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Home · Property Management · Marketing Vacant Units : How to Make Your Rentals Stand Out Online

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If you’ve been wondering why your rental properties haven’t been attracting as many tenants as you would like, you may want to consider what you can do differently. There are certainly many ways to make your rentals stand out more online; the main trick is being smart and efficient about doing so, and knowing how to best appeal to your audience.

With your rentals listed on, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. Making your rental properties stand out from the rest will require only a little bit more tweaking and effort on your part, so read on for some simple yet effective tips to make your rentals the best they can be.

Get the word out there.

The most important step in attracting prospective tenants is making your rentals known to the world. You can’t expect people to know what you’re offering if you don’t put it out there!

To that end, a first step you should take is to list your rental properties on a variety of sites. Listing your rentals on is great — but also don’t neglect other great sites out there, such as,,, and many more. The more websites where you list your rentals, the higher likelihood that a greater volume of people is checking out your stuff. That way, you will be casting your net even wider to grab the attention of the thousands of college students who are searching for a place to rent.

Using social media is another great way to effectively market your rental properties. Especially if you are looking to attract a primary audience of college students, social media is a super effective way to catch prospective renters’ attention. Create a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or even Snapchat account to reach your audience in a new way. Particularly with a lot of college students spending a good chunk of their time on Facebook and Instagram, these two social media platforms are perfect resources for you to market your rental properties in an aesthetically appealing, quick, and relatively easy manner.

Speaking of aesthetics…

Make your listings look professional, polished, and aesthetically pleasing.

This goes hand-in-hand with marketing your rental properties effectively. When you list your rentals on a site, you want to do more than simply plop it down, cross your fingers, and hope that things will work out. Instead, it’s in your best interest to make the actual ads and listings as visually appealing as you can. suggests resources such as or to create sophisticated templates to make your ads more eye-catching. Definitely take advantage of these sites to add a little bit of pizzazz to your listings!

Do keep in mind, however, that flashier isn’t always better. Sometimes a very simple, clean template for your listings can do the trick even better than a cluttered-looking ad overcrowded with graphics and information.

Another crucial thing you should do is to post pictures of the rental property. Having a visual is always a good idea because people like to see for themselves what the property looks like. Plus, have you ever heard of the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”? In this case, it’s certainly true — a picture (or several) of the rental property will often have much more of an immediate impact on potential renters than, say, a standard description of the rental.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that you want to use the best pictures possible in order to show off what the rental has to offer. Capture some high-quality photos of the most important rooms, such as the bedroom(s), bathroom(s), kitchen, and living space. These are the rooms that potential renters will most want to see, so make sure you include photos of them in your listing.

Also, what will only help you further is putting up pictures of the neighborhood and surrounding area. If the rental property is located in a convenient place, advertise that — people like to know that they will be living near a supermarket or post office, for example, which will only make their lives easier. If the rental property is located in a particularly beautiful or clean place, perhaps near a nice park, the beach, etc., include a picture of that as well. Doing so will allow people who view your listings to know what’s in the surrounding area, which will help them to make a decision based on their personal preferences. Ultimately, if your rental property does happen to be in an especially great spot, take advantage of advertising it so that you have a greater chance of attracting more prospective renters!

Market your rental with the right words and content.

Along with the visual aspect of showing off your rentals comes the writing aspect. While pictures certainly go a long way, what you present in the descriptions of the rental is just as crucial.

Having an attention-grabbing headline can help to reel in prospective tenants right away, especially if it’s simple, not too overwhelming, and perhaps even declares something that appeals directly to prospective tenants’ needs. provides a “formula” for creating a simple yet highly effective headline: write out the [desirable primary quality] + [building type] + [location nickname], e.g. “Ultra Quiet Apartment Near Med Center.” If you prefer, you may also want to include the price and a brief line on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms included. Doing so will allow viewers to quickly obtain the information they seek just from scanning the headline, and if it appeals to them, they can continue to read on.

