Hi there, this is Aaron with Access Property Management. In this post I’m going to go through listing and advertising your rental property. There’s a lot of work that goes into listing rental property. There are many steps and I want to go over each one of them because every step is important. When we go through listing a property for rent we are looking at each of these things to make sure that we are giving our clients the best bang for their buck.
Make the Home Rent Ready
The first step is to make sure that all the maintenance is done.
Having incomplete projects when you are trying to show a unit gives a bad first impression.
Even though these projects will be done before a tenant moves in, they just can’t get them past that in their minds. So if they do move in they are going to remember that or they just may not move there at all. And you may lose that prospect.
The next step is cleaning. We always emphasize professional cleaning. Get the carpets cleaned professionally and keep the receipts to show tenants or prospects if they ask to show that it was done. Don’t skimp here. Hiring a professional is always worth the money. They will do a great job and you don’t have to worry about scaring away potential tenants.
Take Professional Pictures
After maintenance and cleaning is completed, you get into creating your listing. The first step is taking pictures. You want to take good pictures. I know this sounds silly and remedial, but getting a good picture is a little more difficult than you might think. If you’ve ever looked through rental listings you’ll notice a lot of bad pictures right away. Bad pictures turn off tenants. Mostly people are looking online and pictures are the first impression you give someone. Here’s how to take great pictures:
- Square your frame: try and pick a vertical or horizontal line in the room and line up your camera with that as best as you can to get a good square shot.
- Use natural light: open the blinds and turn off all the lights in the room. Just make sure that you are getting a good amount of fresh light in the room.
- Toilet Seats DOWN!
- Remove any clutter.
- Staging?: Staging isn’t necessary, but if you want to stage that’s fine. Just make sure there is no clutter and it doesn’t look like a mess.
- Watermark your Photos: At Access we watermark our photos. You may consider doing that because it looks much more professional when it’s viewed online and it also helps deter scammers, on Craig’s List for example, from stealing your photos.
At Access we also do video tours. On our vacant properties we take videos tours on our phone and edit them so that prospects can get a great idea of the property without actually being there.
Determine Rent Price
Once you’ve got your media in place you want to do your rent comps. This shouldn’t be the first time you are comping rents for your property. You need to do it well ahead of time and you need to do it again just before your list. Rents can change pretty quickly. You want to look at what’s been for rent in the past in your market and what is currently for rent in your market. Also look at how many properties are available for rent in your market. If there are a ton of properties in your market it’s going to take longer to lease your property. So you can take that into consideration while setting your rent price. An option may be to come in a little lower than the majority of properties on the market and try and lease a little faster. As opposed to getting the same or getting higher which might take a little longer when there are a bunch of properties on the market. Now the opposite of that is also true. If you are the only property on the market or if there only a few properties on the market, you can market a little higher or at the same rate without expecting a lag in lease time.
Listing Rental Property
After all this, it’s just a matter of creating the rental property listing. It is important to be consistent across all your marketing platforms. This is the point where you want to show off and highlight the best features of your rental property. Why someone would want to lease the property from you? Why do they want to lease this unit? Obviously, doing this online is important. Online is the primary search function these days for renters. They are looking online on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and all those sites. We all know those names. You also want to consider using a yard sign if you are on a busy street or if you have a lot of walk-by or drive-by traffic. This can be an another way to get additional attention from people in the neighborhood. Maybe people who are already living in the neighborhood are familiar with it and want to stay there. It’s just another avenue to attract people.
Most importantly, don’t discriminate. If you are not sure, always contact your local fair housing agency and talk to them about it. Make sure you understand the laws and you are not violating those laws.
If you have any questions about leasing and advertising please fill out the contact form and we will be happy to talk to you about it. There is a lot that goes into this in preparing a property for rent and getting all this right. This will set you up for success in the future!