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Marketing Your Rental Property

October 3, 2022

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How To Market Your Rental Property

In a competitive market, your property is up against at least a hundred other properties at any given time. 

Demand for rental properties is only increasing. To succeed in such a market, you need engaging listings and an air-tight marketing strategy. 

So, what is the best way to market a rental property in 2022? 

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to advertise your properties online, from listing sites and social media to property management software. A well-written listing on an efficient rental advertising site will likely draw attention to your properties and help you overcome your competition. 

Here’s how to market your new rental property effectively in 2022. 

Components of a Listing 

What makes a great listing? The best listings are more than just eye-catching—they’re also specific and accurate. Here are the three components of a listing and tips for mastering each one.  

Headline 

Your listing’s headline should be one line containing all the key information about your property. It should be attention-grabbing but concise. Your headline should give a renter all the information they need to decide whether your property is worth looking into. 

Your headline should include the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of building, the neighborhood, and the property’s best feature. 

The first two elements—price and number of beds/baths—come first because they are often the deciding factors for renters. Plus, providing this information up front saves you time. You only want renters who can afford your rates anyway. 

Avoid using caps or exclamation marks in your headline. Both make your listing look like a scam, which means renters are likely to ignore it. 

Here’s an example of a headline using the formula above:  

$1,200 2 Bed/1 Bath Apartment in Downtown Cleveland with Scenic Skyline View 

Photographs 

According to the National Association of Renters, photographs are the deciding factor when it comes to choosing properties to view for over 85% of renters. Because photos are so impactful, it’s crucial to make them as high-quality as possible. 

Here are some tips for taking the perfect property photos: 

  • Use a decent camera and a tripod. Expensive equipment isn’t necessary—many smartphones can take great photos just as well. 
  • Wait for ideal natural lighting. Your renters will see the property in natural lighting when they visit, so there’s no need for a professional lighting setup. 
  • Upload high-qualify files. Display your beautiful photos in the highest quality possible. 
  • Highlight important rooms. Be sure to show important rooms like the kitchen and bedrooms first, then move on to other living spaces. 
  • Include floor plans. A floor plan is essential to any listing. Renters will use this to visualize the space and decide whether it suits their needs. 

In the end, your photos should be flattering but authentic representations of your property.  

Another option is to include or embed virtual tours. For example, you could record a live video tour of the property or post the link to a 3D or 360-degree tour. However, these elements should be in addition to your photographs, not a replacement. Still, photos are a fundamental part of any listing. 

Description 

The description component of a listing allows you to provide all the property details not included in the headline. This is your chance to answer any questions a potential renter might ask before requesting to attend a showing. 

Every listing description should include: 

  • Amenities – What amenities are included with the rental property? Be sure to address laundry facilities, gyms, outdoor spaces, pet amenities, lounges, package lockers, or any other amenities you offer.  
  • Specifications – Specify the unit’s condition, layout, exact dimensions and measurements, an itemized room list, and a list of utilities in the rent. 
  • Pet Policy – Most pet owners refuse to compromise when it comes to their furry friends. Mention your pet policy up front, and include details about down payments, pet rent, or pet fees.  
  • Exact Location – State where your property is located so renters can find it on a map. 
  • Lease Terms – If there are any other important lease terms, include them in your description. For example, state the lease structure (month-to-month, yearly, etc.) and security deposit policies.  
  • Your contact information – End with your name, phone number, and email so interested renters can contact you. 

Like headlines, listing descriptions should be as direct and concise as possible. Use bulleted lists to break up chunky paragraphs and use exact numbers instead of estimates, especially for square footage and prices/fees. Add rich adjectives to describe your property and proofread for grammar and punctuation before you post. Finally, try to express the value and emotions associated with the benefits of your property. 

Best Places to List Your Properties 

Now that you’ve written the perfect listing, where should you post it? Knowing where to market a rental property is a critical skill. Many sites offer listing opportunities for residential and commercial properties. You can also use social media to capture an audience for your rental listings. Either of these options can help you reach thousands of renters across the internet. 

Advertising may be free or paid, depending on the site. Many listing sites also offer syndication services, which we will discuss later. 

Here are the best places to list your properties. 

Listing Sites 

Rental property listing sites receive high traffic, making them great places to market your properties. Listing rental property for free is an option on many. Here are a few popular listing sites: 

  • Zillow Rental Manager — Listing on Zillow is simple for landlords. The site receives over a million renters every day and syndicates with Trulia and HotPads.com. However, Zillow does charge $9.99 per listing each week.  
  • Apartments.com – As the number one rental site in the US, Apartments.com attracts more than 35 million renters each month. They offer free listings for any property type and syndicate with eight other sites in their network. 
  • Craigslist – Craigslist is one of the top sites for advertising rental properties because it allows landlords to post listings for free. However, it doesn’t offer further syndication. 
  • Zumper – Zumper is another popular platform. Listings are free of charge and may be syndicated with PadMapper, Walkscore, and Facebook Marketplace. 
  • Airbnb – If you rent short-term or vacation rentals, Airbnb is one of the best sites to list them. Its growing popularity means your listings will receive thousands of views, and posting is free. However, the site doesn’t offer any further syndication. 
  • Trulia – Trulia is best known for its mobile app. The site offers property listings to rent and buy. Its features include a visual breakdown of monthly costs as well as neighborhood crime mapping. 

Social Media 

Social media is another place your listings can build traction with renters. The best social networking site to advertise your properties is Facebook Marketplace, which offers property listing opportunities for free.  

Other social media platforms might not have the infrastructure for listings, but they can still be part of your marketing strategy. If you want to use social media to draw attention to your properties, try creating video tours, walk-throughs, infographics, or other content. Post your content on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or Tik Tok to engage renters and draw them toward your properties with links to your listings or landing page.  

Paid Advertising 

If you find that free listings aren’t getting the job done, paid advertising is also an option.  

Paid ads are more efficient than organic ones and can attract a large volume of internet traffic. For a minimal fee, your listings can be prioritized among hundreds of others on a listing site. Paid ads usually appear first, before any other listings, and remain prominent on a site for a certain duration. They also tend to be closely integrated with the platform or site they are posted on and can therefore be used to target a particular audience at a precise time. 

Zillow Rental Manager, Apartments.com, and Facebook Marketplace all offer paid ads. Pricing options range from flat fees per day or week to a pay-per-click (PPC) structure where you pay a certain rate each time a user clicks on your ad. 

Traditional Marketing 

Traditional ways to market your rental include newspaper ads, printed flyers, and yard signs. But, for the most part, these methods won’t be as effective since most renters today shop for rentals online. 

However, paper methods may work well for densely populated areas with a high volume of renters year after year, such as college campuses. Posted in the right high-traffic locations, flyers with a QR code to your website could generate plenty of new leads. 

Otherwise, we recommend skipping paper methods. The costs to create, print, and place physical ads probably won’t generate a substantial return for your business. 

Listing Syndication 

Listing syndication is a valuable digital tool for landlords. It allows you to post one listing to multiple sites simultaneously, therefore reaching renters across various sites more efficiently. Syndication is a great asset to your property management marketing campaign. 

Several listing sites offer this feature, including Zillow, Apartments.com, and Zumper. You can also find listing syndication as a secondary feature on most property management software platforms, including Innago, Buildium, Appfolio, Avail, and others. 

Conclusion 

After pouring your time and hard-earned resources into a property, you’re finally ready to connect with renters. A strong marketing strategy will kickstart your goal of generating passive income and achieving financial freedom as a new landlord. By following the above tips for creating a listing and posting it online, you’re bound to effectively market your rentals and find the perfect tenant for your rental.

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