Home ownership isn’t as well entrenched in the American dream as it was in the past, a recent MacArthur Foundation Survey found. Based on the survey results, 54 percent of the respondents thought renting has become more appealing, while 57 percent thought that home ownership was less appealing. Surprisingly, 45 percent of present homeowners who responded to the survey said they could see themselves as future renters.
Arguably, the most telling findings of the survey were that 48 percent of homeowners with college degrees, 53 percent of homeowners who have advanced post-graduate degrees and 51 percent of homeowners whose total household incomes exceed $75,000 said they would think about renting.
That means landlords have a huge pool of potential tenants from which to draw for their properties. It also means that rental properties have to compete to get renters. Since online advertising is the most effective way to reach potential tenants, property owners need to tap into all available online resources to attract the best possible tenants to their properties.
Play Up Your Location
The mantra of all real estate is “location, location, location,” and when it comes to rental properties, a desirable location may be even more important. Prospective tenants want to know that they can get to work, shops, restaurants and entertainment easily. They also want assurance that the location is safe – especially if they have children. If the neighborhood has a lot of social amenities, hype that up in your advertising, and include a map that allows potential tenants to see where things are.
Advertise With Plenty of Photos
That old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may sound trite, but when it comes to online advertising, pictures speak volumes – if they are accurate and realistic. Most people who look for apartments, do so online. You may also find that many people who are relocating have to rely on online advertising to find an apartment, so the image you portray online is more important than ever.
Post pictures of different apartment layouts, and photographs to accompany that. Make sure that the apartments are staged when you photograph them. Staging will help potential tenants see themselves in the apartment. If your apartment has a fitness center, show multiple photographs of it. Many tenants will be drawn to a place that has a fitness center because they won’t have to purchase a gym membership.
Highlight Your Tenant Screening Process
If you want to attract a pool of working people, professionals, or even stable families, a thorough tenant screening process will assure potential renters that management cares enough to make sure that the place is quiet, clean and safe. People who work irregular hours won’t want to worry about whether or not they’ll be surrounded by blasting music or subjected to nightly parties.
Describe Policies, Fees and Charges Clearly
A clear description of your policies will encourage potential tenants to contact you and schedule a tour of your property. If you fail to mention things, many potential tenants won’t even bother to contact you. The most important things to describe and be absolutely clear about are your pet policy, a pet deposit, a monthly surcharge for pets, and whether tenants have to pay more than one deposit for multiple pets. Also be clear on the pet deposit refund policy.
Let potential tenants know exactly what utilities they will have to pay. If you pay the water, then play that up. Describe appliances so tenants can get a sense of how much they’ll be paying in utilities, and if you have Energy Star rated appliances, play that up as well. Also mention things like washer and dryer hookups and whether you provide or rent washers and dryers.
This post provided by The Real Estate Guys™ guest contributor, Debrah Stokes