A landlord can have the best rental property, but if no one knows it is available, it will never get rented. That is where effective and comprehensive rental property marketing comes in. For landlords, the list of operating expenses is a long one. However, devoting the funds toward a rental property marketing budget and strategy is critical to your overall success. That said, how does a landlord know if they are budgeting their money, time, and effort effectively? A well-crafted and strategic marketing plan for your real estate investment is the best place to start. Continue reading as we delve into creating a budget, where to advertise, and how to get the greatest result for your dollar.
How to Budget for Rental Property Marketing
A vacancy is a scary word for any landlord. The remedy? Fill the vacancy with a quality tenant in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. That said, there is no universal strategy that works for all. Instead, landlords must evaluate their local market and put together the best components to suit their needs. Each available advertising option will come with its own benefits, downsides, and potential fees. Let’s take a look at some of these rental property marketing outlets below.
- Online Advertising
- Word of Mouth
- Local Bulletin Boards
- Newspaper Classifieds
- Real Estate Agent
Statistics found that over 80% of potential renters find their next home online. Posting vacancy listings online is the most important step to take in rental property marketing. That said, posting online encompasses various sites that expose ads to a large pool of prospects for minimal effort. Online outlets such as Turbotenant, Craigslist, GoSection8, and Trulia even allow landlords to post their listings for free. Additionally, do not forget about using social media to reach even more potential renters.
- Pro – Minimal Effort Required
- Con – Tons of Competition
- Exposure – Reaches a Wide Range of People
- Cost – No Cost
Word of Mouth
Sometimes old-fashioned methods are just what landlords need to get a place rented quickly. Landlords can talk to friends, neighbors, relatives, and other tenants to get the word out. Chances are someone will know someone looking for a new place to rent.
- Pro – Future Tenant is Referred by Someone the Landlord Trusts
- Con – Potential Renter Pool is Small
- Exposure – Limited
- Cost – No Cost
Local Bulletin Boards
Community bulletin boards allow landlords to post a vacancy directly in the midst of people searching in that particular area. Minimal cost is involved with printing an ad, and most bulletin boards are free to post but check with each location. Landlords can find community bulletin boards in supermarkets, post offices, gyms, community centers, and colleges.
- Pro – Less Competition
- Con – Limited Exposure
- Exposure – Small Target Rich Environment
- Cost – Minimal Printing Fees
Local newspapers and publications target the local area and increase landlord’s exposure to their target market. That said, this method of rental property marketing will cost landlords money, unlike our previous options. Newspaper advertising can cost up to a few hundred dollars, depending on the publication. Pricing will vary based on the length of listing, length of run, and whether it has photos.
- Pro – Targeted Local Advertising
- Con – Limited Exposure to the Publication’s Reach
- Exposure – Limited
- Cost – $50 to Several Hundred Dollars
Real Estate Agent
One of the more expensive but possibly worthwhile options is to hire a realtor to rent out your property. Landlords looking to be a bit more hands-off rely on realtors to handle marketing, leads, showings, application screening, and drafting leases. This is a huge plus and, for some landlords, may be worth the added expense. However, keep in mind that relator will often charge one to two months’ rent for their efforts.
- Pro – Expert Professionals Handling the Process
- Con – Still May Take Significant Time to Find a Tenant
- Exposure – Targeted Strategies Based on Realtor’s Trusted Experience
- Cost – 1 to 2 Month’s Rent
How to Boost Marketing and Improve Retention
Owning a rental property requires being able to fill a unit quickly but also retain great tenants. Doing both takes effort and commitment from landlords. A good marketing strategy will attract top-quality tenants. Check out the following tips below:
Essentials to Creating Dynamic Real Estate Marketing
- Informative and Targeted Description
- Bright Photos of Exceptional Quality
- Virtual and 3-D Touring Options
Tips for Attracting and Retention of Tenants
- Focus on Customer Service – Customer service begins at the first contact and sets the tone for the entire tenancy. Tenants are renting a property, but they are also signing on to deal with the landlord. A landlord unwilling to answer their questions about a listing is a red flag for tenants wondering how they will handle future maintenance needs. So, be professional, courteous, and helpful and, in turn, increase your chances of gaining and keeping a tenant.
