One of the best ways to reduce your vacancy time, attract the best tenants, and earn the most money on your rental property investment is with great marketing and advertising. If you have a terrific property for rent but no one knows about it, how will you earn rental income and increase your ROI?
Today, the talented and experienced rental property marketing team at Mynd Property Management is going to teach you the top three tips and tricks to advertising your rental property.
But first, why is it important that you know how to effectively advertise your rental property?
When you advertise your property well, you’re able to bring in more tenants and attract a larger pool of potential renters. This leads to better tenant placement because it helps you to source the best residents possible. When you have a highly qualified tenant in place, you’ll minimize your financial losses and you’ll protect the condition of your property. You won’t have to worry about expensive evictions or extensive property damage.
Great tenants bring great peace of mind, and you find those great tenants with exceptional advertising.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 1: Invest in Photography
You have probably heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This is true, especially when you look at the statistics for listings that have pictures versus the listings that don’t have pictures. When your rental property listing includes photographs, you’re going to receive 95 percent more views than listings that don’t have photographs. It’s also important to note that tenants who are looking for rental homes will spend the majority of their time looking at your photos. In fact, our research has demonstrated that they spend 60 percent of their time scrolling through the photographs in your ad.
So, it’s clearly important that you get this part right. Don’t just take a few lazy photos with your phone. Invest some time and effort.
Great photos start with staging and property prep. Get rid of any and all trash and debris that might be found gathering around the property. Put the toilet seats down in the bathrooms. Don’t leave cleaning supplies on the counters, and make sure that all of your personal items are out of the way.
Your goal with your photos is to create a space for prospective residents to envision themselves living. It has to look appealing and it has to connect with potential tenants emotionally. Make it look good. Wipe all the windows so they’re clear, and remove any cobwebs in the corners. Dust off the ceiling fans and make sure the lawn has been mowed and watered.
Then, focus on lighting. If possible, we recommend you take all of your marketing photos during the day. If that’s not possible or you’re taking photos on a day that’s bleak and overcast, make sure you turn on all the lights in the property. Lighting will have an impact on the clarity and crispness of your photos.
Once the home is clean, the lighting is on point, and your staging is prepared, it’s time to think about the angles of your shots. The widest vantage is always going to be in the corner. Try to capture two walls and not three when you’re actually snapping the picture. Three walls can close up a room in a photograph. Don’t stand up too high or the environment will look completely artificial. You’re going for a natural, appealing shot that gives viewers the best possible look at your property.
Before you head to the home to take your photographs, it’s a good idea to have a shot list. When you have your list, you’ll be prepared and organized, and thinking about the best shots before you even arrive. On that shot list, we recommend including
- Every bedroom in the house.
- Every bathroom in the house.
- Several pictures of the kitchen and its appliances.
- Dining areas – inside and outside.
- Living room and family room spaces.
- Outdoor spaces, especially the yard and any parking.
- Any other shots that provide a great ambiance.
You want potential residents to feel comfortable with your neighborhood, so include some pictures that give prospective tenants an idea of the community that your property is in.
We always recommend that you work with a great camera. You don’t have to go out and spend thousands on a new camera, but high resolution photos are preferred and will deliver the best results. If you have an SLR camera, that’s going to be great. Smartphones are good too. When you upload photos to your listing, remember that the minimal resolution is 72 pixels.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 2: Write Great Copy
Once you have some outstanding photos, you need to match those photos with accurate, engaging, and interesting descriptions. That leads us to our second tip – the copy.
The copy is what ties your whole story together. It also helps your searchability with great SEO, which ensures your listings are found by prospective tenants. The copy breaks out into two different sections; the headline and the description or the summary.
The headline is important. It’s the first thing that someone sees when they’re viewing a listing, and many people will decide whether or not they want to keep reading based on the headline. So, we recommend that you follow a formula when you’re writing a heading for your rental property advertisement. That formula has worked for us repeatedly, and it looks like this:
Amount of Rent Price + Number of Bedrooms + Number of Bathrooms + Type of Property + Location + Great Selling Point
That sounds like a long formula, but that’s okay. It includes the most relevant information and gives readers a reason to keep reading. Here’s what it would look like if you were a landlord in San Diego putting your property on the market for rent:
$1,850 1-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment in San Diego with stunning views.
That headline follows our formula and immediately tells prospective tenants whether the home is in their price range, desired location, and target size.
After the headline is written, you’ll need to compose the summary. The summary section is also important; it allows you to finish telling the story and to tie your headline to your photos. This section of the ad helps the potential resident visualize what your property is like. You should highlight the amenities that are available or the unique features. Include adjectives and describe what the neighborhood is like. Include a map or other important information that will add value to your listing.
You want to be sure you’re not attracting the wrong tenants. So, if you have a no pet policy or other restrictions, make sure you state that in your ad. You should say if utilities are included or if there’s a pool in the building or a parking space or access to public transportation. Don’t bring people in who will be disappointed. It wastes your time and theirs. Instead, be transparent and share all of the important information a tenant may need to know.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 3: Distribute Your Ad
As you probably know, it’s not enough to have a stunning listing. The listing is only effective if a large pool of tenants are seeing it. You also want to think about where people will find it. If prospective renters can’t find the ad, they’ll never find your property. Think about the sites that your best renters might be visiting. There’s a lot more to online rental advertising than Craigslist.
Try sites like Zillow, HotPads, Redfin, and Zumper. We also recommend that you use a professional yard sign. Some residents won’t go online, and they might see your sign while they’re walking or driving through the neighborhood. You could post something at the grocery store, where another group of potential tenants might see it. Keep all different types of residents in mind when you’re marketing.
Our strategy is to syndicate our ads across 40 different sites. If you don’t have a property management company with this type of technology enabled or you’re self-managing, there are tools you can use. Try Tenant Turner or Cozy or Avail.
Once you have your listing online, you need to consistently monitor and update it. All the different sites you’re using have different policies. Some won’t let you update more frequently than every seven days. Keep this in mind so your listing doesn’t drown or fall behind. You want to be on the top of every potential renter’s mind. And, if you’re in a particularly competitive market, you might want to spend some extra money to bump up your listing. It’s part of your process of updating and monitoring the performance of your listing. You can decide if you want to boost your results with a financial investment.
It’s not enough to have a great rental property. Make sure your photography and copy is right. Advertise and distribute your listing strategically. If you want help with property advertising or management in general, please contact us at Mynd Property Management.
About Vivian Lwin Bio
Vivian Lwin has over 2 decades of experience in marketing and real estate. As the VP of Marketing at Mynd Property Management, she oversees the marketing, communications and branding efforts for the firm’s clients, which include residents and property owners in 16 markets nationwide. Along with her family, Lwin is also an experienced real estate investor.