When your properties are vacant, you’re losing money. It’s the most common challenge many landlords face, particularly in regions where the housing market isn’t strong.
You want to fill your properties, and fast. But being able to do that in this age requires a level of online marketing savvy that many landlords don’t have. All it takes is the right skills and tools to turn a money-wasting vacancy into a profitable rental.
When you’re looking for new tenants, here are some marketing tools that can fill your vacancies in no time.
The majority of your current tenants are online, and they can help you find new people. Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of promotion, especially when it comes to real estate.
Let your tenants know you’re looking to fill a few vacancies, and they may bring their friends and family to your door. One of the most effective ways to alert your tenants about vacancies you need to fill is through an online tenant newsletter.
“Announce that you have so many spaces to fill before the next lease begins, and you’d like to give your tenants first dibs in either shifting to a different apartment or inviting friends to move in,” says a blog post from Green Residential, a property management company in Houston.
“You never know where your newsletter will end up or who will see it. If you include URLsS to your apartment’s website and social media links with contact information, your vacancies could fill up much quicker.”
If this doesn’t drum up any leads on new tenants, try using your newsletter to advertise an incentive program, in which you offer, let’s say, a $100 discount on one month’s rent for every tenant who refers a friend. It’s much cheaper to lose $100 on rent than to have a vacant property for a month.
Social media is one of the best tools for marketing real estate, particularly Facebook. On Facebook, not only your tenants will see your advertisement for a vacancy, but their friends and their friends’ friends.
An advertisement posted on the West Coast will reach viewers at the other end of the continent right away as long as there’s a friend to connect the two. Taking advantage of this social benefit will lead to fewer vacancies in the long term.
What’s more, tenants will often share your social posts with their family and friends. “What better way to find a reliable tenant than through a family member or friend of a friend?” asks a blog post from Social Media Today.
“Compile photos and videos to show the property in its best light, write a snappy and intriguing description, and you may well find a reliable renter through the virtual grapevine.”
Online Listing Services
There are hundreds of sites dedicated to advertising real estate. They’ll specifically target tenants for you, which takes much of the guesswork out of the marketing process. Craigslist, Postlets, Zillow, and Trulia are all very popular platforms for renters and landlords alike. Post your listing on as many sites as possible in order to reach a wider audience.
Video and Imaging Tools
The web offers some pretty amazing free online tools that can increase the effectiveness of both videos and images. Free editing services such as Gimp and Pixlr let you to take plain photographs of your property and turn them into polished products that will attract visitors.
Videos are also an up-and-coming form of realty marketing that’s attracting a variety of visitors. According to research from Virtuets, 58 percent of renters expect to see a video of a property when they’re looking for a home online.
The Internet provides a collection of affordable and useful tools for creating, editing, and marketing your real estate videos online, and landlords who want to fill vacancies quickly will take advantage of these tools.