You may have purchased a rental property, but it doesn’t officially become an income property until it starts generating an actual income. To get that income, you’re going to need tenants, and to get those tenants, you’re going to need to advertise.
Easier said than done, (of course) but it starts with what kind of tenant you’re looking for and how well you’re able to get inside their head – as in, how well you know what they’re looking for. Here are five ways to create an eye-catching advertisement for your newly listed rental property.
1. What makes a good rental property advertisement?
Great ads have a target tenant in mind. Just like any good marketing, you must ask yourself, “who are you marketing to?”
Figure out the pain points the renter would like to avoid in a home, as well as what they actually would like from a home. Figure out what your property has that can entice your ideal tenant and highlight those qualities in the ad itself.
If your ideal tenant is a family with young children, highlight those things about your property or surrounding area that would be instantly appealing to that demographic.
From there, think about what separates your property from the other rentals currently listed. Check out previous reviews of your property that tenants have left and figure out what differentiates you from your competition.
Highlight those differences in your ad, keeping your ideal renter in mind, and make sure to avoid using the same adjectives that can be seen in the ads of your competition. There are enough ads boasting a property that’s “too good to pass up” that “will not last.”
Great rental advertisements are short, to the point and highlight the best features and lifestyle benefits of living in your property, while still conveying all the required information like dimensions and square-footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, fees, and monthly rental cost.
2. Why is it important to have catchy advertisements?
In a world where people are inundated with information 24/7 – and not only real estate listings – fighting for their attention, your rental ad needs to stand out.
It needs to make people stop in their tracks and take notice. It needs to be sticky and keep people engaged for just a little longer than everything else they’ve seen and read that day.
Without a catchy ad, you’re just another advertisement in a sea of others, which means all your effort will be bypassed without a second thought and it’ll be difficult to catch the eye of the renter you want.
Filling your apartment will be a struggle and if your ad looks like everything else, you give the impression your rental property is nothing special and not worth a prospective tenant’s consideration.
In a world where literally everything is fighting for our attention, your ad at least has to be one of them
3. How is an eye-catching rental property ad structured?
- Headline: a catchy attention grabbing summary of your apartment in one sentence or less.
- Unit Specifics: list square-footage, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Use a number of specific descriptors highlighting what’s unique about your property, but avoid general adjectives that can be open to a renter’s interpretation.
- Unit Features and In-Unit Amenities: here’s where you highlight your property’s best features and the amenities available to your unit. These can be things like storage, a backyard, stainless-steel appliances, hardwood floors, etc.
- Utilities: mention your policy around payment of utilities. This means whether utilities are included or not and which ones are included and which ones are not.
- Location: mention where you’re located, nearest intersection and nearby amenities like parks, schools, buses, trains, subways, and more.
- Rent, Security Deposit and Lease Duration: mention monthly rent, security deposit, application fees or state Homeowners Association Fees for common-area maintenance and more. Be very straightforward here.
- Pet policy and other restrictions: mention your pet policy and other restrictions such as noise, smoking and parking availability and accommodations. It’s important to be very clear here.
- Next Steps and Call-To-Action: remind prospective renters the next steps to apply for the unit and what other steps they’ll need to complete, such as a background check.
4. How to write an effective rental ad?
1. Write an eye-catching headline
Your headline should have the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the location. Then, you need to highlight one or two features aimed at a particular renter.
$2891 – Spacious 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment next to dog park in Thousand Oaks, California
2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment steps from Guilford Elementary and Rearview High School in Plainview, Ohio
$2,000 – Fully-furnished bachelor apartment with hardwood floors near University
The above headlines are specific, straight to the point and do not exaggerate – which is how you want to write them.
2. Have Beautiful Photos and a Video Showing Everything
A rental ad lives and dies by its video and photography – especially in the age of Instagram and Tik Tok.
It’s easier to take photos once your tenant has left, but empty spaces are less inviting. So, invest in staging your property with unique furniture that prospective tenants can picture themselves in.
Most cellphones have the capability to take great photos, but use natural lighting wherever you can to make rooms look bigger.
Make sure your photos are clear and that neither the flash nor the photographer can be seen reflected in any shiny surfaces. Make sure to take enough photos and that they’re all taken at the correct orientation and not accidentally rotated.
Things should be organized and clean, not ugly and chaotic. Make all small repairs or renovations before taking pictures; repair screen doors, give the home a fresh coat of pain, and give the space a good cleaning before taking photos or video.
If you’re taking a video, keep it at 30 seconds or less and try to tell a story with it. Don’t be afraid to hire actors to pose as your ideal renter and film them using the space in ways your ideal renters would.
3. Offer Extras or a Discount
Something that will get people to stop and look at your ad is when you offer them a break or throw in something extra if they’re willing to rent your place.
Some landlords offer a discount on rent or a gift card when the winning tenant moves in, just to compete with other offers.
It’s an effective strategy, but make sure you can afford to do it. Plus, always set it up as the bonus, not the standard.
4. Figure Out Your Value Proposition
Figure out what makes your property unique and highlight those features. There are some popular amenities that the majority of renters want, so get those in your property if you don’t already have them.
Some of the most coveted features include high-speed internet, ensuite laundry, underground and above ground parking, a storage unit that comes with the unit, a great neighborhood, the ability to have a pet, and the ability to pay rent online.
These are features that the majority of prospective tenants want and are willing to pay more for, so your investment in them could translate to more renters and more profit.
5. Include a Virtual Tour
41% of millennials want a 3D or live virtual tour on the rental listings they look at. It helps you stand out from other ads and gives prospective tenants a great and detailed impression of the floor plan.
Zillow offers the ability to make 3D tours using your mobile phone. Also 360 cameras can be rented and many real estate offices already have them.
You can also film a tour yourself, using modern video techniques such as voiceover and aerial photography. Putting a little extra in your listings can really help your property get rented fast for top dollar.
A good rental listing includes great photos or video, a catchy headline, the basics of the property, unique features and in-suite amenities along with clear and concise policies on rent, fees, and damage deposits.
It also includes your definitive policy on things like pets and smoking, as well as a call-to-action and an idea of what the next steps are to complete a prospective tenant’s rental application.
Advertise your property on social media, MLS and rental listing websites such as Zillow, Rental.com, Apartment.com and more. Don’t be afraid to tell your network, including previous tenants, that you’re looking to rent out the space. If you want to generate buzz, get your property featured on real estate news websites for some free or paid cheap publicity.
To attract your ideal tenant, decide who they are and accentuate the parts of your property that would be appealing to them or solve their pain points. You can also attract tenants with an affordable price and some in-demand amenities such as high speed internet or underground parking. Opening your place to pets also increases your prospective renter pool.