If your rental listings aren’t digitally optimized, you’re most likely missing out on lower vacancy rates and easy profits. The fact is that 34%—about 44 million—of U.S. households are renters. Nearly all renters are finding their housing–you guessed it–online. And many landlords struggle to understand how to market rental property online.
These days, there’s no shortage of options for digital real estate tools. Capterra recommends Buildium and nine other landlord app favorites if you’re looking for better ways to market your rental property online.
However, technology is just one step in the right direction in finding tenants. You can also utilize tried-and-true digital marketing tactics to advertise your property, attract potential renters, and secure great tenants.
This rental property marketing guide will outline the top seven marketing ideas for rental property owners to attract high-quality renters. Be sure to read to the end. While these real estate marketing tips may seem overwhelming at first—especially if you’re not computer savvy—we’ll share a secret for covering all your bases in a single, straightforward step.
When learning how to list a rental property online, a basic knowledge of SEO is necessary. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and makes a huge difference in getting your property seen on possible tenants’ screens. Good SEO includes correctly formatting articles or listings, utilizing high-traffic keywords, and incorporating tags to help your content rise in search results. Even one or two minor SEO tweaks can increase your online visibility to potential tenants and make your rental property marketing more effective.
Besides stacking your SEO, it’s essential for landlords to list rental units on more than one kind of real estate website. Whether it’s a virtual town hall posting that advertises a unit for rent, partnering with a local property manager, or listing your space on a site like Zillow or Apartments.com—it’s time to level up your rental property marketing game and cut ties with that one Craigslist listing from 2015. Casting a wide net across the internet is imperative to find tenants.
If you still have trouble with extended time between tenancies, consider running social media ads. These ads–posted on platforms like Facebook or Instagram–are often billed on a pay-per-click basis, where you’ll pay a set amount based on every click the ad receives.
Getting possible tenants to stop their scroll and click on your ad is no easy feat. You’ll want to incorporate strong SEO and a best-foot-forward approach when showcasing the space, which includes a few important steps….
When competing for clicks online, you’ve got to invest in visually stunning images that catch renters’ eyes. Hire a professional photographer and videographer—preferably someone local—to take photos and film tour videos. That initial investment pays dividends when distinguishing your property on listing sites.
You may even consider working with virtual tour software. Some options with beautiful renderings lend an artistic touch and can make your property stand out. Many renters in 2023 expect to be able to virtually tour a space to save time when looking for a new place to live.
Many multi-family property owners have succeeded by building a social media presence. This helps bolster online visibility to find tenants, advertise the space, and cultivate community among current tenants. You can reduce your vacancy time by focusing your social media presence on what matters most to renters and building anticipation by marketing units before they’re available.
Your online reputation is all about establishing a sense of trust and belonging. Can potential tenants feel confident working with you on such an important life decision? Do they feel comfortable joining the neighborhood or community? Can they understand what living in the specific property you’re renting will be like?
To go above and beyond, consider posting snapshots of life in your community, if applicable. You could help facilitate resident events or even commission a mural from a local artist is another way to encourage social media interaction–it makes for tangible, easily shareable moments that give your property character. .
The easiest way to reduce vacancy time is to keep reliable tenants year after year. Offer incentives for renters to renew their lease or perks for referring their friends to the leasing office.
You can also offer a one-month rent discount or waive the move-in fees for referred tenants if you own multiple properties. Incentives are a great way to retain tenants and gain new ones you can trust. There are all kinds of options you can try to get started.
Finally, don’t forget to keep up all the excellent work you’ve been doing through the other items on this list. Even the most marketing-savvy property owner can leave money on the table by slowing down rental marketing strategies when things seem to be going well. Stay vigilant to reduce vacancies, and ensure your units turn over quickly when tenants move on. There’s an easy way to ensure your property stays exceptionally marketed.
All of this rental property marketing can seem like a lot of work, and reading the seven recommendations above may have you reeling about what to do next. While to landlords with marketing experience, this may be a fun challenge, most property owners struggling to make ends meet are more likely to feel overwhelmed, especially when juggling multi-family units or multiple properties.
For those that want stand-out marketing without the work, a professional property manager is the way to go.
They’ll handle all marketing-related tasks, ensuring professional communication with all potential tenants. A property manager will screen tenants for you, narrowing down possible renters for you to make the final decision. Plus, they’ll handle all move-in and move-out logistics whenever your property changes hands.
This barely begins to scratch the surface of property management companies' services. Landlords seek many qualities in their perfect property manager and should conduct thorough interviews to find the best fit.
If you struggle with marketing, increased levels of vacancy, or a downturn in profits, it may be time to start your search for a property management company to lighten your load.