Have you ever wondered what the difference is between properties that languish on the market with long periods of vacancy and those that are snapped up straight away? In many cases it comes down to the right marketing. As a property owner, an important step in preparing to rent out property is working with a professional who can create a solid marketing strategy that will be tailor-made for your unique property.
You can get started with this process by comparing and selecting agents using the online dashboard at LocalAgentFinder. Register your details and get in touch with agents who can craft the right strategy to get your property rented to ideal tenants. However, there are a few steps to take care of as you start preparing for the marketing and inspection process.
Preliminary Steps to Take
Before you can work with an agent to begin the marketing process, you will first need to take a hard look at your property. The easiest properties to showcase are those that will present well, with everything in prime working order. It’s helpful to go over your property with the help of a professional property manager, who can give you an objective opinion of what would be most beneficial for your purposes.
An agent who is well versed in your local property market will be best, because they will be able to compare your properties to the competition. Together you can work on which renovations or actions will be both cost-effective and worthwhile for marketing purposes. Many improvements cost very little money, and may involve easy fixes such as simply painting the walls or giving kitchens and bathrooms a good scrubbing.
Crafting a Marketing and Advertising Strategy
After you have taken these preliminary steps to clean and improve your home, you will be ready to present it to the world. As you compare agents using the service provided at LocalAgentFinder, you can ask for sample marketing proposals. This can help you find the right agent to work with when it comes to advertising. There are several key features which any good advertising plan should address:
- The best features of your property
- Amenities offered
- Features of the location
- Amount of rent to charge
- Any issues or objections to the property and how they can be overcome
- The number of open inspections to hold
- Agreement with current tenant regarding days and times for inspections
The most successful advertising campaigns will utilise a variety of different mediums. Today’s top property management companies and real estate agents use a number of strategies to showcase properties for rent, including the following:
- Online classified ads
- Online property listing websites
- Agency rental lists or client databases
- Special interest publications,
- Word of mouth advertising
Good property management companies will also have a number of strategic relationships that they can employ. This may include relationships with corporate clients or universities, which could lead to potential tenants for your property. A benefit of using professional property managers is that they may be able to use these relationships to help fill vacancies with reliable tenants in a timely manner.
As you discuss marketing strategies with your property manager or agent, don’t be afraid to ask for data that shows how well each of these methods works. If you’re paying for the services of a professional, you want to be sure that they are using a strategy that is most effective for your unique property rather than simply using the same cookie cutter approach for all of their clients.
Choosing the Most Effective Content and Images
Once you have determine where your ads will be placed with the help of your local property manager, you will need to work together to prepare the actual advertisements. These will be composed of two parts, including content and images. Both are important, and should be designed to show renters all the key information about your property that they need. These include:
- The location
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Parking information
- Additional amenities
- What the property looks like
With basic information available, potential tenants will then want to see what the property looks like. They will turn to visuals for this purpose, which is why high quality photographs are so important as a part of your marketing plan. It’s often the visual that will compel them to decide whether or not to visit the property during an inspection.
Today’s consumers are savvy when it comes to technology, and have short attention spans. The use of mobile devices, online listings, and social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter have led to information being accessed in a different way than in the past. Consumers expect information quickly, and are apt to move on if they don’t see something that catches their eye immediately. This is why it’s vital to make your property stand out with the use of appealing visuals and unique features.
Your real estate agent can help you narrow down what it is about your property that makes it special and unique. This could be a spiral staircase, a lush garden, or the view from your balcony. Whatever the special features are, be sure that these are highlighted in your images and content. Choose a photo to be the feature or standout photo. It should be one that captures the atmosphere of your property most effectively. Avoid any photos that are blurry, dark, or bleak as these will be an instant turn-off.
Think about staging your photos before taking them. For example, if you are taking a photograph of your bathroom, clear away any toothbrushes, makeup, or other clutter that could make your property look unappealing. This may be difficult if you already have a tenant living in your property. You will have little control over how they choose to present the home. However, if you offer to pay for a cleaning service or professional garden landscaping before holding open inspections, they may be willing to take you up on your offer.
Handling Open Inspections
The next step to take in any marketing campaign is to set up open inspections. If you are working with a property manager, they will take care of this for you. There are certain considerations to take when you have tenants already residing in the property.
- Current tenants must be given appropriate notice regarding inspections. These may vary depending on your state’s tenancy laws.
- The current tenant should be consulted to find out what the most reasonable times would be for open inspections. The property management company should arrange for an agent to accompany the prospective tenant during these inspections. The current tenant has a right to be present for this walk through if they wish.
- Some landlords or property management companies choose to compensate the current tenant for this inconvenience by temporarily reducing rent, or offering gift certificates. This is not required, but it may strengthen landlord-tenant relations and lessen the inconvenience.
Choosing the Right Tenants
Once the applications start coming in, it’s necessary to choose a good tenant who will respect your property, take care of your investment, and pay rent on time. It’s tempting to simply approve the first application but this can be a costly mistake should you end up with bad tenants. A thorough screening process can be employed by your property management company, which should involve credit checks, employment checks, and reference checks. A good agent will be diligent about following up on tenant applications, and will give you a thorough assessment of each applicant to help you make the right decision. While the agent can give you solid advice, in the end it is your decision.
The marketing, inspection, and selection process is all made far easier when you have a qualified professional on your side. You can register now at LocalAgentFinder to start comparing agent proposals and marketing plans. This can help you find the right real estate agent to help you with this stressful process, and ensure that you maximise your rental returns.