In the body of your listing, make sure to include all of the relevant information that potential renters will want to see. Include keywords and specific descriptions that will give people a clear idea of what kind of rental property you’re offering. It’s also important to list all of the amenities and features of the rental, to put it in the best light possible and publicize everything that it has to offer. For example, you should include words that convey exactly what kind of building or unit it is (apartment, condo, house, etc.) and provide some more detail on location and special features of the property, which you can’t convey entirely through just pictures.

What might also help is if you tell a story. Blend the basic facts with some detailed descriptions that will appeal emotionally to your audience. That way, people looking at your listing will not only see that your rental offers a spacious backyard, but they will also picture themselves tossing a ball or running around with their dog in that backyard. As you can see, specific wording can certainly make a big difference in capturing people’s attention!

Of course, once you have written everything, you want to proofread it to avoid any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. These are fairly simple to catch and fix, so make sure you put in the necessary extra bit of effort to ensure your entire listing is polished and professional.

rentals, stand out, online

Infographic by Kailey Walters

Offer for people to see the place in person.

While pictures of the place are super important and helpful, seeing it in person is even better. You can offer walkthroughs of the property so that potential renters can see for themselves what they like about the place and possibly imagine what it would be like to live there for a while.

Clean up.

With that being said, you’ll definitely want to clean up the place and make it look as presentable as possible before potential tenants come knocking. Remember, you only get one first impression, so make it count!

Spruce up the rooms by taking the time to clean them thoroughly. In the bedroom, make sure the bed is made neatly and the pillows arranged nicely. For the kitchen and bathroom, ensure the floor is spotless and counter spaces are clear and clean. You’ll also want to make the living space look comfortable and welcoming when people first walk in. No matter what lengths you go to in order to make the rental look good, definitely keep the place clean at a bare minimum.

It’s also important to maintain the exterior of the rental property and its immediate surrounding area. If there are any unwieldy-looking bushes, shrubs, or trees on the property out in front, and you’re responsible for maintaining them, take the time to tame them a bit or even completely remove them. You may also want to do a standard cleanup of the property — mow the lawn, rake the leaves, possibly plant some flowers in the front yard, all to ensure that your rental exudes a positive, welcoming vibe to prospective renters. Although all this upkeep seems like a good deal of work, appearance is key in attracting — and keeping — people’s attention.

Be welcoming.

Offer your personal assistance to make the prospective tenants feel as if they’ll be at home in your rental. Everyone appreciates a good bit of hospitality, so don’t hesitate to give them some advice on things they might find useful, such as the best places to eat in the area, what to do for fun on the weekends, where the nearest bank, supermarket, post office is, etc. Sharing this information will surely make them feel more positively towards both you and the rental, which increases the chance that they’ll take you up on the offer … and of course, promotes warm, fuzzy feelings of goodwill between you.

Put up your listings at the right time.

After going through all that effort to show off the best qualities of your rental property, you definitely want to be smart about when you advertise. Of course, you want to have your listings seen by as many people online as possible. One report reveals that Sunday is the most popular day for residential listing views … so you might just want to be at the top of your game on Sundays!

Offer reasonable prices.

One thing that will surely turn off a lot of potential renters is an overly high price. Your rental could have everything that they’re looking for — convenient location, the right number of bathrooms and bedrooms, etc. — but if the place is a bit out of their budget, or merely appears to be too expensive for what it’s offering, you may want to consider lowering the price. Doing so might make people a little more willing to give your rental further consideration, while having an unreasonably high price will most likely just have the opposite effect.

Market yourself.

Something else you may not have thought of, but which might help you out a lot, is putting yourself out there. Sure, focusing on marketing your actual rentals is most essential, but publicizing yourself could potentially give you that extra edge. In whatever professional (and even personal) circles to which you belong, let people know who you are and what you’re involved in. If others are aware that you have properties for rent and come to know you better as an individual, that will only give you a leg-up, as people who are looking to rent will certainly first turn to someone whom they think is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible.

The takeaway? Network with others and share with them information about yourself and your rentals (without being too pushy or overbearing). You never know who might need a rental someday, and when they do, they’ll be glad that they met you.

Some of these methods will require more time and effort than others. In the end, however, every little bit can go a long way to increase your visibility online and help attract more prospective renters.


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