A Guide to Advertising Your DC Rental Home
You’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money getting your DC area investment property ready to rent. In order to get the most out of your investment, it should be on the market for as little time as possible.
Even on a busy street, sticking a for rent sign out front isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to advertise your home in order to get the best pool of prospective renters.
But there are a lot of options. In addition to where you’ll advertise, you want to show the property in the best possible light in order to attract the right applicants.
Check out the following tips to learn all you need to know about advertising your home.
Start With Property Photos
Even though smartphones take high-quality photos, the lenses aren’t wide enough to give a full view of rooms and amenities.
If possible, hire a real estate photographer to take photos of your property. They have the necessary equipment to take stunning photos and the knowledge of what to photograph.
You can also rent photo equipment if you don’t want to hire someone to do it for you.
Before you start snapping, you have a bit of work to do! The house needs to be clean and free of clutter. Staging the home also helps renters picture how the home looks furnished but isn’t necessary.
When taking photos, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use natural lighting by opening windows and doors.
- Take way more photographs than you need
- Use landscape orientation, even for tight spaces.
Write the Perfect Property Description
Keep in mind that you’re competing with hundreds of other rental listings at the same time. Because of this, you’ll need a property description that showcases the most important details of your property to attract prospective renters.
Pretend you’re looking to rent a house. What are the most important features you want to know about? Start with a killer description, then move on to a catchy headline.
Ideas to include in your description include:
- Convenience to shopping and public transportation
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Utilities and type (gas, all-electric, etc.)
Once you’ve got a great description, move on to the headline. Master copywriter David Ogilvy says a good headline is worth 80 cents of every dollar spent, so don’t skimp here.
Start Advertising Online
The majority of house hunters look on their phones or laptops for rental properties, so it makes perfect sense to advertise there. You’ll spend less money and get a larger pool of applicants. Check out the following websites to decide where to place your ad.
Posting ads on Craigslist is cheap and easy! Depending on your market, Craiglist might be the go-to place to find a property, so make sure your listing is professional and your stands out for the right reasons. But be careful; scammers love to hang out there, too. Stay away from responses from people who claim to be out of state or the country. And, as always, watch out for money transfer scams by following the Consumer Federal Trade Commission guidelines when dealing with requests to use Western Union or MoneyGram. Many scammers send fake money orders to get you to send keys without even meeting them.
The best way to weed out the scammers is to spell out parts of your phone number to make it harder for them to scrape numbers off the site.
The Washington Post
Every Washingtonian reads the Washington Post, so listing your rental with the Post can get you in front of countless renters in the DMV. They created a self-service advertising portal to make the process of placing your ad that much easier! Rental ads include a seven-day online listing with five photos. While you may not get much traction from the newspaper, the online ad makes it worth it.
Traditional advertising has its place, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help from your friends. Create a post on Facebook and ask your friends to share. They may even tag people that they know who are in the market for a rental. Not only do you attract applicants, but you get references as well.
Buying advertising on Facebook is cheap, and you can target specific demographics and areas as well. This allows your ad only to be shown to people who are a good fit for your property.
Zillow Rental Manager
When you create a listing with the Zillow Rental Manager, they send the information to over 20 other sites.
Leads that come in through Zillow can include info like income and credit score, making it easy to prescreen applicants. And when your property becomes available again, simply reactivate the listing instead of creating one all over again.
Don’t leave money on the table by failing to advertise your DC area rental property. While putting a sign on the lawn is a start, use the internet to find the largest number of applicants for the least amount of money.
Create a great ad, choose the right websites, and you’re well on the way to getting your property occupied quickly. Good luck!