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If you’re renting properties in 2022, you’ve embarked on a profitable endeavor. As housing prices soar and demand for rental properties grows, there’s no investment more lucrative than real estate. But to make the most of this leasing season, you need an airtight marketing strategy. This means creating attractive listings and advertising them online.
There are many ways to generate leads for your rental properties, from dedicated listing sites to social media. A well-written listing with appealing photographs will shine on any of these sites. So, what makes a great listing? Where are the best places to advertise in 2022? What can you do to guarantee filled units this leasing season? Here’s how to maximize the 2022 leasing season with rental marketing:
Write an engaging listing
Every filled unit starts with an engaging listing. Your listings should be more than just eye-catching, but also informative and specific. Below are the three main components of a listing and how to master each:
A headline is one line containing all the key facts about your property. The best headlines are brief but include all the information a renter needs to decide whether a property is worth investigating further. At a minimum, your headline should include the price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, type of building, neighborhood and the property’s best feature or amenity. Here’s an example of a headline using this formula:
$950 1 Bed/1 Bath Apartment in Downtown Cincinnati near Fountain Square
Every listing needs high-quality photographs. In many cases, photos determine whether a renter will decide that it’s worth it to click on the listing. Here’s our best advice for taking the perfect photos of your property:
Use a decent camera and tripod: You don’t need to splurge for expensive equipment, but be sure the camera you use takes high-quality pictures. If you don’t have a professional setup, try pairing a decent smartphone with a portable tripod.
Take advantage of natural lighting: Natural lighting is the most flattering in photographs. Aim to take pictures during daylight hours.
Upload only high-quality files: High-resolution photos are always more attractive.
Feature the most important rooms: Focus on kitchens and bedrooms. If the listing service you’re using allows more, add bathrooms and other living spaces.
Attach a floor plan: Floor plans help renters visualize the unit and decide whether it will meet their needs.
The description component is your opportunity to fill in all the property details not included in the headline. While a concise description is preferable, try to add as many relevant details as possible. Bulleted lists also make your description more readable. Be sure to include:
Amenities: List the features and services included in rent — such as laundry, package lockers or access to a fitness center.
Specifications: Get specific about the unit’s age, condition and layout. Include an itemized list of rooms and utilities.
Dimensions and measurements: Exact measurements of the property help renters decide whether the size is appropriate.
Your pet policy: Pet owners want to know if you allow pets up front. Don’t forget to add information about pet rent or fees.
Exact location of the property: Provide the street address so renters can find it on a map.
Key lease terms: Are there any key terms or conditions renters should know about? Let your renters know whether the lease will be month-to-month, yearly, etc., and detail your security deposit policies.
Your contact information: Include your phone and email so interested renters can contact you.
Post your listings
Now that you’ve written your listing, it’s time to launch it online. Residential listing sites receive a high volume of traffic year-round and are great places to market your properties. Social media can also be a lucrative place to post listings.
A few of the most popular rental listing sites include Zillow, Apartments.com and Zumper — as well as Airbnb for short-term vacation properties. These sites boast millions of visits from renters each day. It’s usually free to post and monitor your listings, but paid options might also be available. One feature that makes listing sites worthwhile is syndication with other sites in their networks. Sites like Zillow and Apartments.com extend your listings’ reach by sharing posts across affiliated sites, such as Trulia, HotPads, PadMapper, Walkscore and Facebook Marketplace.
Before you decide which site(s) to post on, think about what you value as a landlord and investor. If you’re looking for wide syndication, you might choose to post on Apartments.com, which syndicates with eight additional sites. If price is your priority, look for budget-friendly options like Zumper or Craigslist, where listings are always free to post.
Social media is also a great opportunity for rental advertising. While platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube aren’t designed for listings, they are often suitable for general marketing content. For example, post pictures of your properties, video tours, infographics or other materials on these platforms.
Your presence on social media is also critical to reaching renters who still work remotely in 2022. These renters are accustomed to working, learning and shopping online. One way to appeal to this population is to create video showings or 3D property tours. Renters looking for properties online or those who live too far to visit easily will appreciate the ability to interact with your units virtually.
The best social networking site for listings is Facebook Marketplace. The platform’s interface is designed for sellers, buyers and renters, and its large user base helps you reach a different population of renters than those who use listing sites. Even renters without Facebook accounts can view your listings.
Facebook Marketplace also offers generous options and features. Sellers can add up to 50 photographs, a Walk or Bike Score and information about nearby schools and stores with ratings and distances.
Property management software
Your property management software platform is another tool you can leverage to maximize this year’s leasing season. Innago, Appfolio, Avail and other platforms offer listing syndication, similar to the sites mentioned above. However, the main benefit of syndication on property management software is that there tend to be more connected sites.
For example, Avail syndicates with 11 of the top listing sites (Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, Apartments.com, Walkscore, Lovely, PadMapper, Zumper, Realtor, Doorsteps, and Apartment List). With an Avail account, you can access the platform’s syndication services and achieve an average of 18 leads in two weeks. Pricing is tiered, but other platforms (like Innago) offer listing syndication for free.
Running a rental business in 2022 is a digital endeavor. However, even beginners can learn to navigate the ins and outs of digital rental marketing and listing syndication. With the right tools, you will have plenty of leads to fill your units this leasing season.