As a property manager, you function as a matchmaker. Your rental ads showcase your properties to bring interested tenants into your business. When you're developing rental advertisements, how can you make sure that you hit the mark and draw in those who are the right fit for a property?
Know Your Audience
Every listing is different, so is every family. When you're developing rental ads, you need to speak to your audience. Develop an extensive list of amenities and talk about them. Your property isn't just on Birch Street, it's in a neighborhood with outstanding schools and lots of green space, or it's on the downtown fridge with exceptional access to transportation and cultural opportunities. Use language that speaks directly to your audience's needs. For example, if your property has a larger than the average number of bedrooms, don't just list the number, play to a larger family by emphasizing the spaciousness of the home. As you look at each property, consider who would be the best fit for that property and market it to them.
According to About.com for Landlords, you can also use your listings to screen out certain individuals. For example, "you will want to make it clear if you will be running any sort of background check on prospective tenants such as a credit check or a criminal check." This will deter those with a history of nonpayment or criminal activity.
Update Your Listings
Keep your property listings up to date and edit them over time to suit your audience, especially if you find that your initial rental advertisement is not hitting the mark. How can you tell if your ad is not working? According to RenVyou, "if lots of people are viewing the property but not completing an application that can mean the property doesn't show well, is overpriced for what it is, or that you're marketing to the wrong people." This is a sign that you need to change your marketing.
If the rental rate changes or you discover a new aspect of the neighborhood, your prospective tenants want to know. Use easy posting tools to update your information, adding maps, photos, and additional property information that will invite your tenants in.
Show Off the Property
Photos are a high impact way to show off a property to prospective tenants. Take well-lit, color photos to show the property at its best. When you post a rental ad, look for rental postings that allow you to highlight the property's features using photos. Keep ongoing files about a property so that you have photos on hand for every season, so you can show off a property in the winter, spring, summer, or fall, and ensure that all the important features are visible. For your main image, choose a photo that speaks directly to your target audience. If your property's best feature is its large garden, make sure that's a main element in the photo.
Target Rental Ads to Each Listing Service
Every listing service has its quirks. Some demand many photos, while others are more text-based. Some want to know additional information about the neighborhood and have room for a paragraph or two about the property, while others ask for only the vital statistics. Make sure that you have all of the information that tenants will need, including the monthly rent, utility costs, security deposit, date available, and the length of the lease. Use a listing update tool to create and update your listings over time.
Provide additional SEO-friendly information on your own website to flesh out those more minimalist site listings. According to the NOLO blog, smaller companies may find that "it makes better sense to market their rentals through word-of-mouth - telling friends, colleagues, neighbors, and current tenants." This means that it's important to have a strong business website as well as strong listings.
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