When it comes to owning a rental property, knowing how to effectively market it is a critical step in the process of finding the most qualified tenants and maintaining a stable cash flow. 

By attracting a wide pool of prospective renters and getting your rental home seen by as many people as possible, we’re confident that you will greatly increase your chances of filling any vacancy you may be faced with quickly. 

But why is a solid marketing plan so important? Well, without it, you may not be able to generate enough interest in your rental property, making it harder to maximize your income. This will also make it less likely that you will find a high-quality tenant for your rental home. 

To help you get started, here is our step-by-step guide on how to effectively advertise your rental property!

Consider Your Demographic

First, you may want to consider what demographic of renters will naturally be attracted to your property. It can be useful to think about what demographic may find your property the most ideal. 

For example, is your property near a college? If so, you may want to consider posting your listing on rental sites that are often used by college students who are searching for housing. 

Group of five people sitting on an orange couch and talking

Additionally, since college-age renters are more likely to want to pay their rent online, consider offering them an online portal to make rent payments easy and convenient. Keep in mind, it goes against fair housing laws to include any discriminatory language in your listing. 

Pair Online Marketing with Traditional Methods

Before we talk about how to advertise your rental home online, let’s discuss the benefits of more traditional marketing techniques. 

While you may not think that traditional or offline marketing methods will be effective when advertising your rental property, this is not always the case. Investing time and energy into these methods can increase the amount of interest in the home and improve word-of-mouth marketing. 

This is incredibly valuable to any rental property owner who is looking to fill a vacancy quickly and efficiently.

The following are common ways to market your property traditionally:

  • Put a “For Rent” sign in front of the rental home or building. 
  • Post flyers on bulletin boards around the neighborhood. This is especially useful if your property is near a college, as many students are often searching for a rental home.
  • Place an ad in the local newspaper.

These methods are excellent ways to cover all your bases and increase interest in the property. For example, if your property is on a busy street, a “For Rent” sign may catch the eye of many people who either know someone looking for a new home to rent or are searching for themselves. 

Ultimately, it pays off to invest some time in marketing your property offline, as well as online!

Red “House For Rent” sign in front of a wooden house

Invest in High-Quality Photos of Your Property

High-quality photos are an incredibly valuable asset to have as a part of your online property listing. When a prospective tenant is searching for a new place to live, the first thing they will often look for is accurate and appealing photos of the home. 

By providing pictures, or even a walkthrough video, that present your property in the most desirable way possible, you are allowing prospective renters to be able to picture themselves living there, which is sure to generate more interest and fill your vacancies faster. 

But how do you take high-quality, stunning photos of your property that pull people in? You can still take good photos with a smartphone by paying attention to framing and lighting in a photo will often make all the difference between a mediocre picture and a stunning one. 

Make sure to clean your property ahead of time and make it look cozy and inviting. At the end of the day, your goal should be to make your rental home look its very best.

Create Your Listing

Once you reach this stage, you may be wondering what exactly to include in your rental property listing. The description of your property in a listing is arguably one of the most important parts of marketing your rental home, as it is the thing that will turn a prospective tenant who is simply browsing through ads into an interested applicant. 

Person sitting on a couch, holding a notebook and using their laptop

When writing the description of your property, try to highlight its most attention-grabbing and attractive features. Is your property located in a highly sought-after area or neighborhood? Is it close to tourist attractions? Highlight the location and what assets are near the property. 

Are there any amenities included with the property? If so, highlight them in the description! Be sure to mention things like in-unit laundry machines, garages, a spacious yard, or any additional aspect of the home that could be an enticing selling point for a prospective tenant. 

Focus on what makes your property unique, and explain why a prospective tenant should want to live in your rental home instead of any others that may be on the market.

If your description is boring or not memorable, then you will have trouble generating interest and prospective renters will move on from your listing and find something else. 

Include Some Pre-screening in Your Rental Ad to Save Time

One way to save yourself and your applicants some time and energy during the tenant screening process is to be upfront in your listing about your standards for a new occupant. Some tenants will simply not be a good fit for your property, and it’s important for all parties to be aware of that sooner rather than later. 

Two people sitting across from each other at a table having a conversation

For example, if you do not allow pets or only allow a specific kind or size of pet in your rental property, this should be specified in the description. This will help both you and your prospective applicants, as people who are pet owners that do not fit your criteria will be deterred from pursuing your rental home. 

The following are some additional things that you can mention in the description of your rental home that will give prospects a better idea of what tenants will be the best fit for the property:

  • Whether or not you have any rules or regulations regarding smoking.
  • If you have a rent-to-income ratio that you implement in your screening process.
  • Any lease terms that you believe are relevant (are your terms non-negotiable? Would you consider a month-to-month tenancy?).
  • If you require a background check to be done on each tenant before choosing them to occupy your property.

By including this information in your listing description, you can narrow down your applicants and increase the likelihood of finding a high-quality tenant who is just the right fit for your rental home. 

Set the Right Price for Rent

When it comes to generating interest for your vacant property, setting the right price for rent can make all the difference. When choosing the amount to charge tenants for monthly rent, consider the local market and what properties similar to yours are going for. 

Overhead shot of a person sitting on a bed working on a laptop

Look at what amenities they offer and if they have similar selling points to your own property. These rent prices can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, so make sure to do your research. 

While every rental property owner wants to increase their cash flow, setting the price of your property too high may have the opposite effect. If the cost of rent is unreasonably high, it will deter potential tenants from applying and your property will sit vacant for even longer. 

Keeping your property desirable in such a competitive market should be top of mind, and the cost of rent makes a large impact on this. Make sure you are still making a profit and covering all of your expenses related to your property, but be careful not to make the rent cost too high.

List Your Rental Property Online

Now that you’re confident in your listing, it’s time to get as many people to see it as possible!

Consider which rental listing websites are most popular among people looking for a place to rent. Post on a wide variety of websites, social media platforms, and forums. Make use of things like Facebook Marketplace, Zillow and Craigslist, as these are some of the most popular places for listings

By increasing the number of websites that your listing will be posted on, you will be able to generate more interest in your property, allowing excellent tenants to find your ad and move further in the process.

Person looking through settings on a DSLR camera

Once you have posted the ad online, make sure to reply to interested renters quickly and professionally. Book in-person showings and phone calls to get a better understanding of what they will be like as a tenant. 

Provide an Excellent Tenant Experience

Finally, by offering applicants an exceptional experience when renting your property, you are sure to lower your vacancy rates. Happy tenants will be more likely to stay long-term, and even once they have moved out, they will often market your property for you simply through word of mouth. 

If they had a good experience occupying your property, then they are more likely to tell people that they know are looking for a rental home about your exceptional service and wonderful property. 

By creating positive relationships with your tenants, and even offering amenities or unique benefits with the property, you’ll be able to fill any vacancy that you may be faced with in no time. 

Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you want to fill your vacancies quickly and efficiently, it is important to invest time, money, and energy into the marketing process of your rental property.

By doing this strategically, you will be able to minimize the amount of time that your property sits vacant, maximize your income, and maintain a consistent cash flow.