How to market your rental property

Finding renters can be a daunting process. We share some tips on how to present the property well, identifying your target market, and advertising in the right place.

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Have you had no luck finding a tenant for your property yet? That’s okay! With a little polishing up of your skills as a landlord or property manager, you will be able to market any property of yours. Follow these tips to get your property quickly rented. The longer it takes to find a tenant, the more it impacts your cash flow. In this article, we’ll cover 3 key steps to market your rental property.

1) The condition

To rent out your property, you first need to make sure it is not just presentable, but catches the eye at first glance.

Clean up

First things first – scrub the space till it is squeaky-clean. Don’t decorate and furnish the area till your floors, mirrors and walls are spotless. If you are not hiring professional cleaners to deep clean the space between the tenants, we have some cleaning tips for you in this section. Otherwise, head to section 2 below. Scrubbing the entire space clean can seem like a dreadful task, especially during the summer when it is hot and all you want to do is lay on a towel on the beach and sip a cold drink. We have compiled a list of hacks for you to use to get your rental property looking new in no time!

Use vinegar

Here’s a fact about vinegar you might not know; it can wipe off bacteria and viruses from any surface you use it on! That is why it makes for such a great disinfectant. Plus, it is convenient to buy and easy to find. Check your local mall or superstore – it’s commonly sold everywhere. Vinegar is very acidic, which is what makes it such a good cleaner. It can be used for many things from wiping off the glue that some stickers leave behind, to the large red wine stain in the center of your white carpet.

For best results, use white vinegar. However, white vinegar is very acidic, so if you are looking for a milder cleaning solution, dilute it with some water and apply it to whatever surface you are looking to clean. Be cautious when you are cleaning a marble or granite surface in the property, though. Using vinegar on it can etch the surface.

Scrub with baking soda

If you are fond of baking cookies, brownies and other delicious treats, you may already be familiar with baking soda. However, what you may not know is that baking soda is great for removing those pesky stains on your plastic food containers or the beautiful and once spotless kitchen counters.

For small stains use about 2 teaspoons of baking soda and mix with water. Soak a sponge and scrub any surface you need to clean. For more stubborn stains, 4 teaspoons of baking soda should do the trick. Baking soda can get just about anything clean – from plastic to stainless steel, to walls. Here is another great trick to freshen up the space before you put it up for rent: suppose you have walls covered with crayons markings or dirt. Instead of investing in fresh paint, and perhaps hiring someone to repaint your walls, scrub off the marks with some baking soda, lukewarm water, and a sponge.

Disinfect using hydrogen peroxide

Before you put your house up for rent, you want to make sure there is no fungi, mold, or bacteria hiding in between the floorboards, basement walls, or light switches. Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to disinfect your house and make sure you get rid of all those pesky houseguests. It can usually be found easily at any drugstore. Hydrogen peroxide can be sprayed on top of kitchen counters, garbage cans, and any glass surface, including mirrors. If your rental property has an indoor or outdoor pond, you can use this chemical to treat the water to get rid of algae.

Paint

Paint is the single largest marketing decision you can make. It quickly changes how the property looks and feels. It immediately spruces up the place. Read our recommendations on paint colors and finishes for rental property.

Use any of these hacks to clean up the space to affect a massive change. The area will look bigger and more spacious. Potential tenants are likely to be more attracted to a cleaner, brighter-looking space, and you may even be able to charge a higher rent.

2) List your house

Once your house is clean and ready to be rented out, make it known. You want as many people as possible to know you are renting out the property. Even if some of these people are not currently looking for a place to rent, they may know someone interested.

Use your social capital

Tell your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors that your property is ready to be rented out. Even if they already have a place to live in, chances are they know someone who is house hunting. Another thing you can do is ask these people to spread the word. Your friends can tell their friends, and their friends can tell their friends. You can also ask the previous tenants to refer your property to the people they know. This can only work if you have a good relationship with your tenants. This is suited for many countries where the social network within the neighborhood is strong.

Do it the old fashioned way

Advertise in newspapers. Many people still read newspapers, so you would be reaching a fair amount of potential tenants. However, this does have a downside. If your target market is the younger age group, you may be out of luck with this one. Many youngsters nowadays search up online for rental property, as opposed to checking the newspapers daily. However, this is a great way to list your property if you are targeting elderly couples. Most elderly people are not so familiar with technology, and would much rather prefer to check the newspapers.

You can also print out flyers and distribute them around town. You can stick them on lampposts or ask cafes and shops to put them up on their windows or notice boards. However, this method limits the exposure your rental property gets.

Put a sign

In many parts of the US and the world, the best way to market your property still is to place a board in front of the property. Put a ‘For Rent’ sign with your phone number on it. People who drive by know where the property is and what number to call. In larger towns, this works well for Class C properties.

