So you bought your first rental property, you’ve gotten it looking nice, and now you’re wondering how to announce to the world that it’s available.
There are tons of great ways to accomplish this. Ashley and I recommend utilizing multiple sources when placing a property on the market. Today, I’d like to go over some of the ones we use as well as things to watch out for.
We live in a digital age. That means your advertising process should include putting your property online. A great place to do this is Zillow. It’s free and it syndicates your ad to all kinds of other sites that advertise rentals. This will get your property some massive exposure quickly.
A word to the wise: a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is even better. Load your ad with pictures and videos while keeping captions to a minimum. It’s been our experience that prospective tenants rarely read the captions, so keep it simple.
With that idea in mind, write the body of your ad short and to the point as well. For example: “3 bed, 2 bath house, $900 a month, (insert address), (your contact number).” We also put in a sentence that says, “Applicants must have been on the job for a year and have a household income of three times the rent rate.”
Something to be aware of, however, is that most of these rental sites, including Zillow, have a contact request form in the corner. That means everyone who looks at your picture, can send you a contact request with a click of a button, filling your email inbox quickly. In my experience, most of the people who have sent contact request forms couldn’t remember which property was ours when I called them back.
To prevent this from happening, put something in the ad that says they must call you directly. This will cut down on the massive amount of emails you’ll get from people who are just trolling pictures and get you in touch with the prospective tenants who are actually interested in your property.
Craig’s list is still a good option for rental property, but I’d look into how to watermark your pictures. This keeps people from stealing your ads and using them for scams.
Social media is a must these days. I personally think Facebook is the No. 1 site to use. You can post your Zillow ad there and then use a Facebook promoted post to broadcast your rental into other people’s news feeds. This is effective and affordable.
The other thing you can do on Facebook is share that same ad into all the yard sale, garage sale, and real estate groups in your area. This will get you great exposure.
But remember, Facebook is all about interacting with others, so anyone can leave a comment on your ad. This can be a good thing or not such a good thing. We’ve had people leave comments about how they loved our houses, and others have been flat-out ugly because they didn’t agree with the rent prices.
We had a Facebook post about a rental in Adairsville, for instance, where people left multiple comments about how our rent price was “outrageous.” Things like this can easily hurt your positive publicity effort. Despite the negative comments on that post, however, the market prevailed and we rented the property to some great tenants within a week.
So just be aware that on a Facebook, the feedback you get will probably have an authoritative tone, but it won’t necessarily represent the market accurately.
Finally, don’t neglect the non-digital route. Taking an ad out in your local paper, as well as simply putting a “for rent” sign in the yard will get you some great exposure. It’s a hot rental market. Get your property out there for people to see and you’ll get a tremendous response.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.