Price Your Property Correctly
The rental price of your property is the first consideration for buyers, so make sure yours is priced correctly for your market. Research what similar houses are renting for in your neighborhood. You can use sites like Hot Pads or Zillow for a ballpark number. For a more accurate assessment, contact us for your free rental-price analysis. You can also view our video on how much will my property rent for.
Photos and Description
The photos, video, and description of your property are crucial. These create the prospect’s first impression of your place, so make sure these items are as compelling and professional as possible. You want your property to stand out from your competitors, so renters are lining up to live in your place.
How To Take Photos of Your Rental Property
First, make sure your photos represent the space both accurately and attractively. If the photos make the place looks dark and uninviting, think of what kind of people that will interest. Jay Bussiere, a professional real estate photographer at ZenLens in Washington, DC has several tips for getting the best shots of your property. He says, “Before taking photos or video, thoroughly clean the space, including the windows, floors, and carpets. Plan to take photos during the brightest hour of daylight unless you are working with strobe lights or a fill flash. Turn on all the lights in the home and open curtains and blinds to allow as much natural light in as possible. If you have custom drapes or window treatments, leave them halfway closed to showcase them.”
He continues, “Use a wide-angle camera lens, 18mm is best. If you’re shooting with a phone camera, get a professional wide-angle lens adaptor, (They run about $300). Don’t use the cheap ones as the resulting images will look distorted. Ditto for fish-eye lenses, they also make a property look odd. Don’t get too close to anything while you’re shooting with a wide-angle lens. Stand back from walls and objects or the space will look more surreal than real.”
“Standing in a corner, take two to three shots of the open areas like the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Try to get some overlap so the renter can see how the spaces connect.” Bussiere also offers, “When you shoot bathrooms, put the toilet seat down, and be careful of reflections off of the mirror, so you don’t get yourself in the picture.”
Write a Description of Your Rental Property
You’ll have to write a thorough and accurate description of the property to entice renters. In your description, make sure you cover the following:
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Basement (if available)
- Square Footage
- Outdoor spaces like patio, balcony or deck
- Living/Dining/Breakfast Areas
- Include amenities like a fireplace, garbage disposal, high ceilings, washer/dryer, etc.
- If it’s an older property, mention any updates like new windows, modern kitchen, or other renovations.
- Proximity to area amenities like schools, shopping, parks, and transit
Be honest about any quirks of the place, so you don’t waste your time showing it to people who aren’t a good fit. For example, if the place has room air conditioners rather than central AC, mention it. If the two bedrooms share a wall, disclose this in the description as people with kids may or may not want this kind of proximity to their children at night.
Where to Market Your Rental Property
Online Rental Listings
Do a Google search for local houses for rent to find other online listing sites and put your rental on these as well.
Often, the best tenants come by way of people you know. Post your photos and description twice a week on all your social sites. Tag people you know who you think may be willing to share your post with their networks. Or send private messages to people with a link to your listing and ask them to share it with their friends.
You can enlist the help of a property manager to help you find tenants without having to hire them to take care of the day-to-day maintenance of the place. It’s called occupancy property management. They market the property, screen prospective tenants through an application process and background check, show the property, and handle the lease contract. They charge a fee for these services, but you may find it’s easier than doing all of these things yourself.
Answer Inquiries Promptly
When you get an email, phone call, text or IM about your rental, respond immediately. Renters are calling and emailing multiple properties so the more quickly you get back to them, the better chance you have of getting them to visit your place.
Clear your schedule as much as you can and be ready to show the place. Renters have to make decisions, sometimes swiftly, so being able to show the property quickly can make all the difference.
Once you have mastered marketing your property, you’re going to need to know how to choose the right tenants and how to keep your rental property from getting destroyed by tenants.