Use the Internet

The Internet has come a long way. It is now easier than ever to list your rental property online on certain websites. An advantage of listing your property online is that many people go through these websites. They can narrow down their search by zip code and by street. Therefore, you have a higher chance of being noticed online, as opposed to if you are only putting up flyers around town. These websites are especially popular because they update in real-time, meaning prospective tenants will only see rental options that are still up for rent. Below is a list of the most popular sites for listing rental property:

  1. Craigslist – This website gets about 50 million views per day, so just imagine the exposure your property will get
  2. Zillow – This website has partnered up with 26 other sites, and advertises your property there too
  3. Oodle – You can link your property listing from this website directly to your Facebook and Twitter, and it allows you to add many details about your property
  4. Apartable – List your property here only if it is located in New York or San Francisco. This narrows down the search and targets only people who will specifically be interested in the community or area your house is located in
  5. Rentals.com –This website focuses on single-family rentals, so if your target market is a single-family, this is the website for you
  6. Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway – List your property here if you are looking to find a short-term tenant
  7. Facebook – List your property here to get maximum exposure, as it further lists your property on Oodle, and also allows you to add 360-degree photos
  8. Zumper – The primary target audience is women in their late 20s. You have to rent the space within 24 hours when a match is found

Know your target market

When you tell people your house is ready to be rented out, you need to market the community as much as the house itself. This means that you should understand your target market well. Suppose your property is right next to a Frat house – chances are an elderly couple looking to move into a nice house just like yours will turn you away, simply because of the noise and commotion that comes along with living next to a Frat house. Thus, advertising your property online to a younger crowd may be a smarter idea than in the newspapers. Once you decide what your target market is, it will be a whole lot easier deciding where to advertise your property.

3) Attract potential tenants

Now that you have scrubbed your property clean and have decided where to advertise it, you need to figure out a way to attract tenants to your property. This can be done in a couple of ways.

Decide on pets and smoking

House searches can be filtered based on whether the property allows pets and smoking. Decide on whether you will allow these in your property. By listing this upfront, you can reduce the calls you get and focus on better-qualified candidates.

A good description

If you are advertising in the newspapers or on a flyer, chances are you will not have a lot of space to describe the property. However, this does not mean you can’t describe it well! Think of it as tweeting. Keep it concise and mention the best aspects of the house. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, square footage, and price are critical elements.

One way to write a good description is to list down all the positives about the house and then choose the best few. Make sure you are choosing those that suit your target market the best. For example, if you are targeting young to middle-aged couples, mention the top tier school located just a block away, for their children to attend. Try making a list of the positives even in the actual advertisement. This will catch the attention of any potential tenant, and they will be able to read through the positives quickly.

Walkability is an important aspect for many renters. List the access to restaurants, cinema, grocery, etc. Also, list which highways, freeways, expressways, major roads, etc., are easily accessible from your rental property. People like to rent near their area of employment. List the employers near your property. For instance, if your rental property is close to the Google and Microsoft campus, mention that in the ad.

If you are advertising online, you can write down a longer description. Make sure it is easy to read and simple. Make sure it is detailed, but not too long. If it is too long, people may not read through it all. Mention the neighborhood, any exciting buildings that are nearby, and most importantly, list the rent price. Listing the price means only potential tenants who are serious about renting the property will message you.

High-quality pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words! If you are pasting flyers around town or advertising in the newspaper, make sure it contains a few pictures of the property. These pictures should be printed in color, and of a good size. The size should be enough for prospective tenants to see the area clearly, yet not take up too much space.

Advertising online on websites means you will be able to provide many more photos of the area. You should maximize this opportunity. The more the better! A good photographer showcases your house in the best light. Once you get these photos take once, you can reuse them for future rental advertisements too. Here are a few tips on taking the best pictures for DIY:

  • Many new smartphones are capable of taking good photos
  • Invest in a good digital camera. Avoid using your old phone camera, as that will result in low-resolution pictures. High-quality pictures will look much more professional and attract more prospective tenants
  • Take advantage of natural lighting. Using flash may reduce the impact of your pictures. Make sure that the lighting comes from behind the camera – otherwise, the pictures can be dark. You can even touch up the photos if required. This means you can add a lightening filter to make it all look better
  • Find the right angles. Experiment with a couple of angles and find the best one. For example, a certain angle may make your room look smaller, whilst a second angle may enlarge it

Make sure you know your target audience before you market your rental property. If you don’t, you will just be wasting your own time and resources advertising it to the wrong people. No matter where your property is located, if you follow these simple steps, you will be able to successfully market any rental property!

Screening tenants and finding an ideal tenant can be a challenging process. Check the renters’ background, credit score, talk to references, and meet people. HomeKasa makes it easy to manage all your properties from one place. You can collect rent, communicate with tenants, manage expenses, see profit and loss reports, and more – all from one place. It’s free, get started now.

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