How to Successfully Market your Rental Listing

Let’s face it, occupied and rented apartments are the way you’re going to earn money. To speed up the process of finding qualified renters, it’s very important to effectively market your real estate listings. Whether you’re an owner or property manager, use these nifty strategies to raise the profile of your listing and go from available to rented.

1. Drive Traffic to your Listing with Strong Keywords

If there are unique characteristics of your listing, be sure to capitalize on them in your description. Prospective tenants will use keywords in a search for a place to live. Detailed, colorful, but accurate descriptions will bring your apartment to the top of a search. Be sure to list the amenities in clear and concise language and other desirable attributes.

Other important and search-worthy information includes the number of bedrooms and baths, kitchen amenities, if it’s an open floor plan and what the flooring is -  whether it’s hardwoods or carpeting. Another factor to highlight is the view!  Be sure to explain in language that grabs a reader about what makes the view from the windows so enticing.

2. Provide Amazing Photographs

A picture can say 1,000 words, especially for someone looking for a place to rent. Visuals are so important to getting your listing seen. If possible, splurge for professional photos. They will make the place look better than you think could. Lighting, staging, angles and other pro tricks can take your small space and make it seem so much for appealing. If a professional photographer is not in your budget, then make sure you have a plan in place. 

First, start with cleaning up the space to make it seem like a wonderful setting for a new tenant. Keep furniture sparse, clutter out of sight and don’t leave too many knick-knacks around. People like to see clean spaces, where they can visualize their “stuff” not yours. Begin by taking photos of the rooms. Start in the kitchen. Be sure to take shots of the counters, storage space, appliances, prep area, sink and views into the living space. Again, don’t keep junk on the counters. It’s a good idea to have a plant, coffee maker or some candles, but keep the personalized clutter to a minimum.

Follow this strategy for each room. The living space should highlight where a TV can be placed, and a suggested floor-plan that includes a sofa, chair or desk. Ensure that bedrooms (if furnished) are tidy. Don’t take too many photos. Prospective tenants don’t have the time or patience to scroll through hundreds of images.

3. Cast your Listing in Rental real Estate Sites

Real estate platforms like Trulia or Zillow are popular, well-trusted and well-known rental and home sites. There may be a fee to list your apartment, but it is well worth the exposure as you will reach prospective tenants. What’s helpful about these platforms is that people can use keywords to narrow down listings to find yours. As stated above, make sure your listings are packed with keywords and photos that will catch your prospects’ attention.

Photo by Josephine Baran on Unsplash

4. Boast About your Neighborhood or Community

In the description, be sure to include the outdoor perks and bonuses. Are there community parks? Are you near public transportation? Is the unit in a university setting? Brag about shopping, cultural places of interest, culinary hotspots, and places of worship. These extras will take your listing from great to amazing. Not only are you selling your apartment, but you’re also selling the total package of where they will be living.

5. Spread the Apartment Listing on Social Media

Drive traffic to your listing through social media posts. Make them sharable to the public. Consider allocating a budget to advertise listings on Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter and Pinterest. Again, make the ads rich in keywords and attach an awesome photograph. If you can, tag others in your posts who can spread the news even further

6. Shoot Videos of your Space

Videos are the new sensation online. Think about it, how many videos do you watch a day? Curiosity makes people want to watch. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 85 percent of buyers and sellers prefer to work with an agent who uses video marketing, but only 15 percent of agents are actually using video. This data proves that there’s an audience interested in videos.

Delving into videos can certainly raise your marketing profile. Consider shooting a video tour of your apartment. Show the space room by room. If you want you can narrate, but that may be off-putting to some. It is better to let the rooms speak for themselves. In addition, be sure to take videos of the common spaces, apartment lobby and grounds.

7. Connect With the Local Real Estate Community.

Pursue outreach with local real estate brokers or agents who may work with companies who help relocated employees find apartments. It’s acceptable to call offices and ask if they want to form an alliance. Even if you have to pay a fee, it will be well worth the cost if they bring tenant prospects your way. 

Successfully marketing a real estate listing can give you an important edge in a competitive market. It’s important to focus on the description of your property. Begin with creating your listing with SEO rich keywords, and then add images to raise the listing’s profile even higher. Think about splurging for professional photographs, but if you aren’t able to hire a professional, make sure your photos are well-planned and well-staged. 

Be sure to clear the clutter out and keep design elements simple and neutral. Another trendy way to boost interest is to take videos of your property. Lots of prospective renters like to experience what the property is like. Beyond the inside, be sure to highlight the surroundings including common areas of the building, neighborhood setting and amenities of the community. 

Erica Lamberg is a freelance business and personal finance writer. 

*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.