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8 Sep 2011

How to Market a Property

A vacancy drives me crazy. I thank God for not having much of those periods in my landlord journey. My previous post is about my respect for my young tenant who is moving back home due to her financial state. I respect her for being a man (woman) about it, swallow her pride and move back with mom and dad. However, if I don't get a tenant soon, I may have to live with a vacancy for a month. And I don't think I can afford to have that huge reduction in my income. So much for my plans to be a more responsible investor and cutting on my budget. I still have 3 weeks to show, screen, approve applications and sign a contract. This is how I market my property for rent:

How to Market a Property for Rent (or Sale)

In my 10 years in the real estate world, I have seen marketing trends coming and going. I remember searching for a place to rent in a classified section of a newspaper. That's what was efficient at time. I circled all the prospects with a marker, called (not email) property managers and went to view the apartments. I loved that huge apartment and I threw a few parties there too. Anyways, that process of the newspaper going from the editor's desk, to print, to hitting the shelves seems to have grown with time. Or rather replaced by the quicker and more efficient methods of advertising. Here's how I am actually marketing my current vacant duplex.
  • Online Media
The local classifieds websites work very well. The ones on real estate are even more targeted. Your target market is there searching for your property. I post my advert in two or three. The challenge I get is the spamming by the property managers. Its a minor irritation. But I go back to remove the ad as soon as I can after securing the tenant.
  • Email List (No Spam Please)
 I email my friends and family with photos and maybe a link to the vacant property advert. This method has worked better than any other, so far. My loved ones always give me the best referrals. I am also happier having a tenant that someone I trust knows. This is how I got one of my tenants. We have a great relationship but the fact that we know each other gets in the way of business sometimes. But I can really live with that. Don't get me wrong, I do get strangers who do even better. My best tenants are people I never knew before. I must send the email today by the way.
  • Social Networking
Social networking has changed my life and that of other business people I know. I post a link to my personal and business profiles, and in seconds, there are comments and references. Its amazing. I am indebted to my facebook friends for the highest quality leads. This works like a dream. I love it.
  • Print Media
 Like I mentioned, this is not for me. It worked well in the 90s. Property management companies do use this just to let the prospective tenants know they exist. And it makes sense when you have tons of properties for rent or sale. If it works for you, stick with it. This is not a "one size fits all" list.
  • Signs, Billboards, etc
When I have a complete block of apartments, I will definitely consider those permanent cute signs. So really I shouldn't be mentioning this at all. Just thought it may give you an idea.

As you may have gathered, I have no property manager for this property. But I have one for some property, depending on the condition I was in when I was marketing it. I hire a property manager when I am busy or traveling. And I love working with my long term manager.

I would love to hear your views on how to market a property for rent, and what has worked for you.
Move from how to Market a Property to Preparing a Property for Rent.

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