Advertising Your Rental: Where to Find the Perfect Tenant
Did the research – check. Purchased an investment property – check. Readied the home for rental – check. What’s left? One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is finding a quality tenant. The benefit of landing the perfect tenant can’t be underestimated. The quality of renter you attract can make or break your investment rental experience.
Finding the elusive soul mate of tenants can be a challenge. To begin, try putting yourself in prospective renters’ shoes. Where are they most likely to seek out options for available homes? Old standby marketing channels are complemented by updated ways to present your property. Here’s how to let the tenants of your dreams know you hold the keys to their new home.
Start with your own social circle. Don’t be shy. Mention you have a home for rent to your parents, brothers, sisters, friends, co-workers, and all the various service providers you come into contact with each day. Word-of-mouth is a tried and true way of spreading news. The benefit of finding a tenant in this way is the personal connection or recommendation that often happens spontaneously.
Show me a sign. Drive-by traffic is an awesome source for potential tenants. Post a ‘For Rent’ advertising poster on the property. Those who take note of the sign are most likely familiar with the neighborhood. They may already live there but are in need of a different home, be thinking of moving there, or know someone who would like to live there. Make sure the sign is large enough to be read from the street. You can pick up ready-made signs at hardware or home-improvement centers. Include a phone number so interested parties can call for more information. Consider adding a brochure box to hold flyers offering more details about the home on the spot.
Use an agency. If the time you have to market the property is very limited, or if the property is not located where you live, contracting with a local realtor might be the way to go. The cost is higher than other forms of advertising, but the multiple-listing exposure and level of service provided is worth it. An agent will take on the duties of responding to inquiries, scheduling appointments, and showing the home.
Take it to the ‘net. A large majority of prospective tenants regularly peruse online listings of homes for rent. Craigslist is probably the most widely recognized resource, but don’t stop there. Get more eyeballs on your rental listing by cross-posting it on one or more rental management sites like Zillow, Hotpads, Trulia, Rent, ApartmentGuide, and Realtor.
When writing an online post, create a headline that gives basic information on number of bedrooms and baths, but also entices readers by mentioning a desirable characteristic of the home or location. In the body of the ad, describe the home and its location in detail. Mention schools and lifestyle amenities like nearby shopping centers, community centers, medical facilities, and gyms. Include as many photos as the site allows and be sure they are clear, and positioned correctly – not upside down or sideways. Select the option to pinpoint your location on a map to help would-be tenants easily find the home.
Use social media. Post a link to your Craigslist ad on your own social media profiles. Facebook offers a function called Marketplace where users advertise a large variety of items for sale and spaces for rent. Use the search function to discover a local yard sale page or home rental page in your area. These locally managed pages often have thousands of members. Create a post or, if allowed, add a link to your Craigslist ad. Videos are extremely hot right now on Facebook. Tip: Try incorporating a video walk-through of your rental on your social media pages. You can record and upload right from your smartphone.
Go old school. Print up promotional flyers and tack them to bulletin boards in grocery stores, coffee shops and community centers. Make the flyers easy to read and include tear-offs with the home’s address and your phone number.
Be responsive. When someone responds to your ad, set up an appointment to see the home at a time most convenient for him or her. Arrive before the appointed time to ensure the home is in tip-top shape. Make the process as easy as possible for the renter. Make yourself available for follow-up, and answer all questions promptly.
Dani Beit-Or is an experienced real estate investor and coach who since 2002 has been taking an active role in the field and been involved in over thousands of real estate investing transactions in the US. Since that time, he has worked with over 5500 investors on their individual real estate strategies helping them to become confident and profitable investors. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, Dani has developed a series of online seminars, classes and videos so that everyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge in real estate investing can benefit from his expertise.