- Negotiate Discounts for Residents – Everyone loves a bargain! Landlords in areas near local amenities should consider approaching businesses to negotiate discount incentives. This is a win-win as businesses receive more traffic and apartment owners provide a bonus to their tenants. Residents may appreciate discounted rates to gyms, salons, and even restaurants.
- Resident Only Functions – Apartment complexes and multi-family buildings serve as their own little communities. So, bringing tenants together from time to time in a relaxed social setting is a bonus for many. The possibilities are endless, with examples like a wine tasting, tenant brunch, holiday party, or Summer BBQ.
Tips to Get the Most from Rental Property Marketing Efforts
There are many avenues a landlord can use to spread the word about available properties. While many sites make tracking and communicating with leads hassle-free, there are still steps to improve your odds. Check out our tips to maximize rental property marketing below.
- Get Involved in Social Media
- Capitalize on Every Lead
- Prompt Leads and Tenants with Surveys
- Track and Analyze Marketing Efforts
- Adapt as Needed
- Hire Professionals
Get Involved in Social Media
Social media has risen in significance over the last 10 years. In fact, over 90% of businesses across all industries report positive results from a consistent social media presence. As more and more consumers look for and buy products online, landlords must budget time and money for this valuable resource. When renting an apartment, the goal is to get that listing in front of as many potential renters as possible, and social media is where they are. Additionally, social media can cater to a wide range of rental property marketing needs. So, whether you hire a professional to create campaigns, experiment with ads, or choose to interact more organically with clients, social media provides landlords with a large pool of applicants.
Capitalize on Every Lead
Did you know that as many as 40% of people give up on a lead after only one follow up? This one and done approach does not serve landlords well. Many property owners think that paying for more leads is the answer when, in fact, maximizing every lead is critical. In many cases, leasing agents need to follow up 3 to 5 times before an applicant makes a decision. So, diligence is key. Equally important is knowing how to gauge your prospect’s interest level right away to distinguish between “lookers” and “renters.” This will help you spread your time and efforts more effectively.
Prompt Leads and Tenants with Surveys
One of the most valuable and yet underutilized data is from existing tenants or even lost leads. Why did or didn’t they choose your property? The answer could be instrumental in pivoting your rental property marketing strategy to a more successful one. So, this is where a quick survey comes in. Below are a few questions to consider asking:
- How did you hear about the property?
- What was the biggest factor in determining your decision?
- Why did you choose to rent elsewhere?
Track and Analyze Marketing Efforts
A successful business of any kind hinges on identifying what works and what does not. Therefore, effective rental property marketing requires landlords to track and evaluate the results of their various efforts. That said, when you find a strategy that works, stick to it and double down. For example, if you have 10 ads and 6 are underperforming, your time is better spent focused on the 4 that are bringing in leads.
Adapt as Needed
Each real estate investment has its own unique needs when it comes to rental property marketing. Knowing your target market and catering your ads to them is important to get the property rented quickly. For example, in areas with a high student population, take advantage of social media groups and college boards to advertise rentals. Additionally, update your marketing strategy to reflect seasonal influx as needed. Spring and Summer are peak times to ramp up your marketing efforts to compete with the local rental market for valuable prospects. These busier months may require landlords to branch out and spend more to get the quality leads needed to fill units.
When in doubt, professional property management and rental property marketing is the way to go. Some services specifically cater to marketing efforts. However, consider the benefits of a full-service approach to looking after your investment property needs. Industry experts have the knowledge, support staff, and trusted techniques to get your property rented quickly and with a quality tenant to minimize the risk of eviction. Take care to interview prospective companies carefully to ensure their philosophy matches your goals and budget. Leaving the details to someone else allows landlords to focus on the bigger picture of growing their investment portfolio.
Successful rental property marketing requires local knowledge, dynamic descriptions, great photos, and a stellar strategy. All of which takes time and energy on the part of the landlord. So, what if there was an easier way to rent your property with confidence? Bay Property Management Group prides itself on providing full-service marketing, leasing, and management services while helping owners maximize ROI. We help develop a marketing strategy that fits a property’s needs and budget to fill units efficiently with a high-quality tenant. Bay Property Management Group has a less than 1% eviction rate and offers landlords the security of a 6 Month Tenant Guarantee. Contact us today to find out more!