When marketing a home for rent it is important to make your home stand out. Potential renters will have a lot of choices, but there are some steps you can take to make your rental more attractive.
First you might wonder if it is really important to make your rental stand out. After all it’s just a rental right? Wrong, this mind set of “it doesn’t matter because it is a rental” will only cause you to lose out on higher rent prices and higher quality tenants. But if getting more return for your investment and overall having better tenants who stay longer is not important to you, then you may not want to continue reading. However, if you want higher quality tenants, lower vacancy costs and a higher value for your rental estate investment then taking these steps can really help out.
1. Do the work needed to make your home look and smell attractive. If you are showing your home to potential tenants and the place is dirty or there are lots of minor repairs not being done, then you are signaling to future tenants that keeping this property in good condition is not important. Make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds are pulled, the house is clean and repairs are done. Remember tenants are not expected to improve your property but they are expected to keep the condition similar to how you give it to them.
2. Take good marketing photos. This one is really a pet peeve of mine. Make sure you turn lights on, frame the photos so they are not crooked. Make sure the rooms are picked up and not cluttered if the home is occupied. It is also really important to have a great front photo. When you post the property on various sites potential tenants will see the front “thumbnail” and make their choice to click on your rental based on the thumbnail photo, price and bedroom/bathroom count. You cannot change the bedroom/bathroom count, at least not easily, and we don’t want to have to lower our price. So we want to focus on having an inviting and attractive photo of the front. It’s best to have sunny blue sky as opposed to a gray gloomy sky. If you live in an area like Washington State you may want to consider using a service to enhance the photos and change the sky if you cannot take it on a sunny day, or if your good at photo shop you can do that yourself. The point is to make sure your photos are inviting and making the home a place that people will want to come see.
3. Even when you have your house ready to go, and great photos to market it with you also need to make sure you are listing the home in a way to be seen by as many potential tenants as property. We for instance makes all of our rentals on over 30 different websites. Many of these sites have a large number of inquires that come in from our ads. This creates some logistical issues in fielding a large number of phone calls and emails inquires that a well run marketing campaign will, or should, cause. Make sure you have a system in place to be able to respond to potential applicants and schedule viewings in a quick manor. The more applicants you can generate for your rental the higher the odds that you can rent your home quickly to well qualified tenants.
Taking the time to get your rental in good shape, creating attractive marketing material and then being responsive and flexible on showings will pay off in lower vacancy and higher rents. It will also help ensure you are finding the right tenants for the home and getting the best return from your investment.