Our last post discussed photographing a rental property so the next logical step in the series is where to post the ads with your fantastic photos! There are a couple of “ad giants” that are a must when advertising rentals. Truila.com and Zillow.com are key components in renting out your property. These websites are free to post and they drive a lot of traffic to your property. There are some paid rental sites that may be worth the investment also. Rentals.com and their family of sites is a great place to get more interest in your property. There are also rental hubs where a property can be posted once and it will be syndicated to numerous sites with one click. Many management software companies include this feature in the software but individual home owners can get similar experiences without the need for a complete management program.
As important as the places you post your ad is the content included in your ad. Make sure you address your pet policy, move in date, lease terms, address of the property and any other pertinent information about the home. Be careful to avoid terms that could be construed as fair housing violations!!!!! I suggest a clear list of qualifications that each prospective can review prior to viewing or applying for the home. If you are a property manager you will want this on your website. If you are an individual home owner you could save it as a PDF to email or read through with prospective tenants or you could include it in the body of the ad. I cannot stress enough the importance of applying your criteria equally to anybody who is interested in your home! Be familiar with protected classes and draft your qualifications to be in compliance.
Be sure to keep your ads accurate to the property. Avoid terms that could potentially turn away tenants but be sure to include enough information that they can easily get a feel for the home to decide if they want to progress to a showing. The goal for the ads are to help attract the quality tenants you are looking for while avoiding the folks who aren’t qualified. When creating the verbiage of the ad be sure to include things like a written walk through of the property. Example “The main level includes a master bedroom with 5 piece bath, an upgraded kitchen with stainless appliances and a formal dining room”. Pictures are worth a thousand words but sometimes the photos can be difficult to decipher which room is being photographed and on which level the room is located. If you have the ability to change the title of the photos be sure to make sure it coincides with the correct rooms. Sometimes you can change the file name of the photos to the correct rooms and when the photo is uploaded the file name will reflect the room info.
Once you have posted the ads you will need to make sure you have methods of receiving inquiries from quality tenants. The more methods you have the better but you have to make sure to monitor these closely to prospective tenants are responded to quickly and effectively. Usually a phone number, an email address, text messaging are minimums. Some folks also include Skype information, Instant messaging, or other forms of digital communication.
Next week we will touch on showing your property to prospective tenants! Thanks for reading and please check back often!