Listings are the core of your marketing for new tenants so they need to be great.
Good marketing is paramount to finding each of your tenants faster and easier – we’d wager you have very few (if any) tenants that walked in your office and signed a lease without ever looking you up online or seeing your marketing efforts somewhere. In fact, according to Google and Apartments.com, at least 72% of renters turn to the internet first to find a new place to rent.
This means that your online marketing is more important than ever.
In this series, we’re going to go step-by-step through marketing for new tenants – what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Check back here to see the next installments our series: Everything Property Managers Need to Know About Marketing for New Tenants.
There is a lot that goes into marketing your property for new tenants between online marketing and traditional marketing, but perhaps most important is your online listing. With 72% of renters starting their search online and 67% of renters renting an apartment they originally found online, you need to make sure your online listings are competitive and enticing.
Because listings sites are filled with countless options, most prospective renters only spend seconds looking at each one. With such high competition and the limited attention span, your listings need to be top notch.
There are a lot of opinions among property managers about how to write the perfect listings. We’re going to share some of our tried and true tips and tricks. We’ve talked before about how there is no one-size-fits-all solution for residential leasing and the same goes for marketing. We’ve collected some of the most commonly shared advice for marketing for new tenants, but as with everything in leasing, your mileage may vary.
How to Write an Online Rental Listing
There are a few things to consider right off the bat when you’re writing your online listings. Think of this list as kicking off point – these are the things you really must consider and include in order to put your listings online.
Details, Details, Details!
Small details are a big deal when it comes to online listings. One tiny mistake that only takes seconds to review and correct could lead to a lot of time wasted. No one wants to go through the hassle of a showing where a prospective renter is expecting 3 bedrooms when there are only 2. Proofreading your listings is the best way to catch all those details before they become a problem. Consider having a second person in the office read over them as well to check for typos you might have missed.
Prepare For The Rules of Each Listing Site
Each site has their own set of rules when it comes to rental listings. While some of these rules are unique to the site, many of them are similar and set in place to assist with compliance to Fair Housing Laws. For example, some listing sites prohibit saying “No Section 8” in the title of your rental listing. Consider taking a look at the rules of the sites where you’re planning on listing so you can make sure that what you write complies.
Let your Property Shine
Let your property be the star of its listing by leaving out distracting, unnecessary punctuation and capitalization. Writing LIKE THIS!!! might look like it helps your listing stand out, and the truth is it does make your listing stand out – just probably not in the way you want. Stick to consistent and professional punctuation and capitalization standards to ensure your listing isn’t ignored or flagged as spam.
How to Write an Awesome Online Rental Listing
Now that you know your listing is set up and complies with all the standard rules, your next goal is to make your listing awesome. Here are a few tips to take your listings to the next level:
Tell the Whole Story
Make sure you fill out every available section and cover every detail. Filling out the title is a given, but also ensure you fill out the details and highlights too. Share the square footage, the style, everything that makes your property unique and desirable. If you have brag-worthy kitchen appliances or luxuriously large walk-in closets, note that in the highlights! Once you have your prospects’ attention, it’s easier to keep that attention with a detailed overview of your property.
Choose Valuable Descriptions
Flowery adjectives and descriptions are an age-old part of real estate marketing. Every property is either charming or modern or it’s cozy or spacious. Choosing stronger descriptors is a great way to make your property stand out from the crowd.
Instead of falling back on meaningless superlatives, describe what qualifies the property for that description. For example, instead of “Spacious home with a modern kitchen,” choose meaningful a meaningful description like, “1250 square feet home with updated kitchen and stainless steel 2018 appliances.”
You can think of your listing as a pre-showing showing. This is the first look that your prospective renters have at your property and it is the first step to get them in the door. Beautiful photography of the entire property is a great way to make your listings stand out.
As the old saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Make sure that the pictures you take say what you want them to say about your property. Be sure to only take pictures after a good thorough cleaning and if its a furnished or occupied unit, make sure the clear up the clutter. If you property lets in a lot of natural light, waiting to take your pictures until just before sunset when the sun illuminates the interior will make your photos look even more professional. Still not sure about those pictures? Here are a few more photography tips we published previously in a blog.
With those tips, you should be prepared to head out into the world with better and stronger listings for your rental properties. Publishing these new and improved listings across the board takes time. It takes even more time to respond to all the inquiries you’re going to get from these awesome listings. ShowMojo’s residential leasing automation platform transforms the leasing process for property managers across North America. If you’re not a current customer, schedule a demo to see for yourself how ShowMojo will transform the leasing process for you.