Tips for Marketing Your Rental Property Online
In a time when online interaction and long-distance networking is becoming essential to daily life, utilizing the Internet and social media is necessary for marketing a rental property anywhere. If you want to rent out your properties effectively and don’t want to hire a marketing company, you need to build a virtual community. Growing a network and online presence takes time and persistence, but it is a smart investment, especially if you plan on renting multiple properties out. Use the following marketing strategies to ensure that your properties stay rented consistently to high quality tenants.
Understand Your Target Audience
The first step to marketing any product is identifying and understanding the target audience. Begin by considering who you want to rent to or who is most likely to rent your property. Know the demographics you will be marketing to so you can tailor your listing and your online advertising to draw their attention.
For example, if your property is a multi-bedroom home in a middle-class, suburban area, you might expect to be renting to families. In this case you’d want to highlight the aspects of your property that are most attractive to families, such as nearby schools and daycare centers. For students and young adults, emphasize nearby public transit or affordable restaurants and bars. For businesses and corporations, focus on proximity to residential areas and parking lots.
Some of the important demographics to identify include:
Build a Social Media Presence
The most important aspect of a strong online marketing campaign is building a presence on social media and interacting with the community. Create social media profiles on as many platforms as possible, most importantly on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Start networking by joining focus groups with interests similar to your target audience or related to rental properties and participate in discussion on these pages. Follow people in these groups, others in your target demographic, and brands focused on renting.
Post regularly in order to attract more followers on these platforms. Share practical content related to renting, such as tips or guides that tenants would find useful. Additionally, post information about your properties. This is your chance to show off and get creative with how you interact with your followers. Post about the amenities that are most attractive to your target audience. For homes and residential property, some of the most popular amenities include on-site laundry, air conditioning, parking, and yards. For commercial property, this includes large conference rooms, reliable wi-fi, a kitchen or dining area, bike racks, fast elevators, and outdoor facilities. Most importantly, post a virtual tour of the property. Allowing your followers to virtually walk through your properties as if they were seeing them in real life offers a huge amount of transparency and is a great way to draw attention.
Post Your Listing Everywhere
To ensure you are reaching the maximum number of potential tenants, you should post your property listing on as many websites as possible. Be sure to include:
YouTube (post your virtual walkthrough tour)
For long term residential rentals: apartments.com, rent.com, and apartmentguide.com
For short term or vacation rentals: VRBO, Airbnb, and HomeAway
For commercial rentals: crexi.com and commercialexchange.com
In Canada, we recommend Buttonwood commercial property management
You should post all of your listings for the same property at the same time. You want to create a “feeding frenzy”, having lots of tenants interested at once. You will benefit from creating competition among potential tenants. Ideally, you should build your social media following before you actually post your listings, that way they get a lot of attention from the start. It’s also important to time your listings; posts made on Fridays get more views and rent faster than other days of the week.
Important Aspects of an Effective Listing
A property management company like Utopia will help you create a flawless listing guaranteed to bring in tenants. Working with an experienced professional is the best way to build the perfect listing, but here are some guidelines to follow when making your own listing:
Professional photographs: As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Eye catching photos are one of the most important elements of a successful listing, and attractive images are guaranteed to rent your property faster. Hire a photographer to take and edit pictures of your properties or know how to take professional-grade property photos of your own.
Contact information: Make sure your contact details are easy to find at the top of your listing.
Be detailed: Don’t be afraid to provide too much information in the listing. It’s better to over-inform your readers than leave them with too many questions.
Include negatives: Be up front about disadvantages of the property, as this makes you transparent and avoids drawing out interactions with tenants who won’t be interested.
Bring your community together and connect with your audience by hosting events. Of course, the most popular rental property event is an open house, as this allows potential tenants to meet you and check out your properties. You can also host educational sessions targeted toward renters on topics like finding a roommate, managing utility costs, or finding an apartment. These sessions can be virtual as well in the interest of social distancing during COVID-19.
Pay for Social Media Ads
The most reliable option for online marketing is paid advertisements on social media. This is a great way to jumpstart your profiles and gain new followers. It’s also a reliable way to rent your properties quickly if you’re having trouble through other means or if you have a large volume of properties to rent. With choices like Facebook ads, you can customize your ad, control how much you spend, and even target specific demographics. When in doubt, put ads out.