Real Estate ProfessionalsRenting

How to Write an Effective Rental Ad in 2020

Sometimes, it’s a matter of supply and demand.

When the rental market is hot (lots of potential tenants and low supply of properties), there is no reason to worry about creating an amazing rental ad.

All you have to do is list the basics (location, bedrooms, baths, included appliances, monthly rent, and required deposit), and you’ll have plenty of prospects. 

However, what happens when those supply and demand numbers are in reverse? Lots of properties and fewer potentials?

The competition gets much tougher, and you have to figure out how your rental ad can stand out above all the others.

In short, it has to be amazing. 

Before You Put Pen to Paper

It’s time to do a bit of research before you write and publish your rental ad:

  • Who is your target audience? What income bracket are these people in, and where do they normally live and work? Are your location and rental price compatible with them? This is something to capitalize on in your ad.
  • Read the rental ads of similar properties with similar rents. How are they marketing their properties and what are their rental prices? Can you undercut them just a bit in costs? (rental price and deposit).
  • Is there a significant foreign language speaking demographic in your area that might qualify for your property? If so, then you may want your ad translated into other languages. Check out Pick Writers, a translation review website, to find a great translation service to do this for you. 

Now to That Ad

The biggest problem is that most rental ads are all the same and pretty boring.

Your job is to make yours so captivating that potentials will click to read further.  How do you do that?

Here are some key tips that you can use to get the response you want:

1 – You Must Have a Catchy Headline

Take a look at these two examples:

  • “Available March 1: 3-bedroom apartment in downtown Durban, lots of amenities, close to public transportation, first and last month required.”
  • “New gourmet kitchen and spacious open floor plan! 3-bedroom in downtown Durban, first month free. Available March 1.” 

Which one of these do you think prospects will click on? The headline can be cause for readers to move on or to stop and decide to take a look.

Here are the key hacks you need to include: short descriptive word (gourmet, open floor plan), incentive (first month free) location (downtown Durban) and availability.

And you need to include catchy descriptive words – trendy, spacious, open plan, etc.

2 – Be as Brief as Possible in the Description

Lookers don’t want to read walls of text about your property.

They want key information and they want it fast. They are looking just for the essentials. Bullet point these so they don’t have to read a lot of text to “snack” on the key essentials.

Make sure to include the following:

  • Bedrooms and baths
  • Amenities
  • Neighborhood
  • Price
  • Amount to get in (deposit, first and last, etc.)
  • Lease length
  • Move-in Date
  • Bonuses
  • Pet Policy
  • Contact Information

3 – What is Your “Walk Score”?

People want to know how close they will be to public transportation, parks, schools, shopping, etc.

If you have these “perks,” they need to be included in your description. Again, put these in bullet points, so that viewers can “snack” on them quickly without reading a wall of text.

And, if there are really attractive spaces surrounding the home, condo, or apartment, provide photos of those. The neighborhood itself is huge for many people.

4 – Make Your Pricing Unique

You need to check out the monthly rental prices, as well as deposit requirements, of your competition.

How can you undercut these? Maybe you can offer a lower deposit amount; if the rent charged by a competitor is a set amount each month, can you lower yours by just 5-10% and still realize a profit? If so, do it!

Everyone loves a bargain. Rounding down just a few Rands will bring in more viewing traffic as well.

5 – Identify and Publish Incentives

Is there free covered parking? Is there free Wi-Fi? Does cable TV come with the rental price?

All of these things are incentives and should be listed in the full description of the property. These amenities can make the difference between a “skip” and a further look. 

6 – Focus on Your Audience

Are you appealing to professionals who are single? Childless couples who both have careers? Families with school-aged children?

Your ad needs to feature what will appeal to the demographic you target – indoor gym, proximity of great schools close by, restaurants/nightlife nearby, neighborhood, etc.

Bullet point its features for that specific demographic! 

7 – Pictures/Virtual Tours

Grainy photos are definitely a turnoff. In this day and age of amazing cameras, even on a smartphone, there is no excuse to provide clear, well-lighted images.

Most potential renters will click through to a virtual tour. And having one will set you apart from many “competitors.” By all means, film one, post it on YouTube and provide the link.

8 – The Actual Write-Up

Clearly, you have to be creative, especially with the title, and even with the wording of the features, as you list them.

If you are not a gifted writer, try to find a freelancer or writing service and get it done for you. The cost will be quite reasonable and, if it means that you will get your place rented quicker than expected, it’ll be well worth the money. Why not check out Writing Judge, a writing service review website, that will point you in the right direction of experienced creative writers?

The Wrap

Rental property owners focus on keeping their properties in good shape and making repairs as necessary.

Sure, they see these properties as an investment and generally take care of them well, but when one becomes vacant, they haven’t necessarily spent much time thinking about marketing it.

Bottom line: especially when the market is competitive, landlords need to have engaging and compelling ads if they want to attract the right potential tenants.

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