Advertising Rental Property
When advertising rental property, it is important to include information about the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and the rent. Advertisements should accurately reflect the condition of the property. A landlord should avoid advertisements that contain discriminatory requirements about race, gender, religion, disability, and familial status. For example, it is unacceptable to include words like "women," "single," or "adult building." Language referring to age is also best to avoid unless the rental is devoted to senior housing.
The following list contains a variety of ways for advertising rental property.
Use a "For Rent" Sign
Using a "For Rent" sign in the window or yard of a property is not only cost efficient, but one of the best ways to advertise a rental unit in areas where foot and car traffic is heavy. Because potential renters see the building as they pass it, this method is most effective when the exterior of the building has great curb appeal. If the passerby likes the building's exterior, it is more likely that they will want to see the unit for rent. The sign should include information about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the rent, and the availability of parking.
Advertising Rental Property Online
Advertising vacancies online is a good way to publicize the availability of a rental unit to a wide array of potential tenants. Check local real estate sites and national sites like craigslist for advertising opportunities. Advertising online offers a great way to reach potential renters already living in the area and those moving to the area.
Place an Ad in the Newspaper
Placing an ad in the classified section of a newspaper is a time-tested and traditional way to find tenants. Many local newspapers can now reach more renters because online editions of papers are often available. A landlord may also consider advertising in specialty newspapers, such as in college presses or in locally published magazines.
Make Neighborhood Flyers
The neighborhood that the property is located in is often one of the best places to advertise a vacancy. A flyer can notify local residents already living in the area of the vacancy. A landlord can place flyers in laundromats, churches, on college campuses, on grocery store bulletin boards, or in a neighborhood gym. A simply flyer with the landlord's phone number included on detachable tabs is sufficient.
Publicize Through Word-of-Mouth
Sometimes the word-of-mouth is all of the advertising that is necessary. Friends, neighbors, family members, and colleagues can spread the word about the vacancy. A landlord can also tell current tenants about the vacancy and encourage them to tell friends, relatives, and co-workers. Most tenants would rather have a friend or acquaintance as a neighbor than a stranger. As an incentive, offer a finder's fee for a referral.
Post Notices at Universities or in Corporate Housing Offices
Many universities and corporations keep a list of available rentals nearby. A landlord can usually list a property for free or for a small fee. In particular, renters employed by the corporation are good applicants since the employer has already performed screening and background checks.
Employ an Apartment-Finding Service
If it is difficult to find renters, using an apartment-finding service can generate traffic. Typically, the landlord pays the fee for the listing, but some services charge the tenant for finding the rental unit. Many of these service providers are available online.
Special Tips for High End Rentals and Owners with Multiple Units
Not every advertising method is appropriate for all rental units. Higher end rentals and landlords with multiple properties may need to use additional and more aggressive methods:
- Advertise in rental magazines: A national rental magazine is the best place for a landlord with multiple residential properties to advertise in. These listings usually contain advertisements for large rental units.
- Employ a property management company: A landlord can hire a company to handle all aspects of renting a property, including advertising, selecting the tenant, collecting the rent, and handling repairs.
- Employ a real estate agency: A landlord can pay a real estate agent, typically 10 percent of the rent or one month's rent, to advertise and show a property. If preferred, the agent can also select the tenant.