If you want to get a vacancy at your rental filled, prospective tenants need to be able to find you! People look for rental property in a variety of places, so it is important that you advertise your property in a variety of places as well. Here are nine ways to find tenants.
1. Advertise on Rental Websites
The internet is a great way to reach the masses. Sites such as Craigslist.com allow you to list your rental property based on location, making it easily searchable.
Trulia.com also lets you post a free listing, which can be seen anywhere in the world.
In addition, there are many state-specific sites where you can advertise your property. Gardenstateapartments.com, for example, caters to the New Jersey market. You can do an online search to find a site that targets your particular area.
If you are interested in accepting government subsidized housing, including Section-8, sites such as Socialserve.com can help you reach this market. Of course, if you have your own website, make sure to list the property there and be sure to reference your website URL in your other ads.
2. Use Social Media to Find Tenants
Millions of people use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If you have a company, you should create a Facebook page and a Twitter account for it. If not, you can use your personal Facebook or Twitter account to let people know you have a property for rent.
You can list your property on Facebook.com’s marketplace, post a status update on your account, or send out a tweet to your followers via Twitter.
3. Advertise in Print Media
Many people look for rental properties in the newspaper. Aim to advertise on the weekend, and in particular, on Sunday because this is when newspapers see the most traffic.
You will only have a few lines to make your property stand out, so make them count. Use abbreviations for words like bedroom (BR) and washer/dryer (W/D) to save space. Placing an ad in the newspaper will cost money, but it is another way to increase exposure for your property.
4. Advertise on Local Bulletin Boards
Put up flyers in the community where your property is located. This can include bulletin boards at grocery stores, churches, Laundromats, and bus stops.
Since people will be passing by the flyer quickly, use a bold headline and large, color photographs to draw interest to the flyer. On the bottom of the flyer, include tear-offs for people to take. These tear-offs should include the property address, the number of bedrooms and your contact information.
For their services, brokers typically charge a commission of about one month’s rent, sometimes more. You may want to interview two or more realtors to find the one you are most comfortable listing your rental with. While this may be the most expensive way to advertise your property, it can save you a lot of the hassle and headache of dealing with prospective tenants. Your property will also be listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which will increase exposure.
Don’t underestimate the power of the spoken word. If you have current tenants, let them know you have a vacancy. They may have a sister, cousin, or brother who is looking for a new place to live.
Also, tell your brother, sister, hairdresser, boss, and mechanic that you have a property for rent. Always have flyers with you so you can hand them out when needed. You can offer a referral fee to give a greater incentive.
7. Place a ‘For Rent’ Sign in the Window
While you won’t reach the masses by placing a “For Rent” sign in the window, there is no harm in doing it either. A passerby may be interested or may know someone who is looking to rent in the area. Make sure a phone number can be clearly read from street level.
8. Find Tenants by Offering Incentives
People like the idea of getting a deal or a discount.
You can offer a free TV or a discounted rent if a tenant moves in by a certain date. A $250 television may seem expensive, but if you’re charging $950 in rent, and the TV gets someone to move in a month earlier, you are actually saving yourself $700, and as an added bonus, the television will be a tax write-off for the rental property.
9. Answer the Phone/Email Promptly and Be Ready to Show the Apartment
Don’t wait a week to respond to a potential tenant. If you don’t call or email a tenant back promptly, another landlord or realtor will. If you do not want to give out your personal phone number, you can set up a free Google Voice account which will assign you a new phone number that can be set to ring to your existing phone lines. For a small monthly fee, you can even set up a toll free number, including voicemail, for your rentals using websites such as Kall8.com. Similar options exist for email.