Owning investment properties can be an awesome way to increase your monthly cash flow and create passive income for your family. Getting the right renters into those properties is critical to your success. To do that, you need to have a solid marketing plan that will grab the attention of the renters that you’re looking for.
How do you find the right renters at the right time who are willing to pay the right price? We’re glad you asked.
Marketing your rental property is a combination of building your network, using established real estate platforms, leveraging social media, and asking current tenants for referrals. Here, we give you 10 specific strategies, categorized by type, for marketing your properties.
Social Media Marketing
In the realm of social media, there are a variety of things you can do to increase awareness of your properties and your business. Not all social platforms are created equally, so be sure to use the right strategy on the right platform for maximum results.
Strategy #1: Facebook
Using Facebook to market your properties is a smart decision because it is one of the most highly utilized social platforms among adults in the United States. It’s simple to setup a business account and you can do a lot with the platform. Once you have your business account setup, you can do a variety of things to boost awareness, engagement, and ultimately your bottom line. Here are some of the things you can do with Facebook:
- Post your rental property listings with photos, videos, and descriptions of the property and the surrounding area.
- Create Facebook events such as open houses and invite people to come. When you create an event, be sure to post regularly inside the event to keep people interested until the day it happens.
- Purchase Facebook ads that specifically target the audience you’re looking for. Different rental properties and communities will attract different types of folks, whether they’re empty-nesters, young families, or singles with no children. The Facebook ads platform can help you target exactly who you’re looking for.
Strategy #2: Instagram
Instagram is a highly visual platform and will require excellent photos and videos to truly be effective. If you’re not handy with your smart phone, you should definitely consider hiring a professional to take photos of your rental properties. You should also consider small video vignettes that can connect with potential renters in a more intimate way.
- Use the “stories” feature on Instagram to draw in people who are scrolling through the platform on a daily basis. Although they disappear after 24 hours, they are a great way to encourage people to follow your page.
- Be sure to make your contact information easy to find, with a link in your bio that will take the viewer to your website. This is important on Instagram because you can’t post links in your posts until you have 10,000 or more followers.
- Be consistent with your content. This will help keep you top-of-mind with potential tenants.
- Use the right hash tags! Instagrammers are notorious for searching certain hashtags in order to find content that they’re interested in. Do a quick Google search about real estate rentals to find out what some of the most searched hashtags are. Use those hashtags in your posts to help get in front of more people.
Strategy #3: YouTube Videos
To really have a holistic approach to your real estate business, you’ll want to build a solid foundation of followers on multiple platforms. YouTube is a really popular platform for videos that are longer than 30-40 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a professional video editor to use this platform. You just need a good content strategy.
- Create videos that tell viewers about the communities in which you own rental properties. Tell them why these are awesome communities to live in.
- Talk about the amenities you offer as a landlord and what your specific rental properties have to offer.
- Give your viewers additional information that is helpful to them. For example, if you want to target new people moving into your market, create content that educates them about their new city. Information about schools, shopping, local events, and more will be interesting to newbies.
Real Estate Platforms
You should also consider using the power of established real estate platforms like Realtor.com, Zillow and others. People are already accustomed to using these platforms when looking for a home, so it makes sense to list your properties here, as well. Here are some of the things you can do with these platforms:
Strategy #4: Realtor.com
This website is one of the most popular sites in the country for people looking to buy or rent a property. Listing your rental properties on this site will give you access to tons of potential tenants, and it has several tools available to help you.
- Use the “avail” tool on Realtor.com to help you post to multiple real estate sites at one time. This is a quick, easy way to hit multiple platforms at once, which will expand your audience instantly.
- Use a calendar feature that will allow potential tenants to schedule a showing right from the app or website. The easier you make it for people to connect with you, the more likely they are to do business with you.
