One of the hardest parts of being a landlord is filling vacant rental properties. Every minute a unit sits empty, you’re losing money. While no one wants an empty rental unit, actually finding the right new tenant can be expensive, challenging, and time consuming.
Luckily, marketing is one area where rental property managers have a lot of expertise. These are the top 5 tips the pros use to fill vacant rental properties.
Top 5 Ways to Market Your Vacant Rental Property
- Use photos and videos
Professional, high-quality photographs are one of the strongest tools you have to market your property. Make sure you have appealing interior and exterior photographs, and select only the best pictures for your listing.
Invest in a professional photographer if you can. But if you’re shooting photos yourself, keep a few things in mind. First, make sure the unit is clean and relatively empty (or staged). Second, open up all the windows to get as much natural light as possible and turn off the flash. Look at other professional property photos to learn which angles are most flattering.
And don’t forget about video. Today’s renters have come to expect virtual tours of prospective rental properties, so you might be missing out by not offering a quality 365-degree video.
- Make yourself available
One of the biggest mistakes that property owners make is not making it easy for prospective tenants to get in touch. You need to be easy to reach via call, text, email, and social media. Put contact information on every listing, on your website, and on social media; and respond to inquiries promptly.
- Be social media savvy
Social media is a powerful tool and harnessing it can give you a huge marketing advantage. Although most social media users don’t use these platforms specifically for seeking out rental properties, studies show that marketing your property there can still be highly effective.
There are a lot of ways to do that, and running traditional ads is just one. Facebook, for example, lets you run an advertisement – or boost a property listing post – that is targeted specifically to the demographic and geographic areas you want to reach.
You can also catch eyes by listing your rental property on Facebook Marketplace, or creating a Facebook Event for an open house. A well-curated Instagram page is also very useful for giving renters a view inside your vacant rental units. Be sure to link to your Facebook and Instagram pages from your website.
- Take your time
When you’re sitting on a vacant rental unit, you want to get it filled as quickly as possible; that’s only natural. But rushing to find a tenant can backfire on you, and there are some real benefits to taking your time.
For example, if there’s someone still living in the unit, it might best to wait until they’ve moved out before you start advertising. That will give you a chance to photograph the unit when it’s vacant—which has been shown to be more effective—and also take care of any necessary cleaning or repairs.
- Never underestimate word of mouth
After online search engines, the second-most common way people find apartment listings is through word of mouth. A lot of people trust their friends and relatives’ opinions a lot more than they trust an anonymous internet source, and rightly so.
When you have a vacant rental unit, tell people about it. Let your friends, co-workers and relatives know. Let your other tenants know too; there’s a good chance one of them knows someone who is looking for an apartment. You should still do your due diligence when it comes to tenant screening, of course, but oftentimes the best renters are those who are referred to you.
Contact us today to learn more about marketing your vacant rental properties and talk to our team about how professional rental property management can help.