd who pushes the boundaries with his innovative entrepreneurial stints and is also a sound startup investor & advisor. Rahul attributes his success as a professional to the discipline he has learned from his district hockey days, being a swimmer and a gym enthusiast.