Rental Housing Advertising Tips

Posted by Teresa on June 12, 2010 under General | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

iStock_000009636788XSmall2-300x199When it comes to advertising your vacant rental units, there is only one way to measure an ad’s effectiveness—it’s making your phone ring! If your attempts to promote your rental property aren’t doing that, then you need to change tactics—and fast.

Tracking where your inquiries come from is an important side note here. If you’re not tracking sources, you don’t know which of your advertising dollars are working hard and deserve to keep going, and which you should retire.

Here are some advertising methods that work for the landlords we talk to. And keep in mind that in different areas, costs and effectiveness vary greatly. All you can do is keep track of what works for you.

Banners: There’s nothing like a large, colorful banner to grab the attention of drivers and pedestrians. No matter what size building it’s on, a proportionately-sized banner can really work. Make sure you word it in a generic way—today’s tough vinyl materials are meant to last, so don’t advertise any short-term rental deals, unless you plan to repeat them and re-use the banner.

Signs: Inexpensive plastic “For Rent” signs can be scattered throughout your property, or just placed in front near the sidewalk. But just don’t expect these to last—they tend to “walk away” and are meant to be temporary. Still, they do a good job of garnering attention. You can also place them in the windows of vacant units—so they cannot be stolen or blown away. Visibility could be less, but you’ll keep the signs longer! Some rental managers place “for rent” arrow signs at intersections; you should check the legality of this practice in your city.

Referral fees: offer your staff and current tenants a token of your appreciation for bringing in solid tenants. Knowing your minimum requirements is important, so be clear on your expectations. And of course, keep the Fair Housing Act in mind at all times, and don’t ever indicate a preference for one group over another.

“For Rent” publications: These specialized publications are typically used by multi-family complexes. They tend to be pricier than other advertising methods. But since calls can be directed to special numbers, you can easily track how well these ads are doing. The rental publications also give you the advantage of high production values, photos, and wide distribution.

Advertising can be cheap, free, or very expensive. Tracking ads is vital to keeping your rental property business profitable.