The best way to maximize your rental income is by keeping your rental property occupied by tenants. However, to do that, you must have an effective rental marketing process.
Sadly, this is an area that many landlords sometimes get wrong, especially those just starting out. For lack of experience or otherwise, they end up making costly mistakes that can result in suboptimal results.
The following are 8 rental property marketing must-dos in order to avoid mistakes.
1. Knowing Your Target Demographic
Before you can begin crafting a rental ad, think about the kind of tenant you want to target. Are you looking to rent to professionals, families with children, students, or retirees?
Identifying your target audience will help you design a customized rental ad to reach them. Generally speaking, approaches that are generic and broad rarely work because prospective tenants don’t find the messaging to be relevant.
Make sure to do research about how to reach the prospective tenant you want. Advertising online will probably reach a younger demographic, while advertising in the paper would reach an older one.
2. Readying Your Property Before Marketing It
In a down market, you won’t get away with renting your property as-is. In a lower market, prospective tenants tend to be choosy with the property they rent due to the high availability of vacant rentals. What’s more, quality tenants will only consider renting the best units.
Before putting the property on the market assess its condition. Are there pending repairs? Do the interior and exterior walls use fresh paint? Is the first glance of the property appealing? Is the mailbox in good condition?
If it doesn’t look rent-ready, renovate and update it to make it look desirable in the eyes of prospective tenants.
3. Diversifying Your Marketing Channels
Dumping all your time, money, and effort into one marketing tactic is very risky. There is no guarantee that the chosen tactic is the most effective way to market your property. The best way to market a rental property is by using as many channels as possible. This will ensure that you’re able to attract a large prospective tenant pool.
Examples of marketing channels you can use include local classifieds, social media, yard signs, rental listing sites, and community bulletin boards. The more of these you use the better!
4. Crafting a Proper Listing
Generally speaking, you need a rental ad in order to advertise your vacant unit. You need to make sure it’s attractive so that it can catch the attention of prospective tenants.
To craft an effective rental ad, you must get three things right. First, you must take proper photos. They will need to be crisp and clear. As such, you’ll need a great camera, proper lighting, and showcase the property’s best features.
Secondly, you must write a proper headline. The headline must contain important details such as the unit’s rental price, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the type of rental property it is.
Thirdly, an effective rental ad must contain an engaging description of the property. This section will help you tie everything together for a cohesive story. Use the section to give prospective tenants a visual illustration of what living on the property will be like.
5. Using Inclusive Language in the Ad
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to abide by the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The act mandates landlords to act fairly and equally towards tenants (prospective ones included) based on certain protected classes.
At the federal level, the act prohibits discrimination of tenants based on race, color, religion, sex, nationality, disability, and familial status. Therefore, this means that it’d be discriminative of you to include the following statements in a rental ad.
- No Children
- Christian Neighborhood
- English-Speaking Native Only
- Caucasian Roommate
- Catholics Only
- Perfect for Families
- Not Suitable for Seniors
- Bachelor Pad
- Integrated Neighborhood
6. Stating the Amenities the Property Comes With
You should also make sure you state some of the top amenities the property comes with. Letting a tenant know how desirable your rental is can help them make an informed decision on whether the unit fits their criteria.
The following are desirable amenities that you should make sure to mention in your rental ad if you provide them.
- A good pet policy: The majority of tenants are pet parents. Having a flexible pet policy can therefore endear your property to a large pool of prospective tenants.
- Air conditioning: Although this may not be legally required, providing an aircon unit can make your property more attractive.
- An outdoor area: Tenants find homes with outdoor areas like a patio, a small balcony, or decking to be desirable. Such spaces allow them to relax with friends, enjoy beer, or simply read a book.
- An assigned parking space: This is a popular amenity, especially in urban areas.
Other desirable amenities include a dishwasher, a walk-in closet, smart home appliances, and hardwood floors.
7. Including a Call to Action
You may have a stunning home and do a perfect job advertising it across various platforms for maximum reach. However, if you don’t include a CTA, your efforts may be wasted.
Most people tend to take action only after being prompted to do so. Therefore, make sure that you encourage your audience to get in touch with you. This will help imply a sense of urgency.
8. Monitoring the Performance of Your Ad
Don’t just post the ad and stop there. Regularly monitor its performance and make adjustments if necessary. This is especially true if your ad performs poorly. Look at the leads it is generating and make changes accordingly.
The reasons for the changes could range from overpricing the home to a poorly crafted rental ad, and everything in between. Don’t shy away from asking for help from an experienced property management company.
Overlooking these 8 crucial steps are mistakes that are particularly common among landlords at all stages. Unsurprisingly, certain landlords don’t have the experience or the skills to run an elaborate and extensive rental marketing campaign.
There is an easy solution: hiring an experienced property manager like Bigham & Associates. We’re a professional property management company that has been helping property owners in Austin achieve peace of mind since 1987. Get in touch to learn more!