Online Rental Marketing – How to Stand Out From Your Competition
As an independent landlord, I’ve learned the ups and downs of landlording, and the tips and hacks I’ve discovered are musts for novice and seasoned landlords. The rental space is crowded, and it can be hard to compete with big corporate landlords. When I had my first rental at age 20, I was so excited to have my first tenant. However, first, to fill that vacancy, I needed to market my property and figure out the best channel for that marketing. That learning curve can be steep, and the ROI of your investment property depends on finding a great tenant as quickly as possible. I have some tried and true tips that will help you secure a great renter, and that starts with a solid online marketing strategy.
Syndicating Property Listing – Post Once
With the click of a button, your property listing can be posted on dozens of websites – this is marketing syndication. It saves a tremendous amount of time you would’ve spent individually making a listing on major sites. Save that time for flyers and yard signs, which are still viable and essential offline marketing tactics. We all know that time is of the essence as a landlord. Having your listing posted to Zillow, Rent.com, Apartments.com, and many more is truly the best way to acquire a higher number of leads, and having the ability for that to happen automatically is vital.
Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize the advertising doesn’t have to stop at just these sites. Social media is another excellent way to market your property online. Facebook and Craigslist are great options to increase your marketing reach. Younger generations love the option of social media as they can quickly scroll through the listings on their phones, find, and apply to properties to rent all on their device.
Stand Out From the Big Guys
Now you know where and how to post, that is the easy part, the hard part is knowing what to post. One common question we get from our landlords is, “How do I write a great property description?” Your goal is to differentiate yourself not only from the big guys but from any other rentals in your area as well. That means your photos, description, amenities, and policies need to stand out.
There is no doubt that your photos will be the first thing that your prospects check out. We live a superficial world, and this will be your properties first impression, so don’t ruin it with bad photos. There isn’t any excuse for bad photos. Smartphones take high-quality images, so often there isn’t a need for a professional photographer. Make sure you have good light, the rental is clean and mess-free. Aim to tell a visual story with your photos. If prospects like what they see, they will keep inquiring.
Amenities and Policies
It may seem hard to compete with large apartment complexes when it comes to amenities. The key is to identify your unique amenities as an independent landlord and speak to those. Renting has become more of a long-term housing option for many generations, that means their needs and wants for housing have changed as well. Many will want pets, as an independent landlord, you can be more flexible with your policies and may be able to charge a premium.
You may want to consider shorter or longer-term leases as well. Offering a month to month or short-term leases can be a great option to stand out, and again allow you to charge a premium. There is high demand for these types of rentals, and with a streamlined, online rental process, filing vacancies doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity that cuts into your bottom line.
It’s All About the Leads
Now, you have great photos, have nailed the amenities, and syndicated your property and it is posted on all the listing sites. What’s next? The leads should start pouring in. Here at TurboTenant, we see an average of 22 leads per property. Getting a significant amount of leads will enable you to choose from a large pool of tenants. While this might seem overwhelming, it will help you fill your vacancy faster. You can quickly eliminate tenants who have red flags after you screen them with a background check, credit, and eviction report – after that, you can find the one you want to fill your property through more soft data. For example, you could meet with them in-person to see if they would be a good fit for your property, look at their social media, or meet with them to get coffee. The best method for choosing a tenant is always a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, as well as abiding by the Federal Fair Housing Act.
Becoming an independent landlord is a great investment strategy, and now is an incredibly opportune time to invest. With the right strategy and software, the path to a successful landlord can be smooth, seamless, and streamlined.