September 6, 2018
There’s more to marketing a rental property than just slapping an address on Craigslist or a similar site. The best property managers always strive to optimize a property’s earning potential, providing property owners the most income from their investment for the least cost. To do that, managers need to attract high-quality tenants, which not only includes creating an appealing and well-crafted listing that will make a good impression to potential renters but also requires analyzing a property’s potential from the very beginning - becoming familiar with the property and the local rental market. I’ve broken effective property marketing down into four main steps property management experts follow to market a rental property the right way.
1. Pre-Rental Analysis: Finding the Right Angle
The best property managers know that in order to maximize an owner’s profits they need to understand the local rental market that the home is in. Rental costs vary based on factors like location, property type/size, and amenities. The most accurate way to find out the optimum rental amount for a property is to use a software like RentRange to run a comparative market analysis on any property. RentRange uses actual data about rental rates in your area to determine a rent rate potential. In my experience, combining comparative market analysis with the experience and knowledge of a top-notch property manager is the best way to find the rental amount that will make the owner the most money. It’s also vital that the property manager crunch numbers to find how much money they’ll need to maintain the property month to month while still making a profit for the owner.
2. Pre-Rental Inspection: Maximizing Potential
Before listing a property, an expert property manager will examine the property thoroughly to familiarize themselves with the building and evaluate how to maximize its value and income. The manager will gather data and take photographs for records that may come in handy if anyone has questions or concerns later on. The best property managers will identify any issues that need to be addressed before the property can be listed or occupied and create a recommendation for repairs or renovations for the owner to consider. Many times, additional improvements to the property can increase the rental value and the additional income can make up for the costs over time.
3. Compiling a Listing: Presenting your Property
Once the property is prepped and a price has been set, it’s time to put the property out on the market. The best property listings are both appealing and informative, significantly increasing renters understanding of the property being offered. The text of the listing should clearly describe the property’s specifications and selling points. Your potential tenants will appreciate a lot of well-lit full-color photographs to give them a feel for the property and help them picture living in it. You can take this visual engagement one step further with a video walkthrough. According to Todd Breen, founder of VirtuallyInCredible and a pioneer in using video to market and manage rental properties, “video walkthroughs give viewers a much better spatial understanding of a home and prospective tenants can know sooner if a rental property is going to be right for them.” Breen also says the homes listed with video get four times the inquiries of homes listed without video. Good property managers are educated in Fair Housing law and will ensure your listing is legally compliant.
4. Listing Exposure: Reach
When it comes to listing a property to rent, a great property manager doesn’t toss the listing onto a single site. Instead, they methodically target markets to give your property the maximum range and reach, posting the property on multiple websites including their own. With real estate listing syndication websites like Zillow and Trulia, property managers can have listings shared on sites across the internet for potential renters to peruse. Using multiple listing services, for example, will put a rental property on most national realtor branded sites as well as thousands of individual agents’ sites. A great property manager tailors their listing strategy to the property, picking which national and local sites to target to match the property’s needs and spreading the word far and wide. They will also share and market your listing on social media. You never know where your ideal tenant will be coming from and what platform they’ll look at first, so it pays to get the word around.
Property Marketing as a Foundation for Success
In today’s market, there is no shortage of demand for rental housing. If your property receives only a few leads or generates little interest this indicates something went wrong during the property marketing process. Whatever your property type, whatever your location, the four steps above will prime a property for success on the rental market. Determining a price that will maximize profits, resolving any issues with the property before tenants have a chance to consider moving in, putting your best foot forward in your marketing campaign, and dropping the listing directly at the fingertips of interested parties all ensure your property will be able to find the right tenants and provide both manager and owner a healthy return on investment. If you’re seeking professional management services for your rental property contact your local PMI property manager today to find out how they can optimize and protect your investment.
Of course, effective property marketing is only the beginning. Once leads start pouring in it's time to begin screening tenants...