Finding the best tenants for your Long Beach rental property requires effective advertising. No matter how attractive your rental property is, if people don’t know about it, then you are missing out on prospective tenants.
Rental property owners want their properties advertised to fill vacancies quickly. Time is crucial since vacant properties don’t bring in rent and you still have your carrying costs like mortgage, insurance, property taxes, upkeep, any HOA dues, and your opportunity cost. Additionally, vacant properties are susceptible to rental fraud and vandalism.
Another, often overlooked, benefit of having of effective marketing is capturing a bigger pool of potential renters. With more potential tenants to choose from, the more likely you are to find the best-qualified tenant who will take good care of the property, pay their rent on time and respect the terms of their lease agreement.
Better advertising brings better tenants. Here are some suggestions to try when advertising your Long Beach rental property:
Industry studies show potential renters look online to find their next home more than any other method. I would go as far as to say that ALL serious renters are looking online. Long gone are the days of people going through the newspapers and relying on For Rent signs. If your rental property is not listed on the major rental websites, you are missing out.
The major rental websites in the Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Orange County markets include names like Appartments.com, Zillow, and Realtor.com, just to name a few. However, this list is always growing and changing. These sites are set up where rental property owners can upload their available properties. The more of these sites listing your property, the better.
Professional property management companies will have a system where they can “syndicate” their available properties to multiple sites from one location. We syndicate to over 50 separate sites paying additional fees to some to get preferential visibility. One of the benefits of syndication, besides the extra exposure, is that you can adjust your listing in one place and it will eventually make modifications on all the sites.
If you are not on a syndication system going out to multiple sites, you need to figure out how to get on the most popular rental sites in your area. Otherwise, your property will not be seen by most of the marketplace.
Pro tip: Fill in property details accurately and try not to make mistakes. This information, like the number of bedrooms and parking, is how your property will be categorized and searched. Even though it is possible to make corrections, the syndication process and the nature of dealing with large online businesses can make the corrections time-consuming and frustrating.
Double Down on Excellent Photography
The explosion of online rental searches has made photography and video more important than ever. Pictures capture people’s attention and help them visualize living in your rental property. Professional quality photography attracts tenants while poor photos cheapen the look of your property resulting in a poor response.
People will not read your ad copy if they do not like what they see in the pictures. Quality photography with clear and professional images will earn more views and get better results. Place yourself in the prospective renter’s shoes: they may have been scrolling for a long time, looking at competing listings. Delivering fine images will capture their attention.
Pro tip: Be mindful of the order in which you place your photos. You want to start with a great picture that grabs your audience and communicates meaningful information about your property. You want to place the photos in a logical order “walking” your prospects throughout your Long Beach rental property.
Write Outstanding Copy
Quality photography can only go so far. You need to back up your media – photos and/or video with well-written “ad copy” to captivate and engage potential tenants for your Long Beach rental property.
Here are five tips for effective ad copy:
- Lead with the best attribute – If your property has a great view, is highly upgraded, or has a huge garage say it in the beginning. Do not bury what sets you apart from the competition deep in your description, as it will most likely be what makes someone choose your property.
- Write with your audience in mind – Factor in whether you are speaking to someone looking at student housing, an entry-level home, a beach house, or a luxury high-rise condominium. Everything from tone, word choice, and attributes you highlight should be geared toward your likely tenant.
- Be clear and concise – Your ad will be one of many. Don’t expect people to read through extra words and useless information. This is not a creative writing assignment. Cut out the fluff and stick with what will matter to prospective tenants.
- Avoid Jargon, Clichés and Abbreviations – Say 3-bedroom 2 bath house don’t over abbreviate with “3bd 2bth SFR” like a 1980s classified ad or some kind of text message. Avoid recycling real estate babel like, “quintessential” …. or “open concept” … unless you would authentically speak that way about the property.
- Be truthful and accurate – there is absolutely no point in misleading potential tenants. Don’t say it has an ocean view or lots of closet space if is not true. If you exaggerate the truth to get more showings, you will only disappoint the prospects and waste everybody’s time.
Advertising Is Where Screening Starts
Your rental advertisement is the best place to start screening out what will not work for you and your prospective tenants. This is the perfect stage to start narrowing down the pool of applicants. You want to save time for yourself and the interested renters by giving them the non-negotiables up front. Mention your pet policy, parking space availability, smoking restrictions, move-in fees, deposit amounts, and any income credit requirements you may have so that the prospects you talk to will be a likely fit for the property.
Follow Fair Housing Laws
No matter what, it is important to be mindful of Fair Housing Laws when writing and answering responses to real estate ads. The moment you step into this landlord space, you are subjecting yourself to fair housing scrutiny.
Remember that a poorly written real estate ad can get you in trouble by broadcasting your ignorance of the law. Even unintentional appearances of discrimination can have devastating consequences. However, following the law has been shown to afford you a larger renter pool, is the right thing to do and the law that protects us all.
Consider Property Management
As a property management company, we focus and spend a lot on advertising. However, a large portion of our vacancies is still filled by word of mouth and cross-marketing to potential tenants who called on properties that may have already been rented.
A particularly “hot” property may get multiple quality applicants. These applicants are often redirected to other, comparable properties in our portfolio that are currently being prepared to re-lease. Sometimes, we are able to fill vacancies before a property officially hits the rental market! This reduced vacancy time can help offset the cost of management.
Get online, have great photos, write effective ad copy, use your ad to start to screen tenants, and always be mindful of fair housing laws. Follow those guidelines and you will be successful in advertising your rental property. Of course, you may also want to consider hiring a property manager in order to leverage their reputation and expertise.
If you would like help marketing your rentals or would like to work with professional and trusted property managers, contact the trusted team at Mike Dunfee Group today!