As a landlord, you are always looking to fill all of your vacant apartments, however, it’s no secret that the pandemic made it difficult to find new renters. Now that the pandemic is almost in our rearview mirror, renters are back on the market, so it’s important to get as many clicks on your housing rental as possible. Follow these seven tips and tricks to make it happen:
1. Define Your Target Market
Defining your target market is crucial in any business, but in real estate, being familiar with your target market allows you to know where to search for listings. Determine what age group and socioeconomic status are you looking to target with your rental (for example, renting out a home in the suburbs of Los Angeles is very different than if you were looking to rent out a studio apartment in the middle of downtown). Once you have a clear idea of who would be the right fit for your rental, you can specifically target your online ads to that group and ultimately increase the amount of clicks you will get on your online listing.
2. Write a Targeted Property Description
Once you have your target audience defined, write your description of the property to pique their interest. Let us imagine that the house you are renting has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a pool, and a fully furnished basement. The perfect home for a family with two younger children. In short, this means that when you are writing up the property description you should include words, phrases and points that will make them interested. For example, stating that there are excellent school districts nearby could be attractive to parents.
These targeted descriptions are the best way to interest the exact demographic you are looking for. Without adding the right details, you are at risk of losing the perfect tenant.
3. Take Quality Photos
Do not overlook the importance of providing accurate and quality photos of the property. By providing possible renters with high-def photos, you can generate 139% more clicks on your listing. Some of the basics to cover when shooting pictures of the property are:
· Use the right equipment: Get a quality camera, wide angle lenses to capture the whole room, use a tripod to get steady photos.
· Capture the right feel of each room: The living room should look comfortable and relaxing, the kitchen should look neat and functional, the bathroom should look clean and bright, etc.
· Edits: Take advantage of editing tools like cropping and straightening to make sure that your photos do not have anything you don’t want potential renters to see. Straightening the photos will make them look cleaner and more visually appealing.
Keep in mind that photos with furniture always do better because it helps potential renters visualize the space. If you have a vacant rental, consider staging each room (and remember, you can use these photos for years, so get them right the first time!).
4. Upload a 360 Picture or Virtual Tour
In addition to the pictures, having a video walkthrough or a 360 picture is the “new open house.” This is a really great tool to use to attract potential renters who do not live in the area currently or have a very busy schedule where they can’t get to the open house times. Once you have recorded the video, upload it onto YouTube and link it directly on the listing. If you do not have the ability to take a video, there are apps that will turn a series of photos into a 360 photo. This way users can still get an idea of what the full property looks like.
5. Make Your Listing Accessible
Even with the passing of The Fair Housing Act, people with disabilities are finding it difficult to find affordable, accessible homes. These homes have many specific features such as lowered counters, widened doorways and more. But it isn’t just the actual home’s accessibility that is an issue. People with disabilities often find it difficult to navigate the internet, particularly those who are unable to move their arms or who may be blind. Inaccessible websites make it impossible for these users to navigate a website. By posting your rental on an accessible website, however, all users will be able to navigate your site and understand your listing. Below are a few tips on how to make your listing webpage accessible:
· Make sure all photos include alt text. This allows those with screen readers to understand what each photo is showing.
· Avoid using flashing ads and be mindful of your color choices. For those with color blindness, utilizing color the right way can make a difference in how they’ll read your pages.
· Pay attention to your forms. Your forms on your listing should have separate fields for first and last name, clearly labeled, and you should be able to “tab” through to each new form field.
These tips are just the basics to creating an accessible website, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with the idea of website accessibility in general. If your listing is on a website that is not entirely accessible, you open yourself up to potential lawsuits, in addition to missing out on an entire community of renters.
Many website owners hire a third-party company to ensure their website is accessible to not only avoid lawsuits, but also avoid spending lots of cash to developers just to continually keep the website accessible as it evolves with new and updated content. accessiBe is a leader in website accessibility and can ensure that the site your rental is on is always compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
6. Promote the Listing
Social media is growing exponentially when it comes to digital marketing. With so many great platforms to use, you can again target the perfect audience. Before you post the listing on any random social media site, you again need to do some research on where your target audience is online. For example, if you are looking to target a younger family, your best options are to post on Instagram or Facebook.
On Instagram you should post those quality photos you took of the property and create a slideshow. You can post a picture of each room the property has in one post. And do not forget to add the link to the actual listing to make sure that those on Instagram are actually clicking onto the site. You can also boost your post on Instagram by paying to advertise the post. You can pay Instagram a certain amount of money and this will allow you to choose what demographic you want to see the post and for how long.
On Facebook, videos are more popular than photos. Post your video tour on your Facebook profile, share the video in Facebook groups along with a caption of the property description, and of course add the link to the site. This will undoubtedly get more clicks than if you were to skip posting the property on social media. You can also boost your post on Facebook as well following the same steps as Instagram.
7. Use Popular Listing Platforms
83% of tenants use online resources in their search. To maximize your reach online, you should be listing your property on the most popular rental websites. The most widely used websites for listings are: apartments.com, avail.co, hotpads, realtor.com, zillow.com, trulia.com, and Craigslist. Once you have uploaded your listing to all these sites for free, you will be able to reach a wider net of potential tenants.
To reach the widest number of viewers of your property listing online, ensure that you are targeting the right groups of people at the right places on the web. Without doing the proper research, taking the time to show off your listing properly and posting it to the correct sites, you may be missing out on the perfect renter.