Just one month of vacancy in your rental can impact your bottom line. With utilities, landscaping, insurance and property taxes all eating away at profitability, it’s essential to keep rental properties, well…rented! Marketing and advertising vacant rental property is an art, not a science. There are no rules to ensure success and no one marketing approach will work for all properties. There are however, a few simple tips and tricks to make your rental property stand out among the crowd.
- Signage: Easy, cheap and effective
Always have professional, easy to read signage at your property. Forget the generic 18” x 24” plastic signs from the hardware store. They may be cheap, but remember, they look that way too. They also don’t convey your personal brand, which is essential in today’s visual world. Instead, consider using a service like Vistaprint or BuildASign.com to provide customized signage for a reasonable cost.
Make sure your sign is clearly visible from the street and that it includes key information about the property. Be sure to include a phone number and email address, as well as significant features of the home, like number of bedrooms and if the utilities are included.
- Word of Mouth: Use Other People to Help Market Your Property
Consider creating an email blast with pertinent details and pictures and send them to friends and family. Your inner circle is often your best marketing tool – they know infinitely more people than you alone, and if you’re lucky, they might just know the perfect renter for your investment property.
Create a postcard or flyer and mail it to the immediate neighborhood. Realtors use this method all the time to solicit new listings. Why can’t you use this tactic to obtain new renter referrals? Neighbors don’t like vacant houses nearby – they can drive down values or invite vandalism. Instead by including the neighbors in your mailings, you show them that you value your place in the community.
- Online Presence: It’s Not just Craig’s List Anymore
Of course you’re going to use Craig’s List for your rental. It’s probably one of the most cost-effective means to attract potential renters. But also know that there are infinite other sites at your fingertips that offer free postings such as Zillow and Trulia. They’re both slick sites that offer expanded visibility, as well as give you the ability to post to social media sites in just a few clicks.
Consider making a YouTube video of the property that includes the interior of the home, as well as the neighborhood. Offer narrative throughout. Smartphones make this easier than ever to create, complete and upload videos and you get the opportunity to show your potential renters a little bit about yourself as well.
- Be an Open Book: Or at Least be an Open House
Since you know potential renters are going to drive by the home, make sure the blinds and curtains are open so they can peek inside. Consider timers for the lights so your property interior is visible at dusk or early evening.
Hold a traditional Open House on the weekend. Make sure it’s in a similar timeframe to the For-Sale open houses, but maybe start it an hour earlier or end it an hour later. And encourage your neighbors, friends and family to attend. The more people viewing the house creates excitement and a sense of urgency for potential renters.
CoreVest is a leading provider of financing solutions to residential real estate investors. We provide attractive long-term debt products for stabilized rental portfolios as well as credit lines for new acquisitions. For more information about how CoreVest can help grow your rental and rehab business, please call 844.223.2231 or submit our contact form.