Where and How to Market Your Section 8 Rentals
July 5, 2023
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How To Advertise Section 8 Friendly Rentals
For most Section 8 landlords, marketing and advertising vacant units isn’t a major problem. Many cities have long waitlists of tenants seeking Section 8 assistance, which means there will always be renters interested in a property listed as Section 8 friendly.
However, some circumstances call for more directed marketing efforts. Maybe you’ve only recently become a Section 8 landlord and need to get the word about your properties out there.
In this case, you need some concrete strategies and ideas for marketing your rentals. In this article, we’ll cover a few ideas for where and how to list, advertise, and fill your Section 8 units.
Online Advertising and Listing Sites
The key to any advertising effort is to list your properties in as many places where your target renters are as possible. Here are a few ideas to get started:
The very first place you should start is your local public housing agency (PHA). Many PHAs already have a Section 8 landlord list which they maintain and provide to program participants who are seeking housing. It’s easy to call or contact your PHA and get your name and property address on this list, if there is one.
AffordableHousing.com is a hub for all kinds of web traffic related to affordable properties. Not only can you list your affordable housing online at this site, but you can also pre-screen tenants and build a waiting list of renters interested in your properties. If you’re willing to spend some money, you can also advertise your Section 8 rentals with Premium ads, but it’s unlikely this will be necessary.
If your properties are already listed on large online listing platforms like Zillow or Apartments.com, you can revise these listings to attract Section 8 tenants simply by adding that your units are “Section 8 friendly” in the description. Even better, you can use listing syndication via property management software like Innago to list your units on dozens of sites all at once, saving you valuable time and energy.
Reach Out to Local Affordable Housing Case Workers
Another idea to improve your marketing strategy is to reach out to local case workers in your area who work in social services or housing. These individuals know the affordable housing situation better than anyone and will likely be more than happy to pass along word about your rentals to families in different programs they encounter. When it comes to marketing, networking and building personal relationships is essential.
Make Flyers for the Social Services Office
Another idea is to make flyers for your properties and leave information about them with the social services office in your county and neighboring counties. Social service workers are among the first to know when a family is in need of affordable housing. If your state has kept their Section 8 list open, new families will be able to join the waitlist for housing vouchers and can then apply to rent your property when they receive one.
Connect with Local Government Authorities
The more people know about your availability the better, and that includes local officials and government authorities who will encounter your target renters more than you will. For instance, by leaving your information and/or flyers with the local police and fire departments, these officers can direct families in need of housing to your properties or provide them with your information. Additionally, if you’re a developer or interested in the project-based voucher program, getting to know local elected officials may help you make important connections needed to get your properties zoned correctly and established properly as affordable housing units.
Start a Preferred Employer Program
A preferred employer program can help you attract rental applicants by providing rent benefits and discounts to tenants who work for specific companies whom you’ve partnered with around the community. If you know any local employers who’d be willing to partner with you and refer your rental community, you can easily use this tactic to attract renters with good jobs at a company you trust.
Post on Community Boards
Don’t underestimate the power of local community boards to spread the word about your Section 8 properties. You can find these boards almost anywhere people gather around the community: coffee shops, restaurants, town halls, shopping plazas, libraries, gyms, recreational centers, churches, laundromats, community centers, convenience stores, and countless other places. Be sure to ask the staff at local businesses whether you can post a flyer on their bulletin board before doing so.
As mentioned, it is unlikely you’ll have real difficulty finding Section 8 tenants to fill your units simply due to the high volume of applicants on the waiting list for the program. However, hopefully these tips have given you some ideas as to how to strategize and make a good impression for your properties around the community and ultimately fill your units with quality Section 8 tenants.