Real Estate Marketing

Use Audience Targeting to Fill Your Rentals

March 9, 2021

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How To Use Audience Targeting To Fill Vacancies?

Audience targeting is a marketing strategy in which a marketing team pinpoints segments of their customer base to advertise a given product or service to. They choose to market to the segment whose demographics most value the features their product offers. This strategy is not specific to rental marketing, but it can be a successful approach for landlords trying to fill their rental units. 

By focusing your marketing efforts on a target audience, you waste less time and resources on fruitless avenues. What’s more, when you consolidate your marketing plan to only reach certain renters, you’re less likely to receive applications from unqualified renters. Of course, the other side of that coin is that you receive more applications from your ideal renters. 

There are plenty more benefits of audience targeting, but you get the picture. Below, we discuss the components of audience targeting and how it works for rental property marketing. 

Components of Audience Targeting 

Audience targeting for rental marketing can work one of two ways. You can either layout your ideal (but realistic) renter and then play up the features of your property that will most appeal to them, or you can start with the features of your property and then advertise them to the renters who will most value them. The first way takes a little more marketing gymnastics, but both approaches can work. 

Regardless of your game plan, audience targeting consists of two main components: identifying your target audience and identifying your target audience desires. Below, we break down both components and explain how they work into the process of marketing to your target audience. 

Identifying Target Audience 

As we’ve just mentioned, your target audience can be determined in two different ways. First, you can essentially build your ideal renter. This can be based on who you think will be most qualified to rent your property, who you think will be most interested in renting the property, and/or who you’ve had the best experience renting with in the past. 

The other way you can determine your target audience is by working backwards. If your property is in a niche location or offers unique amenities, it may be easier to advertise to who you think would most want those features in a rental. 

Either way, there are three primary categories that will help solidify your conceptualized target audience. 


Figuring out the age of your target audience is low-hanging fruit. It’s relatively easy to determine whether you’re looking for college-aged renters, young families, middle-aged tenants, or retired renters. This information will be crucial when determining your marketing methods. 


Again, determining the ideal income of your target audience is pretty easy. It’s recommended that rent be no more than 30% of a renter’s gross income. So if your rent costs $1,000 a month, which is $12,000 a year, your tenants should make no less than $40,000 a year. It’s basic math. 


This is where things get a bit trickier. If you’re building your ideal renter, it’s important not to let your own biases cloud your judgement when it comes to the demographics of a renter. The last thing you want is a fair housing claim down the line. 

That being said, there are some demographics that are easier to outline. If your property is close to a synagogue, for example, you may choose to focus on Jewish renters. Or if your property has a large outdoor area, you may choose to advertise to renters with pets. Your goal is to determine the demographics of renters who will be most interested in your property. 

Identifying Target Audience Desires 

Once you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, it’s time to identify what exactly they’re looking for in a rental property. You will highlight these features when marketing your rental. 

Note: If you choose the approach that works backwards, you would do this step first. Start by assessing what amenities your property offers and what’s special about your property’s location, then determine who your target audience is based on who desires the features of your property. 

Preferred Amenities 

What amenities does your target audience prefer? Based on the age, income, and demographics of your target audience, you should be able to determine how many beds and baths they might want, whether or not they require outdoor space, and if an updated kitchen is something they’ll value. It won’t be the same for everyone in your target audience, but you should have a pretty good idea of the amenities they desire. 


Location is a major deciding factor for many renters. College-aged students might want to be close to downtown, young families might want to live near a daycare or good school district, and so on. Again, it won’t be difficult to determine what your target audience is looking for in a property’s location, but this information will have a significant impact on how you market your rental. 

Marketing to Your Target Audience 

Now that you have a firm grasp on how to determine who your target audience is and what they desire in a rental property, let’s discuss how this will inform your marketing efforts. 

Be where Your Target Audience is 

First thing’s first, you need to be where your target audience is. There’s no point in putting in all this work to learn who your target audience is and what they want if your advertising doesn’t even make it to their eyeline. 

Based on the demographics of your target audience, you should know the places that your advertisements will reach them best. If one of your amenities is a state-of-the-art gym, try putting up advertisements near the gyms in your city. If your property is located near a college campus, use campus resources to reach local students. 

By putting in the extra effort to market in places that are specific to your target audience, you will increase your exposure among your ideal renters. Using nontraditional marketing approaches can also be beneficial because you’re able to reach renters via unexpected avenues. 

Advertise the Features Your Target Audience Prefers 

Figure out how to get your marketing materials in front of your target audience isn’t enough. You must also be sure to play up the features that matter most to them. Here, you want to turn the features of your property into qualitative benefits for renters. And because you’ve done so much research figuring out the features that your target audience cares about, you should be able to knock this out of the park. 


Filling units is the name of the game for landlords. Long periods of vacancy are a drain on time and resources. By targeting your ideal renters and making your rental listings more competitive, you will fill vacancies in less time and with higher quality renters. Audience targeting is a must for landlords. 

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