Landlord Best Practices - Generate as many leads as possible for your rental with these pointers.
Ahh marketing. It’s an art and a science, but very important for any business (including your rental). Vacancy is a landlord’s enemy and the best way to protect yourself from vacancy is to generate lots of interest in your property when it’s available to rent. Fortunately for independent landlords, there are several simple and inexpensive things you can do to make your property attractive and generate leads.
Here are some pointers we’ve gleaned from our experience as landlords and working with landlords:
1. Put a “For Rent” sign in front of your property
This may seem elementary but it’s a very effective way to get the word out. Folks in the neighborhood see that the property is for rent and tell people they know who are looking for a rental to check it out. Who wouldn’t want to live down the street from their friends? For people who are out touring other rentals in the neighborhood, the For Rent sign is like an enormous neon billboard - they’ll want to learn more even if the property wasn’t on their radar.
2. Take good photos of the property
Most prospective renters start their search on the web via the Zillows, Craigslists, and Apartments.com’s of the world. If the photos aren’t reasonably professional, it’s a turnoff. Take some good shots of the kitchen, exterior, and any desirable features of the house. Have a great backyard with a hot tub and fire pit? Showcase it! Make sure the lighting is good, the rooms are clean and there are no people in the shots (you’d be surprised). An iPhone camera works wonders with some good light and a creative eye.
3. Write a good description of the property
Similar to having good photos on the listing sites, a well-written description can make a big difference. If the description is littered with typos and you don’t put off a positive vibe, this too is a potential turnoff. Not to say you won’t find renters, but you can only make one first impression and if the landlord seems cold and uninviting, good tenants may shy away. The first couple of sentences are key and can set the proverbial hook. Highlight the best parts of your property: great view, updated kitchen, family-friendly street, off-street parking, etc. Make sure all elements of your property that are attractive are listed - you never know which is a must-have for great tenants. Real estate agents write great descriptions when they are selling a property, you can use these as inspiration.
4. Do a little landscaping
Again, you only make one first impression. The first thing prospective renters see when they visit your property is the landscaping. If it’s well-maintained and cared for, they’ll assume the rest of the property will follow. Good-looking landscaping will also help with your exterior photos. We’re not saying you should spend a bunch of money to professionally landscape the yard, but a little elbow grease will go a long way. Weeding, mowing, trimming the hedges, and edging can make that first impression a great one.
5. Post on social media
This one’s pretty straightforward. A simple post saying you have a place for rent can get the word out to your friends and family, who can tell their friends and family. Similar to the For Rent sign, it always helps to have a little word-of-mouth going. One or two photos of the property will help but you don’t need to go full Zillow listing here (although a link to the listing is a good idea).
Once you’ve found the tenants of your dreams there are several resources available to independent landlords for screening tenants, putting together a lease, collecting rent, etc. And of course, once you have tenants in the property, RentalRiff is happy to take care of the maintenance and support. Happy marketing!