Strategy #5: Zillow
If we’re being honest, most real estate platforms are fairly similar. They all offer the ability to post your listing with photos, information, etc. But Zillow has a full suite of rental management tools that you might find interesting. Here are some examples of what they offer:
- Tenant screening features including online applications, background, and credit checks
- A lease builder that allows you to build a lease template and have it reviewed by local lawyers who can help you cover all of your assets prior to signing
- Payment processing features that allow you to collect deposits, rent and other fees from your tenants
Build Your Website
All of the different online platforms we’ve talked about so far are extremely important for the success of your rental business. However, as your business grows, you will likely need your own website, or at least a landing page for your tenants and potential tenants to refer to. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be the most tech-savvy website on the planet. It needs to be simple, informative and easy to navigate.
Strategy #6: Choose the Right Platform
There are a variety of choices on the market when it comes to building a website. If you’re not a professional web developer, we recommend choosing a web builder that offers a variety of templates and themes that are easy to use. Web builders such as Wix and WordPress tend to be the easiest for a new business to build a nice website with minimal technical skills.
Look for a platform that is easy to maintain and gives you the option for various plugins. You want your customer journey to be seamless, so make sure your chosen platform can link with your social media, your email provider and any electronic calendars or scheduling features that you plan to use.
Strategy #7: Provide Plenty of Information
When building your website, you need to consider what the potential consumer is looking for. Whether they land on your site as a result of a Google search, a social media post, or a real estate platform listing, they are there for a reason. Be sure to offer the following information to make the process as easy as possible for them:
- Locations, including addresses and maps, of available rentals
- Transparent pricing information that includes security deposits, monthly rent, pet rent and any other fees associated with each property
- Contact information so they can reach out to your directly and ask questions or schedule a showing
- Information about the communities where your rentals are, including schools, shopping, gyms and rec centers, and other things that your specific target audience may be interested in
- Tons of photos of each property so your potential tenants can see exactly what they’re getting
General Marketing Tips
We’ve discussed some pretty specific marketing strategies in this article, but there are others that are applicable in every single case. Here are some other things to consider when marketing your rental property, regardless of which medium you’re using.
Strategy #8: Write Great Copy
This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but it’s important that your listings are easy to read and interesting to the potential consumer. You’d be surprised at how much it can impact the success of your listing. You need to have a headline that gives the customer all the information they need and a subsequent description that is interesting and engaging.
When we talk about headlines, we’re talking about the most important part of the copy. You need to give them as much pertinent information as possible in order to get them to click on the listing and keep reading. We find that a simple formula will help stop your reader and get them to click. Here it is:
- Price – # of bedrooms – # of bathrooms – type of property – location – unique selling point
This may seem like a lot of information for a headline, but these are some of the most important pieces of information that your potential renter is looking for. Here’s what it might look like:
- $1500 3-bed 2-bath house in Dunedin with stunning views
This gives them all of the major pieces of information that they will use to make their decision, as well as one selling point that will entice them to click on the listing. If you use this formula, you will likely find a higher click through rate than with headlines that don’t offer this much info.
After the headline, be sure to create copy that is not too wordy, but gives the potential tenant all the information they want to know about the listing. Make it interesting and informative.
Strategy #9: Do Your Research
Before implementing any of the strategies we’ve discussed, you need to first do your research on the market. Depending on where your property is located, you may be able to charge more or less than if the property were in a different area of town. Doing a quick analysis of the area will help you determine the following information before creating your listing:
- The type of renters who will be interested in your property – empty-nesters, young families, singles without children, etc.
- The amount of rent you can charge for your property, based on comps in the area
- The features of the community that are interesting to your potential renters such as restaurants, shopping, schools and more
Strategy #10: Ask for Referrals
This is a good business practice regardless of what you do for a living. In rental properties specifically, it’s a great idea to ask some of your best tenants for referrals. This works really well if you have multiple properties in the same community or area of town. If you have some great tenants who regularly pay on time, take good care of their rental and enjoy having you as a landlord, they are a great source of referrals for you!
Implementing one, five or all of these strategies will help you get your rental properties in front of more potential tenants than simply using the local newspaper. The world is becoming increasingly digital and consumers are looking for their next home on the internet. Most of these strategies can be implemented with minimal education about the platforms being used and the algorithms that support them.
The key to being successful in marketing your properties is figuring out who your target audience is and then marketing to them in a way that is convenient to them. Make sure that your listings are easy to find and that you are easy to contact. Combine all of these efforts together and watch your listings fill, along with your bank account!