15 Essentials for an Effective Rental Ad
Attract Tenants With Good Marketing
An effective rental ad is short, sweet and complete. It includes all the information necessary to attract the prospective tenants who are truly interested in viewing your property. Basic specs of the apartment, such as number of beds, baths and square footage, specific policies, such as whether pets are allowed, and quality images, are all important. Here are fifteen essentials that a good rental ad includes.
1. One or More Quality Photos
While newspaper ads do not need pictures, for online rental ads and even ads placed on bulletin boards, clear pictures highlighting the best parts of your property are a necessity. Many people will not even call about an ad if it does not include a picture.
You should always include at least one picture of the kitchen and bathroom/bathrooms. The living area and at least one bedroom are also necessities. Good lighting is important and dusk is a great time to take pictures. Color photos are also more appealing than black and white photos.
2. Basic Specs of the Apartment
Your ad should include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the approximate square feet of the unit.
3. Monthly Rent
You should always include the monthly rent in your rental ad. You can include an exact price or a range if you are a little flexible on the price.
4. Amount of Security Deposit Required
You must also include how much of a security deposit you require.
Again, you can put an exact number or you can say something like “one and a half month’s rent.” Keep in mind that many states set a limit on how much you can charge, so make sure you know the maximum amount allowed in your state.
5. Date Apartment Is Available
Include the date the unit will be available for move-in.
6. Length of Lease
State how long of a lease a prospective tenant must sign. A one year lease is common. You may want to call it a “12 month lease” because, psychologically, it seems less constricting to people.
7. Property Location
For online ads, you will want to include the city and state where the property is located. You can leave out the state in local newspapers or bulletin board ads.
Deciding to include the actual street address is a personal decision. You may only want to give this information out to people you have pre-screened over the phone. Another option is to include the street name in the ad, but not the actual house number of the property for rent.
8. If Utilities are Included
You do not necessarily have to say "utilities are not included" or "you must pay your own utilities." People do not like to hear what they’re not getting in an apartment. Rather, if any utilities are included in the monthly rent, you can state that. You can say something like "H/HW (heat/hot water) included."
9. Your Pet Policy
Another must-have in your rental ad is your pet policy. Make it clear what animals you will allow in your property. No pets? Only cats? Only dogs under 20 pounds? Both? Only dogs not on the dangerous dog breed list?
Make it clear what pets are allowed up front to prevent misunderstandings or conflict in the future.
10. Your Contact Information
This one sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people run ads in the newspaper and forget to include their telephone number. Include any method you approve of being contacted by, such as your telephone number or an email address. For rental ads placed on bulletin boards, you can include tear offs on the bottom of the page that include your contact information.
11. Property Amenities
You will want to highlight the best features of your property. A walk-in closet, stainless steel appliances, eat-in kitchen, and washer/dryer on premises are all desirable features.
12. Screening Process
You will want to make it clear if you will be running any sort of background check on prospective tenants, such as a credit check or a criminal check.
This may deter certain individuals from calling about your property. Make sure it is clear that ALL prospective tenants are subject to screening so that you are not accused of discrimination.
13. Building Specifics
This includes the type of property the unit is located in and what floor the unit is on. You may only want to include this information if it will make your property sound desirable.
A one family home or a second floor unit with a garden view sound desirable. Saying your unit is a fourth floor walk-up may not attract many people.
Only make note of this in your ad if parking is available at your property. Define if it is off-street parking, such as a driveway or a parking lot, or on-street parking. If it is on-street parking, make note if a resident pass is required.
15. Descriptive Adjectives
Would a rental ad that read: “Apartment has floors, windows and a door” appeal to you? Of course not! Adding a few strategic adjectives will make your property seem more appealing. For example: “Spacious apartment has hardwood floors and large windows.”