Many people underestimate the power of a good marketing strategy when it comes to their investment properties. Simply throwing an ad up online isn’t as easy as it used to be, especially when you are competing with other listings in the same market. You have to make your listing stand out and utilize alternative channels to attract a quality tenant.
By attracting a quality tenant who pays on time, you are best preparing your investment to generate the monthly cash flow you need. Another benefit of having a quality tenant is that he or she will most likely take care of the property as though it was his or her own, which means that you can save on your repairs and put more returns in your pocket.
“Not only do you want to market your property to the right audience, but you also need to account for time. The longer your investment sits vacant, the more money you lose, since you are paying all the expenses without generating any revenue,” Adrian Maravilla, Asset Manager, at HomeUnion®, remarks. He continues, “While some vacancies during the lifecycle of your investment are typical, you want to create a successfully marketing strategy that will attract a quality tenant quickly, like we do at HomeUnion®.”
Our proven track record is why we are going to share with you six secrets our Marketing team utilizes to find quality tenants for our investors.
How HomeUnion® Successfully Markets Properties
1. Hire a professional photographer.
In a visually-focused world, it’s important to spend a little extra to have a professional photographer take high-quality photos of your rental. There are a lot of resources out there to get in touch with photographers like Yelp, Guru, Freelancer, etc. where you can find a local photographer for your project. Be sure and request their portfolio and reviews beforehand to make sure that their style matches with what you are looking for and that they are dependable. Also, ask about their turnaround time, in case, you need to have the photos quicker than what they can do.
Use these photos for any online and print marketing. Their clarity and high-quality will attract renters who will immediately trust that what they are seeing is what they will be getting. *Please note, this takes into account that your rental has had a thorough cleaning beforehand, so the photos only enhance the beauty of the rental, not showcase its faults.
2. Write short, descriptive copy in your ad that highlights the benefits to the tenant.
Showcase the benefits of your rental through colorful copy, but keep it short (around 250-400 characters, use bullets when necessary) and descriptive. The goal is to paint a picture of what it would be like to live in your rental for the tenant, so there’s no hesitation in submitting an application. Many online ad sites provide an amenities section, so no need to highlight that information in your paragraph, instead use the limited space to describe the home.
Here’s an example from one of our very own:
Located close to Duke, highways, golfing, and museums, this traditional home has all you could ever want. Enjoy entertaining guests in your sprawling backyard, or take in a morning cup of coffee on your front porch. Resting on a quiet Cul De Sac, this quaint home truly encompasses all that country living has to offer! Apply today!
If you are struggling to write copy for your investment, hire a freelance copywriter or enlist a friend or family member to help. Some key tips are: keep it in second person (you, your, yours), use adjectives to describe the home (like quaint, traditional, etc), and end with a call-to-action like “Apply today!”
3. Post on multiple listing sites.
Don’t leave it up to one website to generate traffic to your listing. Post in multiple areas like Trulia, Movoto, Hotpads, Zillow, Craigslist, and more. The more exposure you generate, the more likely you will receive applications. You should also be utilizing social media channels to post about your rental like Facebook and Twitter.
4. Generate buzz early.
Who says you have to wait until the rental unit is move-in ready before you can market? While you are in rehab, hang a sign outside your rental that says, “Coming Soon” with a phone number to contact you. This generates buzz early and you never know who will be driving by before its available – maybe a potential renter.
You could even post your rental early on listing websites with a Coming Soon banner. You won’t have photos available yet, which means you might not get many applicants, but there’s a chance that someone might be looking for a place in the exact neighborhood of your rental and willing to fill out an application right away.
5. Go where the people are.
Your marketing plan doesn’t have to be all online, instead you can use other traditional channels. One key tip is to figure out where the locals are going and market them there. For instance, ask the local coffee shop if you can hang a flyer about your rental there, or if you’re near a college campus, post a flyer there to gauge college student applicants. Please be sure to always ask the facility before posting your listing on any private property.
6. Cater to those who drive by your rental.
Once the rental is on the market, replace your “Coming Soon” sign with one that states, “For Rent.” It is still common practice for people to drive around looking for homes in their desirable area. Your sign will attract this audience to stop, take a look, and hopefully fill out an application.
I’ve got a renter applicant, now what?
Congratulations on getting a tenant to apply to your rental! The next step is to properly screen the tenant to make sure that he or she meets the criteria you are looking for. We’ve outlined a helpful guide on how to properly screen tenants that can be a good resource for you to get started with.