In a renter’s market – like the one we’re in now – marketing oversights cost you more than usual. Of course you need to set the right price, but there’s more you can do to catch the eye of a great renter.
Whether you’re a first-time or long-time landlord, be sure you’re not making these common mistakes that cost you time and money.
1. Bad Property Photography
Photos have a large influence on the amount of people that want to see a rental property. People make snap decisions based on what they perceive. Even for a great property, bad photos equal a bad place in the mind of a house hunter.
A limited number of pictures, poor resolution, low lighting, bad angles, or lack of detail all turn off the prospective renter. Sometimes, landlords try to take pictures of a property with no power. Even with a bright flash and an attempt to lighten the photo, the picture turns out sub-quality.
The property may be in great shape, but to a renter, poor pictures imply a lazy landlord who may not pay attention to their requests. Instead, get professional pictures of the house.
You want photos that capture the best angles with the best lighting. Include pictures of the surrounding area, such as the neighborhood, community amenities, and landmarks. The more quality visuals you give, the more interest piques.
In an online search, people can look through 30 properties in five minutes. Quality photographs keep your rental property in the running.
2. Poor Rental Descriptions
If people like the pictures, they’ll read about the property. A well-written description to accompany the photographs rounds out the good impression you’re seeking. Lack of detail, typos, or poor punctuation will leave the tenants skeptical.
Also remember that people read the Internet differently than printed text. Make your descriptions easy to scan by writing short paragraphs with key information in bold print.
As you decide what details to include, put yourself in an out-of-state applicant’s shoes. “Three-bedroom house in great area!” doesn’t tell them anything.
Instead, highlight the most appealing feature in the title. A headline like “Five-bedroom in Plano ISD” catches attention. Then, you can elaborate on the details in the description.
3. Incomplete Listings
After you write a strong headline, keep the information coming. A little extra detail goes a long way.
When you write the full description, imagine walking a client through the house: “As you walk through the entry, you see the upgraded kitchen. After passing through an open living area with vaulted ceilings, you enter the master bedroom with a large adjoining master bath.”
Also, don’t forget to distinguish which floor the master is on if you’re listing a 2-story home. Renters have various needs, whether that be a parent’s need to be close to the kids’ bedrooms or someone’s physical limitations in using stairs. A downstairs master meets different needs than an upstairs one.
Continue by including room dimensions and amenities. Is the range gas or electric? What type of water heater do you have? People often call asking these exact questions. Go ahead and answer them preemptively in your description.
Also, include directions to the property. Rather than say, “Use your GPS,” take the time to write out exactly how to get there. If people end up driving in circles to find the home, they will arrive frustrated. Instead, provide thorough directions so they can get there with ease.
4. Poor Follow-Up From Showing Agent
Once people see a property they like, they naturally need to get in touch with someone to apply. If they can’t get a hold of an agent, they’ll move on to another option. Make it easy for them by giving multiple ways to reach you: phone, email, and maybe even a website form.
Also, make sure showing agents have correct entry instructions. If you tell them the wrong combination to get in or the wrong alarm code, they will have to call and work through the problem.
Again, you want potential tenants to enter the property pleased. If they can’t get into the house, this will start them off on the wrong foot.
5. No Property Manager
If you don’t have the time to deal with these details, find the right person to handle your rental property. A property manager does all of the above. If you’re managing your own property, you may be overwhelmed – you don’t want to be the reason your house doesn’t rent.
A property manager takes responsibility for everything, from pictures to showing details. Plus, they don’t get paid unless they find you a qualified tenant. Consequently, properties listed with a manager have a much quicker turnaround.
As you search for the right property manager, make sure you find someone who has time to market your property. If you have a manager dealing with 500+ properties, they probably won’t have time to pay attention to yours.
The saying “time is money” exists for a reason. The longer your rental property sits vacant, the more money you lose. This is a time-sensitive process, especially in today’s market. You don’t want to be the weakest link in the rental process. By avoiding these five mistakes, you’ll speed up the rental process and find the right tenant.
Need help marketing your DFW rental property? Give us a call at 888.657.3033.