Tips for an Effective Rental Listing
The rental market can be a daunting place for potential tenants, who are undoubtedly oversaturated with available information through the hundreds to thousands of listings available for browsing online at any given time. Writing an effective rental listing will help to increase contact from potential tenants with informed interest in your property, as well as reduce vacancy time between tenants.
So what makes a listing effective? Getting people to look past the title and read the listing itself, for starters. Drawing interest comes first, followed by keeping and growing that interest through comprehensive information balanced with selling points.
A catchy title and high quality photos are an ideal way to begin and will draw initial attention to your listing. In order to keep that interest, you’ll want to follow up with a thorough and compelling listing that will make people want to see your rental property.
Think of looking for a rental home like looking for a used car: you’d expect the posted information to include the vehicle’s model, year, and mileage without having to call, right? The same goes with listing an apartment, where renters expect to find the number of bed/baths, monthly rent, pet policy, and lease length, all without having to reach out. Including complete and accurate information in your listing will prevent wasted time for both you and your potential renters, and will help to increase contact from renters with genuine interest in your property who are aware of its basic features and restrictions (such as no pet policies), and are ready to take the next step.
The title of your listing can have a huge impact on how many people actually read the listing itself. Ideally, it’s good to use a catchy title to draw people in while including basic information such as number of bedrooms. A word of advice: skip the caps lock. Many people read text in ALL CAPS as yelling or aggressive, and that’s how your introduction will come across if you use caps lock when formatting.
When applicable, including a desirable feature from the property or the rental unit itself can also help to add value and draw people in. Noting items like ‘open floor plan,’ ‘oversized bedrooms,’ ‘great views,’ or ‘energy-efficient upgrades,’ can also help make your listing more appealing. Try to be specific in what you’re promoting though, and avoid using the kind of generic fluff that can be seen all too often in listings, terms like ‘nice,’ ‘charming,’ or ‘must see,’ as these are generally meaningless to rental searchers and can cause them to scan past your listing without interest to read further.
Including high quality photos with your rental listing is one of the most effective ways to score initial interest of prospective tenants. A single photograph of the unit is a start, but will often lead to potential renters reaching out to see if other photos are available. To save yourself the hassle of going back for additional pictures, be sure to grab shots that incorporate multiple angles and details, even outdoor and amenity areas. Preferably, hire a professional who will know which photos take and how to highlight the property’s special features. The first impression your property makes is crucial, as if a renter can’t visualize themselves and their items in the space photographed, or if they can’t get a feel for the space, then they’re less likely to pursue the vacancy.
Along with photos of the property and any important features (such as amenities), you’ll want to include some additional information and selling points of the rental and community/area as a whole. Focus on the positive, unique, and/or beneficial aspects of your rental. Ask yourself, what would make someone want to live in this space? Are there large windows with plenty of natural light? Perhaps the neighborhood is especially quiet or conveniently placed on common commuter routes? You can use these special features in your listing to add further value for potential tenants with simple additions like ‘conveniently located for work,’ or ‘easily walkable to downtown/parks/etc.’ If there are popular venues nearby, of any kind from shopping to museums to outdoor recreation, you can certainly use these as selling points too.
Submitting an accurate, thoughtful and comprehensive rental listing will allow potential renters to make an informed decision about your property, increase the frequency of productive conversations and showings, and can greatly reduce your property’s off-rent time between tenants.
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