Best Places to Find Tenants for Your Rental
Where to Advertise a Vacancy at Your Rental
Landlords need tenants, but where do you find these tenants? When you want to fill a vacancy, you want to make sure prospective tenants know your property is available. Here are seven of the best places to find renters for your property.
There are endless places you can advertise an apartment for rent online and many of them are free. Many of these sites allow a tenant to narrow their search based on area, price and number of bedrooms and baths. Some great places to advertise a vacancy include:
- Zillow Rental Manager- Allows you to post a free ad as long as you have an account and the ad will automatically populate to other rental sites such as Hotpads and Trulia.
- Craigslist- Landlords can post apartments for rent in a specific area of the country with a free account. Photos of the apartment can also be included.
- Cozy- Cozy is a resource for landlords with many free features, including apartment listing. The listing will then populate to sites such as Realtor.com and Doorsteps.
- Socialserve.com- This site can help you reach the proper market if you're interested in accepting government subsidized housing, such as Section-8.
Millions of people use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Create a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a Twitter account for your company if you have one. Otherwise, use your personal accounts to let people know you have a property for rent.
You can list your property on Facebook’s marketplace, post a status update on your account, post a photo of the rental on Instagram, or send out a tweet to your followers via Twitter.
Depending on the area of the country where your rental is located, the newspaper may be a viable option for advertising your rental.You will want to advertise your vacancy on a weekend, and on a Sunday in particular. This is when newspapers see the most traffic.
Rental ads in newspapers are tiny, so you'll only have a few lines to make your property stand out. Use abbreviations for words like bedroom (BR) and washer/dryer (W/D) to save space. Placing an ad in the newspaper will cost a little, but it's a good way to increase exposure for your property.
Local Bulletin Boards
Put up flyers for your rental in the community where your property is located. This can include colleges, grocery stores, churches, community centers, laundromats, and bus stops.
People will be passing by the flyer quickly, so use a bold headline and large color photographs to catch their interest. Include tear-offs with your contact information on the bottom of the flyer so people can grab them on the run. These tear-offs can also include the property address and a little information, such as the number of bedrooms.
Word of Mouth
Don’t underestimate the power of the spoken word. Let current tenants know you have a vacancy. They might have a sister, cousin, or brother who is looking for a new place to live.
Tell everyone you know that you have a property for rent. Always have flyers with you so you can hand them out if the opportunity presents itself. You can even offer a referral fee to give a greater incentive.
"For Rent" Sign at the Property
Many tenants move to a new property within their current area. Posting a for rent sign at your property will catch this type of tenant. Others passing by might be interested or might know someone who's looking to rent in the area. Make sure a phone number can be clearly read from the street.
Pass the Responsibility to a Realtor
Brokers typically charge a commission of about one month’s rent for their services, and sometimes even more. This might be the most expensive way to advertise your property, but it can save you a lot of the hassle and headaches that come with dealing with prospective tenants yourself. Your property will also be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which will increase exposure.
Respond Quickly to Prospective Tenants
You should respond to prospective tenants immediately. If you don’t call or email back promptly, another landlord or Realtor will.
You can set up a free Google Voice account which will assign you a new phone number that can be set to ring to your existing phone lines if you don't want to give out your personal number. You can even set up a toll-free number for a small monthly fee, including voicemail, for your rentals using websites such as Kall8.com. Similar options exist for email.
Always Screen Prospective Tenants
You must screen every tenant who expresses interest in renting your property. Make sure you have the same qualifying standards for all tenants and become familiar with the Fair Housing Laws so you are not accused of discrimination.