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How to Attract Tenants: Strategies for Appealing to a Variety of Renters

Illustration about a property manager attracting good tenants
July 5, 2019

How do you best market your rental home? Whether your rental is a two-bedroom unit a few blocks from the local university or a single-family home in the heart of a suburban neighborhood, it pays to know what your most likely renters will want and need.

Once you understand what your likely tenants are looking for, it will help you focus your marketing and strategy. In some cases, you might want to make small changes in your policies or in the property itself to appeal to the largest pool of qualified renters. Depending on your property location, size, and type, here are some potential markets you could tap, along with advice for attracting tenants.

College Students

If your rental property is located near a college or a university, college students could be a great potential market. Think about whether the size and configuration of the bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas would work well for several students. If so, it would be a good selling point.

Being more flexible about the length of the lease may help attract students that head home for the summers. Check listings or talk to other local landlords to find out what’s the norm in the market. You may be able to charge more monthly rent to make up for having a shorter lease. Or, you may decide to allow students to sublet for the summer, as long as you can screen and approve the tenants.

You should also check your insurance policy to make sure that your insurance will not expire if the property remains unoccupied for more than one or two months at a time. This article has some additional tips on renting to college students.

Families with Young Children

If the neighborhood attracts families with children, you may want to modify your home a bit – or play up certain features – to capitalize on that market.

Consider safety first. If the home has safety advantages, such as limited stairs, point them out to applicants. Some small upgrades aimed at keeping kids safe, such as Zillow’s suggestions to install non-slip treads on stairs or safety latches on windows, can help attract families and ensure they’re as safe as possible in the home. If you’re open to families installing baby gates and other baby proofing tools, let prospective tenants know.

Consider adding an outside play area or marketing a basement or spare room as the perfect playroom. If you can, outfit the room with a small storage area where boxes and bins of toys could be neatly arranged.

You can also create a handout that lists all the nearby amenities: libraries, community parks, schools, family-friendly restaurants, and other locations of interest to families.

Knowing the local market can help you make decisions about upgrades that will make your property stand out and marketing that will attract prospective renters.

Just be sure you know the law. While it is smart to make your property attractive to likely renters, it is never OK to discriminate. If you have any questions, be sure to read up on local and federal laws or contact an attorney. An experienced property management company can also help you market your property.


SEO Strategist at Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes. Connect with her onLinkedIn or Instagram.

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