Even the nicest and most well-maintained rental properties will likely result in an extremely stressful situation for their owners if a landlord or property manager does not maintain an effective marketing campaign in order to attract prospective new tenants. Simply putting a “for rent” sign in the window of a property that you wish to rent isn’t enough; you have to take a multi-pronged approach if you’re going to get the word out in order to get applicants that are ultimately desirable, reliable, and responsible.
While a sign in years past was the main avenue a landlord had for attracting potential tenants to their rental home or apartment unit, today such activity is driven by technology, first and foremost. Advertising on the Internet can increase your chances of attracting quality tenants and keep your listings relevant in a rapidly-changing rental landscape. However, it’s vital not to just rely on any single method of marketing; it takes a mix of approaches in order to most effectively attract not only tenants in general, but specifically the type of tenants that you actually want to rent to.
The internet will be your primary means of advertising your vacancies; websites such as Craigslist, Apartments.com, Rent.com, ApartmentGuide.com, Realtor.com, and even YouTube can all be used to show off your house or apartment and get the right kind of tenants interested in renting from you. Likewise, social media marketing can also contribute greatly, including websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others.
Additionally, there are other options if you prefer to take them, such as working with short term renting – such as through Airbnb – or even Section 8 housing or charitable institutions. However, some of the situations that can arise from these options can be less than desirable unless you exercise caution, and even then there’s no guarantee.
But there are other avenues to explore as well when it comes to getting your property rented. While many people consider newspapers to be obsolete, they can still be an effective means of advertising if your goal is to reach older tenants, many of which still read the old printed paper; invest in print ads, but don’t make this your primary means of advertising. And despite what you read above, a few yard signs can’t hurt if you’re trying to get the word out to locals; they can be surprisingly effective at times.
Just as they do in the business world when you’re on the hunt for a new job, referrals from past/present tenants, friends and family members, and even other landlords, can also contribute well to your marketing efforts and help land you a new renter.
An approach to renting a property which some have enjoyed success with does not typically involve attempting to entice an applicant into renting; instead, more success can be found by turning the tables and making the tenant try to entice you into renting to them, as if obtaining your property is a boon they may not be worthy of, similar to a job interview. This process – while sometimes resulting in fewer applicants – could nonetheless result in a higher-quality tenant overall.
Also, while some landlords or property managers prefer to show apartments while the current/outgoing tenant is still living there, it’s instead suggested to wait until they have moved out so you have an opportunity to clean it and repair any issues. This will make selling the unit easier, and can again attract a better class of applicant.
For advertising purposes – and to help your listings stand out – you should first clean the newly-vacated apartment or house thoroughly, and then take a complete set of pictures and, if you’re really feeling energetic, get a video camera (a standard cell phone will suffice) and record a complete video walk-through. Be honest about the positives and even the negatives that come along with the property in the listing; prospective tenants will appreciate your honesty.
With a little work and know-how, you can create an effective means of attracting quality tenants to your rental properties that will ultimately affect your bottom line in a positive manner.