How To Market Homes For Rent
One of the biggest issues facing landlords and landladies is finding good tenants for their rental properties. This article covers some of the best ways to market homes for rent, qualify tenants and secure them with a lease.
The first step is to find prospective tenants.
Timing Your Rental Vacancies
This is a luxury landlords don't often have, but January is one of the busiest months for people looking for homes to rent, so that is a great time to have availability to increase the quantity and quality of your applicants. January is busy as the holiday season is over, and also many people get their W2s, get their taxes done by one of the streamlined tax firms that gives them an advance on their refund, and they use that refund as a payment on a new rental home.
Existing tenants may want their friends or family to move in close to them. Or neighbors of the rental properties may be inclined to make sure that it is people that they know who move in next door.
Note that it may be illegal to pay an incentive to someone to find you a customer, such as a tenant, in a real estate transaction, if the person paid is not a licensed real estate agent.
For Rent or For Lease Sign
The sign should be two sided and perpendicular to the street. If you are on a low traffic street maybe you can rent space from a corner property to increase exposure. Many rental property owners will put snipe signs on busy streets as well. Most local government codes will outlaw this practice, but it does happen all the time.
Put the rent amount on the sign to qualify tenants. Put as much information on the sign to qualify tenants, e.g. number of beds and baths, deposit amount, pets, web site with more information. And the phone number of course!
Many people will call and ask what the rent is, even though the rent is on the sign! Those are the dumb ones, the forgetful ones and the nervous ones just making conversation.
Put a note on a For Rent sign that says please do not disturb occupants, in order to deter vandals, even if the property is vacant.
There are a couple of down sides to using signs. In my experience the average quality of the applicants is not good. There may be some diamonds in the rough, but other lead sources are much better.
The other down side is that unwelcome characters can see them. Including the city code enforcement people. Some cities or neighborhoods have rules saying that rental properties have to be inspected between tenancies. The sign tells them that there is a vacancy and that they should come looking. They are just doing a job, but most of us are too busy to be vigilant for every bit of flaking paint which may cause the over zealous inspector to cite you. In my experience they are not too troublesome and are pretty easy going except about the most egregious violation, but it is still better to stay under the radar.
The effectiveness of an newspaper ad can be measured by the number of qualified leads, and how few unqualified leads.
In the ad, state geographical location, beds, baths, amenities, rent, who pays utilities, furnished or unfurnished (may be in ad category). Put in a hook like "Free credit report" or upgrade coming (fans, kitchen cabinets).
Sometimes whitespace can make an ad stand out.
Change the ad weekly so it looks fresh.
A split run is where every second paper has a different version of the ad, that way you can see which version works best. This works well with an internet ad service such as Adwords as well.
More Ways to Advertise Homes For Rent