Getting your property listing out there and in front of the right people is a laborious and time-consuming process. However, it needs to be done.
From creating the listing, getting great photography, posting online, organizing viewings, going through tenant applications, screening prospective tenants – to finally getting the lease signed.
The good news though is that there are plenty of websites now that make it a whole lot easier to find good tenants – or perhaps more importantly for the perfect tenants to find you.
Related: Rental Property Marketing Strategies To Avoid Vacancies
A great place to start is to set up your own website. This becomes the central hub for your online property portfolio. You can feature photos, detailed information, and easily connect with your property management team.
You will want your site to be attractive, easy to navigate, and informative. Plus make sure it’s mobile-friendly!
You can build a website pretty quickly these days, how much it costs will depend on the service you use.
You will need to get photography of your property if you want your listing to attract attention.
A good brand is a very valuable commodity and will give your website a focused visual identity. If you do decide you want to establish a strong visual brand identity for your property portfolio it’s worth getting a professional to do this.
Check that your domain is free and purchase it ahead of time somewhere like GoDaddy. These are inexpensive and can be set to renew annually.
You will likely need to pay a website hosting fee. This is essentially a fee for the space that your website data takes up on a server. For many website builder sites, like Squarespace, this is incorporated into the monthly costs.
Zillow is one of the biggest property listings websites in the US. Your first listing on Zillow is free, however, all subsequent listings posted via Zillow Rental Manager cost $9.99 per week. The features include an interactive map and allow prospective tenants to compare two properties side by side.
Another very popular website, Hotpads was actually acquired by Zillow in 2012, so it’s unsurprising that the two have very similar features and abilities.
This though also caters to pet owners, with pet information shared upfront. And it’s great for listing units in a multi-family building.
It has an attractive interface and simple and clear property listings which allows renters to see a group of photo listings with vital statistics about a property right underneath. Make sure you have at least one really great photo for your property listing on this site.
Everyone has a Facebook account which means it is the place to reach people. Facebook’s more recent updates have been leaning towards pushing their groups as a primary way of reaching people, so listing on the marketplace and then sharing through relevant Facebook groups is a sure-fire way to find the tenants.
Apartment List is a unique choice among rental listing sites because it is free to list, but there is a back-end fee if you do end up renting through the site. While we know that this doesn’t mean the whole process is free, you’ll only end up paying that fee if you find your renter on this site.
Another interesting feature of Apartment List is that they have a partnership with Facebook, where Facebook imports listings from Apartment List so that tenants can find the property listing there too.
Craigslist is where many people turn for everything from jobs to accommodation. It’s an inexpensive option and allows you to word your listing in your own way. You can pay to promote your listing to get more views or simply use the free listing service. The main problem is that not everyone will be serious when they inquire and that can take up a lot of time.
Zumper features a few pretty handy features that are worth mentioning. For example, it offers up neighborhood information and city guides for your tenants. Its initial listings are pretty minimal, so it may be worth upgrading to detailed listings which offers you the opportunity to add an engaging paragraph about your property and multiple photos.
Another interesting feature is it shows the rent trends in the area as well.
Padmapper (now owned by Zumper) has a fun, interactive map that allows prospective renters to set a price, set a number of bedrooms, and look at cities across North America that suit that price range. Renters won’t see your actual listing until after the initial search when they dig a little deeper.
Set up with a very simple interactive map. This makes quickly browsing through properties based on location, price, and a single picture easy.
The latest listings show up in red on the map, so that renters can see what’s fresh on the market. It’s also easy for tenants to see whether a property is pet-friendly, and there’s a bullet list of amenities that you’ll need to fill out.
Whilst perfect for short-term and holiday lets, Airbnb isn’t the right choice for many properties, and renting your property out on Airbnb will require a little more effort and input from you as a landlord. However, for many, this is a smart and easy way to reach a vast list of prospective renters – if your rental is in the right location you are almost ensured to get bookings. Plus, if you collect a few good reviews and pay attention to the details, you could quickly end up booked out.
Related: A Guide To Managing Short Term Rentals
These are just a few of the many options available for getting your property out there and in front of prospective tenants.
If you’re new to the game it’s worth trying a few and seeing what works for you. Some people swear by Facebook or Craigslist, others only list through Zillow or their partner sites. Whatever you decide, it’s never been easier to find great tenants.
Related: Next The Ultimate Guide To Tenant Screening For DIY Landlords
Once you’ve got a great listing out there though you’re likely to be swamped with inquiries from potential tenants. Sorting through all these tenants may seem tiresome but it’s important to screen and select the tenant carefully.
If you choose the wrong tenant or don’t follow up with their references you may end up in the unfortunate position of needing to pursue an eviction. With a proper tenant application and screening process though you can lower your risk of ending up with a poor tenant and actually improve the efficiency of managing your tenant applications.
To get to that point though you need to be listing your property on the best paid and/ free rental listing sites available.
Run a comprehensive tenant screening report (free for landlords) in the Landlord Studio software to get all the information you need to protect your investment and ensure you select the best available tenant for your property.
Our reports include a credit report, renting history, background check, and more.
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Ben is an author and real estate enthusiast. His interest in all things entrepreneurial has led him to work with real estate professionals all over the world, distilling their knowledge into articles and Ebooks.
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