Property owners can use a number of marketing techniques to draw traffic to their rental investment, and subsequently reduce vacancy time, and increase ROI. Below I have listed several proven cost-effective techniques that will generate quality exposure for your rental properties.
1. Website. This is a big one, especially for those investors, or property managers that have several rental properties in their portfolio. Your website should deliver a quality user experience. Prospective tenants visiting your website will want to see interior and exterior photos of the property, as well as virtual tour videos. Create a YouTube channel for this and then embed the videos onto your rental listing pages. You will also want to include a map to the property, clear application guidelines, and transparency into the rental and security deposit fees. Finally, place a prominent call-to-action on the page. E.g. “Apply Now”.
2. Local SEO. You will want to optimize your site for local search so that people searching for properties in your target market will come across your listings. First and foremost, make sure your website is responsive (scales on mobile devices). This is critical, as 50-60% of local searches are now conducted on mobile devices. If your website contains a ton of flash, or is non-responsive, you will likely lose a significant portion of your potential online traffic. Also, make sure your targeted keywords and location are included in the website’s title and header tags. If you are not familiar with SEO best practices, I would recommend hiring an agency to handle this.
3. Craigslist. This one speaks for itself. The majority of people searching for local rental properties are visiting Craigslist during the process. Include photos, property information, location, fees, and household amenities in your listing details. As always, be diligent when screening tenants.
4. Local Rental Publications. Contact the publisher and ask for a media kit. This will provide you with data regarding circulation, target reader, rates and ad placement options.
5. Signage. Contact your local governing body to check what your options are when it comes to placing advertisements on your properties. This will vary across municipalities. Leverage the ad space you do have on your property. A significant number of people find properties while driving around and seeing “for rent” signs.
6. Property Managers. Managing your rental properties is a full time job. If you are trying to grow your portfolio, or simply don’t have the bandwidth to manage your properties, hiring a professional property management company might be the way to go. They will handle everything from tenant screening, marketing your rental, collecting rent and performing property maintenance.
7. Internet Listing Sites (ILS). Sites such as Zillow and Trulia can provide significant local exposure for your rental properties. Leverage the online traffic that these sites attract, it is well worth the investment.
8. Leverage Current Tenants. Provide an incentive program for existing tenants. If they refer a prospective tenant to you, and that person applies, and is approved for rental, you provide the referrer with an incentive. The key here is to provide something of value. This could be cash, a Best Buy gift card, or a new kitchen appliance. Keep your incentives appealing in order to turn your existing tenants into profitable advocates.
Are there any other techniques you use to market your rental properties? Let us know in the comments below.