Although most prospective tenants first search the ads in the local newspaper, the following tips will apply to advertising a property on any medium (for example, as an internet listing).
An effective ad will attract the kind of tenant that works best for your property as well as keep bad tenants from even calling you in the first place.
Advertising is the first step in your relationship with a tenant
Always keep in mind that you are trying to attract a customer. Run an ad listing all the benefits of your property and the factors that make it unique or desirable, for example, location or high-tech heating. If you think of prospective tenants as customers you are trying to entice, writing the ad should be easy. Remember that they are the ones who will be paying your mortgage, paying your property taxes and making you a profit.
If you begin the relationship with your next tenant with an ad that treats him or her as a customer, the rest of the journey should be smooth sailing. Business class.
Writing the ad
Target that ad. It should not attract everyone who is looking for a place to rent. That is a waste of time. The ad should do two things: Let people know the property is available and give information that will eliminate some tenants.
Take the following examples:
A. 2 bedroom, 1 bath duplex in good neighborhood. 1st and last plus dep., No pets. $600. 123-4567.
B. ½ Block to the Bus. Cute and sharp 2 bedroom duplex on super quiet street. Large rooms, built-in dishwasher, gas heat, fenced back yard for kids. School close. $600. 1234 NE Main. 123-4567.
The first ad has four disadvantages:
- First, it gets lost in all the other 2 bedroom ads.
- Second, everybody who wants a two bedroom duplex in the area covered by the ad section will call you.
- Third, it gives information that does nothing to make an applicant want to rent that property rather than your competitor’s. In fact,
it wastes words (most landlords ask for 1st and last and deposit, and tenants will ask you about pets).
- Fourth, it’s boring. Even a classified ad can spark some interest.
In contrast, the second ad does several helpful things:
- The ad jumps off the page
- It is an ad rather than a notice. An ad sells the benefits of something, whereas a notice merely relays facts (in this case, that something is available for rent)
- It utilises the “fear of loss” benefit, i.e. their children will be safe because of the fenced in backyard
- It announces the features that will make people consider the property, for instance, large rooms, built-in dishwasher etc.
- It gives the address. This means they can drive by the neighborhood and look at the outside before calling.
- It lets them know that children are welcome by the explicit mention of school proximity.
Do you have any other tips for writing property ads to make them more effective?