It takes a lot to run a successful rental property. It takes attention to detail. It takes dedication. It takes the right funding and right relationships with contractors and maintenance experts, the right choices for landlord software, and the right individual or team of employees. It takes knowledge of the real estate and rental markets. It takes hard work and long hours. Every landlord knows these things.
And there’s one more thing that a rental property needs in order to succeed: a tenant.
Obvious, right? Without a tenant, your income property won’t make much in the way of income. And, of course, you’ll need the right tenant—choose a non-paying deadbeat or a destructive and disagreeable individual, and you’ll soon find your income slipping and your maintenance and repair costs rising. Obvious as it may be, there are few things—or, arguably, no things—that are as vital to the success of an income property as getting the right tenant on the lease.
So how can you do that? The key is to make sure that your rental listing is spotted by the sorts of would-be tenants that you want to see applying to rent your space. And that means getting certain things right with your listing. Here are the keys to helping the best potential renters find your property!
Be on the right websites
Three words: online landlord software. It’s a landlord’s best friend, a streamlined and simple answer to the many confusing questions that the internet begs. With the right landlord software, creating a listing is a breeze. When potential tenants find you online, you’ll be able to screen them right away: they’ll each fill out an inviting online renters application, and you’ll have the tools you need to perform reliable checks of their credit history, rental history, and criminal history.
Invest in search engine optimization
Where do the vast majority of potential tenants look for their next home? Online, of course! And how do they look for it? By searching.
They hop on search engines like Google and Bing and search for apartments or houses—or for websites that promise to help them find those things. And once they’re on the online marketplaces that are the most common places for renters to first spot their next home, those renters are not just browsing: they’re searching and narrowing down their selections with keywords and keyword phrases.
If you want your rental property to be found by these searchers, you need to make sure that your rental listing has the right keywords and keyword phrases—so that it appeals not just to the folks searching for it, but also for the search algorithms that will decide whether or not your perfect tenant even sees your listing. This is called search engine optimization, or “SEO,” and it’s an incredibly important key to success in all sorts of modern businesses—including, but not limited to, real estate.
A good rental listing has photos of the property. You know that, and you know that the right photos (taken the right way, in order to show your property in the most flattering light and from its most flattering angles) will help convince potential tenants that your place is the best fit for them. But what does this have to do with those would-be tenants finding the listing?
Pictures, as it turns out, are effective for SEO. Search algorithms like them, and they reach captions and image metadata.
On top of that, quick-scrolling apartment hunters might be more likely to stop and read your listing if a great photo catches their eye. So get noticed: use photos!