There are many different ways a landlord can advertise his / her rentals property. The kind of advertising that works best depends on numerous factors that include property characteristics, location, landlord’s budget, and whether he / she is in a hurry to rent. There are many combinations of advertising methods landlords and property managers use to achieve the best results, some of which are as under.
1. ‘For Rent’ Signs
The most common method of advertising is the putting up of a ‘For Rent’ sign, either in front of the building, or in one of the windows. A relatively cost-free method, it works best if a lot of foot and motor traffic goes past the building. It also helps if the building is as attractive as the rental unit.
2. Advertising in the Newspapers
As much of a tradition as ‘For Rent’ signs, newspaper ads are also available online, if the paper has an online version. Many potential tenants begin their search for a place to rent by scanning the classified ads in newspapers, while, out-of-towners can log on online to the local paper from wherever they are. Ads should always be placed in papers having many residential listings, as it has been found they work best.
And, they should be targeted to produce the right kind of prospective tenants i.e. if a landlord primarily rents out to college students, the best bet is to advertise in the campus newspaper or put up a ‘For Rent’ sign in the housing office. To play it safe, it is also a good idea to list the rental in a general newspaper, as well.
3. Neighbourhood Flyers
As well, a landlord can post ads on neighbourhood public bulletin boards to be found at grocery stores, Laundromats or coffeehouses, complete with tear-off strips listing their phone number. However, if the property is upscale, this is not the best way to advertise for it, though there might be takers at the high-end gym down the street.
4. Listing Online
Online rental services have mushroomed like crazy in recent years, from national in scope, to regional. After finding a residential rental listing for your area, you can add your property to it.
5. Home Or Apartment Finding Services
Home or apartment-finding services are very popular in some areas, with landlords paying to list their properties, though sometimes it is the tenants themselves, who pay the fee when the unit is rented.
6. Spreading the Word
Small-time landlords instead of advertising widely and screening potential tenants, find it easier to market their rentals through word-of-mouth i.e. telling friends, colleagues, neighbours, and current tenants. After all, people already living on your property will invite decent neighbours. So, when a property becomes vacant, simply send a note around to every one, asking them to tell friends or relatives about the available apartment.
7. Real Estate Offices
Many real estate offices handle rentals, but of course, there is a fee involved.
8. Property Management Firms
Going through a property management firm is the easiest way to do it. They handle advertising, showing tenants around, as well as, selecting tenants, collecting rents, and interacting with residents during tenancies (handling repairs, etc. etc.). A paid service, it is for landlords with large rental properties and no time to spare.
Once, the advertising has been done, the next step is to create a rental application and select a tenant. When advertising vacancies and selecting and rejecting applicants, read up on the Fair Housing Act, so as to avoid any inadvertent lawsuits. Evaluate prospective tenants by thoroughly checking out their rental applications, legal residency forms, and tenant consent forms for contacting references, performing credit checks and criminal and background checks.