Posts Tagged ‘Rental Listings’

Do’s and Don’ts of Rental Listings

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By George Kalogeropoulos | RentMetrics, Inc.

Here at RentMetrics our business is tracking the rental market, so we see many good and bad rental listings. Over time we’ve tracked which listings get high response rates from desirable tenants, and have also seen the mistakes owners make that cost them money and create hassles.

Many of these suggestions will seem like common sense, but we often see owners making basic mistakes that leave them with empty properties or undesirable tenants and subpar rents. It’s amazing how owners hunt for the perfect property, get great financing, pour themselves into renovations, and then handicap themselves with a bad listing.

Good Listings

The best listings are detailed, comprehensive and accurate, and have 5-10 great pictures.

good_listing

Detailed data about the property: What features and amenities should the tenant expect? (hardwood floors, carpeting, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, etc.) How many bathrooms does the place have? Is there garage or on-street parking? Is there in-unit or on-site laundry?

Comprehensive supplementary information: How much is the security deposit? What’s your pet policy? Which utilities are included, and how much should the tenant expect to pay for those that aren’t covered? When is the unit available? How and when should prospective renters contact you?

Accurate: Keep it simple, factual, relevant and honest.

Great pictures: The best listings we’ve seen have 5-10 high resolution professional photographs shot in bright daylight that show off the major spaces (bedrooms, bathrooms, living/dining area), with at least one external shot.

Go the extra mile: You know the area around your property, but the tenant likely won’t. What are the shopping and entertainment options? What’s the availability of public transportation? Proximity to schools? A few key details at the end will round out a great listing and help tenants picture themselves living at your property.

Bad Listings

The worst listings are too wordy, misleading, contain irrelevant photos/details, are written poorly and demonstrate a bad attitude.

bad_listing

Too wordy: A listing is not an essay or a novel, and you won’t get any points with tenants for your creative writing. Said another way, it’s easier for the prospective tenant to click through to the next listing than to hunt through a wall of text for that key detail they’re looking for.

Misleading: No one likes the bait and switch. Anything you don’t disclose up front is a ticking time bomb when the prospective tenant visits. You’ll end up wasting your time, their time, and possibly even get a bad review online. In the same vein, exaggeration leads to mismatched expectations, which lead to disappointment and wasted time, so keep your descriptions simple and factual.

Irrelevant photos: We’re all animal lovers, but pictures of your dog or cat don’t belong in the listing, and neither do pictures of the local school or 7-11. This is most often taken as a sign that you’re either lazy, or worse, hiding something, and you’ll drive good tenants away.

Written poorly: NEVER WRITE IN ALL CAPS, and compose your listing in Microsoft Word or Google Docs so that you can run a spelling and grammar check.

Bad Attitude: As obvious as it may seem, your listing is not the right place to complain about past tenants. This happens way too often. Just like you are looking for good tenants, the best tenants are on the lookout for someone they want to rent from.

Which listing best practices do you recommend?


RentMetrics logoRentMetrics, Inc. helps real estate professionals understand the residential rental market by providing accurate and comprehensive data in real-time.  George runs the business side of RentMetrics. His past experience is in investment management and includes modeling real estate portfolios for institutional investors at Bridgewater Associates, a large hedge fund.

New Trulia Rentals Map Widget

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Pierre Calzadilla, Manager, Apartment Industry Relations

Trulia is proud to announce our new rentals listing map widget which you can now install on your website or blog, for free. With just a few clicks, you can have a customized map, like the one on the right, live on your site with just your listings. Get it here now.

For Rent in Los Angeles, CA

If you have a website, having a map is crucial to help home and apartment hunters make a decision. For home hunters, there is nothing like looking at a map, understanding where a property is and imagining life in the neighborhood.

The Top Rental Sites For Listing Your Units

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Compliments of Appfolio.com Posted: 13 Jun 2013 04:14 PM PDT

appfolio

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, the national vacancy rate for rental properties in the first quarter of 2013 stood at 8.6%. That means nearly one of every nine units stands empty. For property owners, that translates to a significant cash drain.

An all-important job for any owner or property manager is to fill all rental units. To that end, here are some websites in which you should market your units in the event of a vacancy.

Top Rental Sites

Craigslist.com
This high-traffic site is one of the first places people go to for any number of needs including looking for a place to live. The site features location-based search that significantly increases the odds that you will be reaching your target prospective tenants.

Zillow.com
Zillow_detail_ipadThis has become a leading go-to site for all real estate needs. They claim to have a million more listings than MLS (Multiple Listing Service). After setting up your account, you can quickly create your listing and upload pictures. As an added feature, your listing here can be sent straight to Craigslist for free. The benefit of starting here is that they will prepare a custom code that uploads to Craigslist and makes your listing look professional. (Mobile app available, as well.)

Trulia.com
This is another online listing site that also has a tool that allows posting directly to Craigslist. They also provide visitors with the ability to get inside information on properties and communities that attracts additional prospective renters. (Mobile app available, as well.)

Trulia_demo

Postlets.com
This site offers a search-optimized website for your property listing with a unique URL. Postlets makes it fast and easy to create a professional-looking classified ad, and then to syndicate the listing on Craigslist, Zillow, Local.com, as well as your Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn account.

Rent.com
This online site drives additional traffic by offering $100 gifts card to anyone who rents through the site. (Mobile app available, as well.)

Rent_dotcom

ApartmentGuide.com
This site features location-based, comprehensive apartment search functionality. (Mobile app available, as well.)

Realtor.com
Affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS, this site claims to have the most up-to-date and accurate listings online. (Mobile app available, as well.)

Local Newspaper Websites
Just as many people still view print ads when looking for a rental property, many also look to local newspaper websites for the latest listings. A good number of individuals use these sites as their browser’s default “Home Page,” meaning this is the website that automatically appears when they open their browser each time.

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Social Media Websites
Don’t forget social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. It’s the new digital word of mouth.

You can post your listings directly on the above list of sites. Or, if you are using property management software, you likely have the ability to post your vacancies to hundreds of sites on the Internet including most of those listed above with just a couple of clicks of your mouse. Most programs provide professionally designed listings automatically. Prospective tenants can be directed right to your website if they are interested in one of your units.

In addition, for a fee, you can add rental listings to an MLS. There is no agent involved, but you can list here starting at around $100.

Renting empty units is a top priority for you, and there are more ways than ever to get the word out to prospective tenants online. Use as many top rental sites as you can to keep your vacancy rate down.


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AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money.  Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.

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