The Landlord Guide Series (Part 4): How to Market Your Rental Property
Finding the right tenants for your rental home is one of the most important parts of being a landlord. Once you’ve obtained a license, prepared your rental, and decided how much rent to charge, you should be ready to market your rental property to prospective tenants.
A big part of landing great tenants is getting the word out to as many people as possible and making your property stand out. Here’s how.
How to Market A Rental Property
Start your marketing strategy by making a list of what the property has to offer. You’ll want to mention the basics, including the neighborhood and numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Make sure you play up additional features the home offers, such as these popular among tenants:
- New appliances
- Recently remodeled kitchens or bathrooms
- Outdoor space, including yards, patios, and balconies
- Security systems
- In-unit laundry
- Community facilities, such as a pool or gym
- Proximity to neighborhood amenities
- Unique architecture or interior design
When it comes to marketing rental properties, nothing is truer than the cliché about pictures being worth a thousand words. Home searchers looking through dozens of ads are likely to click right past those without pictures – or those with blurry or just plain bad photos.
So invest some time or money in photos that will show your property’s best qualities. If you’ve looked at your share of real estate ads, you know a wide-angle lens can do wonders. If you don’t have a decent camera, you can hire a photographer with experience to take crisp, clear photos to attract tenants. You’ll find it is worth the investment. And you can reuse the photos with the next vacancy.
Where to Advertise
The time and effort you spent getting a great picture and writing an ad to lure cream of the crop tenants means nothing if no one sees it.
Free sites such as Craigslist, Zillow, and HotPads are a good place to start, but you’ll be competing with scores of other listings and may need to repost frequently. You might want to consider one or more sites where you pay to advertise but get more exposure for your property.
In addition, think about local resources. Is there a neighborhood website or local listserv where people advertise rentals? Consider ways to target likely renters, too. For example, if your property would be perfect for students, advertise in the college paper and find out if there are bulletin boards (physical or virtual) where students search for housing.
Lastly, don’t forget one old school trick: hang a good-looking For Rent sign in the yard with clear contact info. If you get enough traffic driving or walking by, you could get some great leads.
If marketing your property sounds like a hassle, you can outsource it. Both real estate brokers and property managers can help you market and lease a rental, taking care of the ads, professional pictures, and helping you target likely renters. In most cases, the fee is a percentage of the first month’s rent. With a property manager, you get the advantage of not only rental market expertise but also expertise screening tenants, a service that’s typically included in leasing packages.