Back in the day, searching for a home was as simple as opening up the newspaper and looking at advertisements. But now, the impact of the digital age is infiltrating many areas of life, and real estate is no exception. 95 percent of homebuyers search websites as one method of shopping for a home, according to the 2017 Report: Real Estate in the Digital Age by National Association of Realtors (NAR). Additionally, 72 percent of homebuyers use their mobile devices as another tool in their home search. These intriguing statistics make a case for the importance of the internet when marketing a rental property. Online search sites have replaced newspaper ads, and virtual tours have replaced in-person showings. With online marketing you have the most exposure if you want to market your property effectively and rent it quickly.
Some people may not be comfortable with marketing to online platforms. Unfamiliarity with online property sites and the time involved in posting to each is enough to deter potential landlords from starting this process. But by employing the aid of a property management company, they can market your property to its fullest potential and provide additional assistance after you sign a lease – ultimately this is your best option.
Prepare Your Property for Marketing
Marketing a rental property online takes work and there is some required preparation involved. You will first want to ensure you do everything possible to create a warm and welcoming appearance to your property to attract renters. By following these essential steps before you market your home online, you will achieve greater marketing success:
1. Clean Up
This seems basic, but it’s amazing how many dirty and disorganized homes exist on the market. If you want to attract buyers, don’t repel them with filth and messy rooms. Start by discarding any trash, and then pick up and put away shoes, clothes, or other objects lying around. Put everything in its proper place in a neat and orderly fashion. Remember, interested renters want to look in closets, so don’t just shove your belongings in there; arrange them neatly. You want the closets to appear spacious, so renters see there is plenty of room for storage.
Deep clean your property after you have decluttered and removed any garbage or debris. Clean behind furniture you don’t normally move and all kitchen appliances, wipe off any obvious wall marks, remove any carpet stains, and replace any missing cabinet knobs. Make your home look the way you would want it to if you were moving in. Cleanliness is a basic step, but it’s vital to your property’s success.
After you’ve cleaned the inside, move on to the outside. The front of your home is the first impression a potential renter has of your property and you can’t afford to make it a bad one. Reliable sources such NAR and HGTV tout the importance of curb appeal and show how making your home’s outer appearance great doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple tasks such as mowing your lawn and weeding your flowerbeds are good places to start.
After you’ve tidied up the landscape, consider if some newly planted flowers or bushes may accentuate your property. Do a thorough scan of the exterior of your home. Are there any obvious repairs to address? Would a fresh coat of paint give your home a needed face-lift? Would a different color make the front door pop? Power washing the exterior is another wonderful way to revitalize your home. Lastly, examine the roof. Missing shingles or other roof damage negatively affects your property’s value, so address any roof repairs before advertising your property.
3. Stage and Photograph
Once your property is clean and looking its best, it’s time to stage your home for photographing. Make your home look like the alluring living space you see on TV shows. Fluff up the sofa pillows, arrange the furniture with care, and add a vase of flowers to the kitchen table. Pay attention to even the smallest of details and remove random objects from the kitchen and living room surfaces and ensure all toilets seats are down.
Once you’ve staged your home, you’re ready to take photos. High-quality photos can help you receive the highest price for your rental property. 89 percent of buyers find photos extremely useful when shopping online, according to NAR. Consider hiring a professional photographer if you feel incapable of taking high-quality photos.
Lighting dramatically impacts the appeal of your property. Poorly lit, grainy pictures give potential renters the impression the house is dark and gloomy. You want to market your property as warm, welcoming and full of light. If you’re unsure of your ability to capture well-lit photos, invest in a professional photographer. If you are comfortable with your photography skills, consider the best angles to showcase each room and the best time of day to capitalize on natural lighting.
Now that your property is picture perfect and ready for advertising, you need to decide the best places to market it. Want to do it yourself? Check out these online rental marketing property resources. Or, if you don’t have the time to put into listing your property, contact Bay Management Group today and we can discuss the marketing resources we can offer you.