Vacancies are costly. To reduce them, you’ll need to up your game when it comes to marketing your rental property.
An effective marketing strategy is one that reduces vacancies, attracts high-quality tenants, and ensures you make a high return on your investment.
Even if you have the best rental property in Austin, how will you find tenants if nobody even knows it exists?
In today’s article by Bigham & Associates, you’ll learn the basic tips and tricks on how to effectively advertise your rental property.
1. Invest in High-Quality Pictures.
“A picture is worth a thousand words” – you’ve most likely heard this saying, and it couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to marketing a rental property.
Did you know that a listing with photographs gets 95% more views than one that doesn’t?
Equally important, prospective tenants looking for a rental will spend the majority of their time looking at a listing’s photos. As such, it’s important to ensure that you invest in quality photos.
How to Take High-Quality Photos of Your Austin Home
The first step to taking stunning photos begins with prepping the home:
- Give it a thorough cleaning;
- Remove all clutter around the house
- Make sure the lawn looks healthy and taken care of
- Dust off the ceiling fans and furniture;
- Remove any cobwebs.
The goal here is to create a space in which prospective tenants can envision themselves living. Quality tenants are always looking for a home that is appealing, and one they can connect with emotionally.
The next step is lighting.
Lighting is a key factor in creating a successful image. Make sure you turn on the lights and open up the windows to let in as much natural light as possible.
Next, take pictures of every room in your home; every bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and available appliances, dining areas, dining and living room areas, and outdoor spaces.
While taking photos can seem like a simple DIY skill, hiring a professional can make all the difference. A pro will know how to take advantage of lighting, use proper equipment, and work with composition to make your property as attractive as possible.
2. Write An Enticing Rental Ad.
After you’re done with the photos, the next step is to craft an eye-catching rental ad.
An effective property listing is one that’s as succinct as possible. So, match those photos with engaging, accurate, and interesting descriptions.
Your headline should be catchy, also. Renters have dozens, if not hundreds, of listings options. Make yours stand out from the competition in order to increase your click-through rates.
A catchy headline is one that is fluff- and jargon-free. The following are examples of good headlines to give you some inspiration:
- “Spacious 3 Bedroom Apartment Next to Park in Allandale.”
- “Great 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath Home near Barton Creek Elementary School”, $2,000.”
Next, you’ll want to flesh out your description with a ton of information about your rental property.
Start with important numbers, such as the rent amount, the security deposit amount, and any move-in fees.
You also don’t want to forget about the unique features your property may have that the competition may not.
Examples of unique features include granite countertops, tall ceilings, sunny windows, backyard, pool, walk-in closet, convenient location, and city skyline views.
Also, mention nearby attractions such as highways, universities, coffee shops, parks, train lines, and nightlife.
Lastly, be sure that you don’t add any statements that can be seen as discriminative.
According to the Fair Housing Act, it’s illegal for housing providers to discriminate against their tenants (or prospective tenants) on the basis of a protected characteristic.
In Texas, protected characteristics include race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and national origin.
Even if you’re not trying to discriminate against anyone, you may accidentally write something that doesn’t agree with the Fair Housing Act.
Examples of things to avoid include sentences like:
“Perfect for a single professional”
“Ideal for a female student”
“Must provide proof of income”
“Not for renters with children”
“Seeking mature tenants”
As innocent as these statements may seem, they can get you into legal trouble, as renters may feel like they won’t be considered fairly if they apply.
Recommended reading: Texas Landlord-Tenant Laws.
3. Begin Distributing the Ad.
Having a stunning listing is simply not enough. Your listing will only serve its intended purpose if it gets in front of a large number of prospective tenants.
Also, think about how people are going to find it! That’s where rental listing sites come into play.
Use listing sites like Zillow, Zumper, Redfin, HotPads, and Apartments.com to give your ad the exposure it needs.
Take note, however, that not all of your targeted tenants will go online. So, for this category of prospects, use things like “For Rent” signs, community bulletin boards, and even incentivize existing or previous tenants to spread the word.
You also want to keep monitoring the performance of your rental ad. All sites you post to will have different policies: Some will allow frequent updates, whereas others won’t. Keep this in mind so your listing doesn’t fall behind the competition.
If you don’t have stiff competition, chances are an eye-catching ad will probably be enough.
However, if the competition is cutthroat, then you may need to spend some money to bump up the exposure.
4. Consider Hiring a Property Management Company.
From getting your property rent-ready to creating a killer rental ad to marketing the property, a lot goes into advertising a vacant property.
If you’re just getting started as a landlord or you’re struggling to fill vacancies, a property management company is your best bet.
Bigham & Associates can help. We’re a professional property management company that’s been serving Austin property owners since 1987. Get in touch with us today!