A picture is worth a thousand words. However, when it comes to a rental property listing, words still matter a great deal. That said, a poorly written advertisement can easily become overlooked in a competitive rental market. Therefore, a few carefully chosen sentences that highlight everything a renter is looking for can make all the difference between getting your property rented or setting it up for failure. Join us below as we examine the top tips on how to write a rental ad to get your listing noticed, and more importantly, rented!
What Makes a Compelling Rental Property Listing?
Information is power, and with most renters using online outlets to find their next home, rental listings need to be more appealing and concise than ever. Before we delve deeper into description writing, let’s review some examples of features to include in your next rental listing below –
- At least 10 to 15 High-Quality Digital Photos – Ensure that the space is as bright as it can be with both natural and interior lighting for the best photos. Also, be sure to include photos of each area in the order that someone would tour through the home. For more ideas on taking great real estate photos, check out our blog!
- Consider Including a 3D or Virtual Video Tour – The pandemic has allowed technology to play an even bigger role in property touring, and that is likely to stick around. Thankfully, there are convenient apps and programs to help landlords create a 3D or video tour.
- List the Rental Rate and Any Additional Fees (example: HOA, utility, parking, deposits, and application fees)
- Disclose the Desired Lease Term
- Add an Eye-Catching Title (example: Luxurious 2 Bed/2 Bath Townhome Just Minutes from Downtown)
- Create a Rental Description – This needs to highlight upgrades, desired features, plus mention proximity to local shopping, transit, and amenities.
- Address Any Key Rental Policies – Always be transparent when it comes to rental policies or restrictions. Leaving out pets, smoking, or other restrictions may draw in more leads, but it will not result in a faster qualified rental application.
- Post the Rental Ad – Using various online and social media outlets to advertise the listing is critical. Also, in addition to Zillow, Rentals.com, GoSection8.com, Facebook, and CraigsList, consider local college boards if the property is near any local universities.
How to Write a Rental Property Ad
According to Zillow, tenants spend around 60 to 75 days looking for a new rental. Therefore, in that timeframe, they could potentially see hundreds of listings. So, we will review how to write a rental ad so that tenants notice and remember your property. Check out these tips below –
Add the Basics
When you write a rental ad, it is important to include any basic information the renter needs to know. This includes the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage of the unit. Many renters use the number of bedrooms as a search filter. So, forgetting to indicate the size and available space means landlords could be missing out on valuable leads.
Now that the basics are covered, it is time to write a rental ad description to set the unit apart. Renters need to know what amenities the property offers in a concise and memorable way. Therefore, the rental ad description needs to complement the photos and draw attention to important rental features. Also, landlords should strive to write a rental ad in less than keep in mind; rental ads sell a lifestyle, not just a place to call home.
Renters will read a lot of property ads over the course of their search. So, ensure yours uses compelling language and avoids cookie-cutter phrases like “Great Location” or “Convenient to Amenities.” Instead, consider highlighting the property’s unique features such as –
- Hardwood Flooring
- Energy-Efficient Appliances
- In-unit Washer and Dryer
- Onsite Parking
- Proximity to Transit
- Master Suite
- Updated Baths
- Finished Basement or Bonus Space
- Fenced Yard
- Central Air
- Ample Storage (either as closets or possibly an outdoor shed)
- Natural Light
- Smart Home or Security Accessories
Other Items to Include When You Write a Rental Ad
If the property is part of a multifamily building, including shared features is also important. For example, let tenants know if there is a shared rooftop deck, onsite gym for residents, package acceptance service, or complimentary guest parking.
Neighborhood amenities are also important to renters and come back to the fact that you are selling the lifestyle when you write a rental ad. So, if the property is close to downtown, near parks, part of a vibrant local arts or entertainment scene, or close to restaurants – be sure to mention it.
What To Avoid in Rental Ads
Although landlords want to get their point across effectively, not every technique will do so. In fact, saying some things might even get property owners into legal trouble. So, to write a rental ad that is professional and effective, avoid the following –
Using Words or Phrases in ALL CAPS
Many landlords believe that to stress or draw attention to a point, using all caps will help. However, it can have the opposite effect. Words in all caps are actually harder to read, especially for renters skimming through your property listing. Instead, stick to a consistent sentence case when you write a rental ad.
Using Emojis or Slang Terms
While cute and convenient, using emojis is not a professional way to grab the attention of the younger generation. Furthermore, neither is the use of slang or abbreviated terms such as “u,” “r,” “2”, “omg,” or “thx,” just to name a few. Also, despite being unprofessional, these terms or icons may be misinterpreted and therefore only cause unnecessary confusion.
Overusing Exclamation Points!!!!!!
Overusing exclamations could come across as desperate or exaggerating to overcompensate for something. While a landlord may be excited to write a rental ad, letting the words speak for themselves without the added punctuation is the best way to go. Also, while on the subject of punctuation, do not forget to use commas to separate items in a list and add a period at the end of each sentence.
Improper Use of Homophones
By definition, a homophone is a word with the same pronunciation as another but with different spelling and meaning. So, misusing these is not only embarrassing in a professional setting, but it can also lead to confusion in a rental ad. Let’s review a few common examples below –
- Affect versus Effect – Affect is a verb that refers to “having an effect on” or “making a difference” to something. Meanwhile, effect is a noun that represents a change that is a result of an action.
- Their, They’re, and There – There is used to indicate possession of something such as “their parking spot.” There refers to being in or at a certain location. Also, there is the contraction of the words “they are,” and you should only use it as an abbreviated replacement of these terms.
- Then versus Than – Then refers to a timeframe while than is used to connect two terms in a comparison. For example, “he lived there longer than I did.”
Violating Fair Housing Laws
Every landlord must adhere to strict Fair Housing Laws aimed to protect renters against potential discrimination. However, these laws can vary based on location, and certain areas may include additional protected classes than the federal mandate. So, always ensure you stay abreast of any local Fair Housing Law changes that would affect the rental. In general, these laws protect against discrimination based on the following –
- National Origin
- Familial Status
However, as we mentioned, local law may include additional classes. For example, in Anne Arundel County, the following classes are protected from discrimination in addition to the federal list –
- Source of Income
- Citizenship Status
- Gender Identity or Expression
- Marital Status
- Sexual Orientation
The Best Way to Market a Rental Property
The best and most efficient way to market a rental unit is to hire a qualified local property manager. The leasing experts at Bay Property Management Group can take quality photos and write a rental ad to get your property noticed and rented in an average of 30 days. Furthermore, our experienced team shows the property, screens applicants, and completes the leasing process allowing owners added free time and peace of mind.
Once the property is rented, our work is just beginning. Bay Property Management Group provides owners a dedicated property manager to handle the day-to-day operations and ensure the rental is maximizing all profit potential. For more information on our full-service approach to rental management, give us a call today!