A rental vacancy is one of a landlord’s worst nightmares. Having your property vacant means no cash inflow while you continue to bear maintenance and mortgage expenses each month. A rental property that is vacant for even a month could cost a landlord a whole year’s profit. Therefore, it is very important to attract reliable long-term tenants. In this article, we will be discussing some marketing strategies that you can use to attract tenants. Most of these options are completely free so you do not need to invest a lot or be an expert in marketing to make your property more attractive to prospective tenants.
Listing Your Property Online
Lots of people use online sources to search for rental properties. If you are not advertising your property online, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract tenants, especially younger renters who prefer to look online for rentals. Fortunately, there are many free websites that allow you to list and advertise your property without any fee.
Our Favorite Services for Advertising Rentals Online:
Creating An Advertisement To Attract Tenants
When you list your property, you should try to create the best possible advertisement for your vacant rental. A good property description is usually detailed and highlights the specific features, benefits and uses of the property rather than a generic description. Some things to keep in mind are:
Always include the price of the property in a prominent location. It might deter some applicants, but it means the ones you get will likely be more serious about renting. Make sure to double check the text, copy, and settings before publishing your listing, as we’ve made the mistake of updating a price in one place but not in others.
Do not forget to mention any special features your property has that others don’t. For example, a specific brand of marble, the recency of renovations, a particular view, etc. People like specifics and are more inclined to take the time to see the property.
3. Use Suitable Adjectives
Be descriptive in the advertisement. Use adjectives that best describe your property. For example, if the rooms in your property are bigger than the standard ones, you can say “three spacious, accommodating rooms”. These little things attract the customer’s attention and make your property look better than the rest.
4. Use Maps
It is advisable to insert a google map after the address of the property. This allows customers to understand exactly where the property is located and if that location suits them. You can even add distance from a particular landmark, subway station or city center to make it clearer for the renters. In urban areas being close to public transit lines is desirable to many tenants.
5. High-Quality Photos
Always include several good pictures of the property with the advertisement. After all, humans are visual beings and if they see no pictures – or even low-quality pictures – they may quickly skip past your listing without even bothering to read the property description. Therefore, we recommend including high-quality pictures of the rooms, exterior and floor plans. This also gives your listing more appeal. For that reason, try to use a high-quality camera for all photographs.
6. Use Keywords
Try to incorporate certain keywords that will direct the tenant to your property. Think about the words people search when they are specifically looking for a property like yours.
7. Do Not Mislead
Write an accurate description of the property and avoid any exaggeration. For example, do not say that your property is walking distance from the city center when in reality it is 3 miles away. This creates distrust amongst tenants, setting you up for an unhealthy relationship. Misleading information is sometimes grounds to break the lease and even sue the landlord.
8. Be Respectful
Being respectful is an absolute must. Since the advertisement is the first impression of the landlord, you must be considerate of what kind of image you are trying to create. For example, writing things like “seeking tenant who has their act together”, or “don’t expect me to drop everything for every little repair, and change your own light bulbs!” creates a bad, unprofessional image. On the other hand, writing something like “you are welcome to make a home here” creates a positive image.
9. Virtual and Self-Guided Tours
Some landlords have even started including a virtual video tour as part of their rental listing, especially during the pandemic. This allows potential tenants to easily view the property and evaluate its features without having to go to physically visit the location. Marble, a technology company providing rental management services, allows tenants to take self-guided tours without the presence of an agent. They use smart locks and a series of security measures so potential tenants can take these tours.
Using Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook have become very popular for searching rental properties. Facebook Marketplace lets you list your property online for free. Your friends and family can further share that listing. Around 800 million Facebook users are using the Facebook Marketplace to buy, sell, rent and advertise items. Some social media sites also provide custom ad features to allow you to target your ideal audience. Many properties even have their own Facebook page where people can see the location, description and pictures all at once. They also allow for direct communication with the prospective tenants.
Even though social media and the internet dominate rental searches, traditional methods of promotion, such as advertising in newspapers and magazines, can be helpful depending on the audience you are looking to target. Generally, word of mouth is the second most preferred method after social media. A tenant can hear about the vacancy from a friend, a colleague, a relative or might see a for-rent sign in the yard. Word of mouth can also include a network of realtors working on behalf of their tenants.
Landlord Gurus Takeaway
Owning and managing rental property is not easy, especially if you are an independent landlord. The simple steps highlighted above can help you attract great tenants and spend less time and money while doing so. Just be mindful of the fact that you need to be transparent and respectful when advertising your properties otherwise your hard-built reputation may suffer.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.