One of the best ways to reduce vacancy time, attract the best residents, and earn the most money on a rental property investment is with great marketing and advertising. Having a terrific property for rent that no one knows about, will not yield rental income and increase ROI.
But first, why is it important to know how to effectively advertise a rental property?
Advertising a property well attracts a larger pool of potential renters. This leads to better resident placement because it helps source the best residents possible. A highly qualified resident minimizes financial losses and help an owner protect the condition of their property. The owner then doesn't have to worry about expensive evictions or extensive property damage.
Great residents bring great peace of mind. Finding those great residents happens with exceptional advertising.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 1: Invest in Photography
Consider the expression: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This is true, especially looking at the statistics for listings that have pictures versus the listings that don’t have pictures. A rental property listing that includes photographs receives 95 percent more views than listings that don’t have photographs.
It’s also important to note that residents who are looking for rental homes will spend the majority of their time looking at photos. In fact, research has demonstrated that they spend 60 percent of their time scrolling through the photographs in an ad.
Don’t just take a few lazy photos with a phone. Invest some time and effort.
Photography Staging and Prep
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 personal items are out of the way.
The goal with the 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 residents 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. Take all marketing photos during the day.
If that’s not possible or the weather ends up being bleak and overcast, make sure to 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 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 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. The goal is to capture a natural, appealing shot that gives viewers the best possible look at the property.
Before heading to the home to take photographs, it’s a good idea to have a shot list, which will enable the photographer (whoever is taking the photos) to be prepared and organized, and thinking about the best shots before arrival.
Photography Shot List
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.
Also, consider including some pictures that give prospective residents an idea of the community that the property is in, so it'll provide a more holistic view for residents trying to picture themselves in the home.
Work with a great camera. It doesn't have to cost thousands, but high resolution photos are preferred and will deliver the best results.
An SLR camera would be great. Smartphones are good too. When uploading photos to any listing, remember that the minimal resolution is 72 pixels.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 2: Write Great Copy
Once there are some outstanding photos, try to match those photos with accurate, engaging, and interesting descriptions. That leads us to the second tip – the copy.
The copy is what ties the whole story together. It also helps searchability with great SEO, which ensures that listings are found by prospective residents. 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. Consider following formula when writing a heading for a rental property advertisement.
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 an owner in San Diego putting a property on the market for rent:
$1,850 1-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment in San Diego with stunning views.
That headline follows the formula and immediately tells prospective tenants whether the home is in their price range, desired location, and target size.
After the headline is written, compose the summary. The summary section is also important; it allows the owner to finish telling the story and to tie the headline to the photos. This section of the ad helps the potential resident visualize what the property is like. 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.
Also, ensure that the language targets relevant residents. So, if an owner has a pet policy or other restrictions, make sure you state that in your ad. Mention whether or not 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 the owners time and the potential residents. Instead, be transparent and share all of the important information a tenant may need to know.
Rental Property Advertising Tip 3: Distribute Your Ad
It’s not enough to have a stunning listing. The listing is only effective if a large pool of residents are seeing it. Consider 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. Use a professional yard sign. Some residents won’t go online, and they might see the sign while they’re walking or driving through the neighborhood. Consider posting something at the grocery store, where another group of potential residents might see it. Keep all different types of residents in mind while marketing.
The Mynd strategy is to syndicate ads across 40 different sites. A property management company can support with this type of strategy.
Once the home is listed, make sure to consistently monitor and update it. All the different sites have different policies. Some won’t let the poster update more frequently than every seven days. Keep this in mind so the listing doesn’t drown or fall behind.
Be on the top of every potential renter’s mind. And, for those in a particularly competitive market, give some extra money to bump up a listing. It’s part of the process of updating and monitoring the performance of your listing.
Bottom Line on Rental Property Advertising
It’s not enough to have a great rental property.
Make sure the photography and copy is right. Advertise and distribute the listing strategically.