When it comes to marketing a rental property, many investors (myself included at one point) believe that a compelling set of numbers trumps any other information you might include in your property listing. While this might be the case once a buyer or potential tenant looks at those numbers, if you cannot get them to act on your listing, you will nd your property languishes on the market with little or no interest. We all know what that does to a property’s value!

I have spent years in the furnished corporate rental business as well as building and maintaining my own personal rental property portfolio. In that time, I have listed quite a few properties, both fix-and-flips and rentals. I can state unequivocally effective marketing, including a well-written listing, is essential to a successful sale or lease of a rental property. That marketing starts with great photos and a compelling property write-up. I’ve compiled a list of 10 mistakes that are a fast turn-o for potential tenants and buyers and will drive down your rental rates or your sales price if they are not corrected.

Mistake #1: Leaving Out The Details

Do your property justice, and don’t be afraid to brag about all the little things that make it special. Remember, especially if you are looking for a tenant or an owner-occupant buyer, they are going to be living in that property (hopefully) for a long time. If you are looking for an investment buyer, they are going to want to know just why a renter will want to live in that rental property. Include information about nearby businesses, restaurants, and local attractions to improve the listing’s search results and get more exposure.

Mistake #2: Failing To Explain and Update Your Rental Values

If you are selling a corporate rental property, then do not assume that your buyer will understand that corporate rentals tend to net more in rents annually than a single-family residence but may remain vacant for longer periods of time between tenants. It is also not a given that a buyer will be aware that you can charge much more for a corporate rental during certain seasons and based on specific market fluctuations. Address this topic to fully demonstrate the value of the property.

If you are marketing to a tenant, update your listing regularly depending on how the local rental market is shi ing. You don’t want to lose serious money because you failed to update the rates on the listing, so analyze and adjust regularly.

Mistake #3: Keeping An Outdated Calendar

Many investors with multiple rentals, corporate or otherwise, may use a website to reach potential tenants seeking housing. In my experience, if you have no availability in your portfolio for a new tenant, it does not benefit you to imply that you do. Your listings, such as they are, should demonstrate the attractive nature of your property holdings but also disclose that you do not have availability at the present time. Collect contact information, but do not be misleading. You will end up wasting potential future clients’ time and your own if you do not update your calendar.

Seasonal changes in your rental property’s location should affect how you describe your property. For example, play up a cozy living area like the one pictured above, during winter months. Image courtesy of AvenueWest Phoenix.

Mistake #4: Leaving Typos and Grammatical Errors Uncorrected

If you are not a skilled editor, consider having someone run a professional eye over your listing copy before you post it online or publish elsewhere. Typos and grammatical errors are red flags to prospective clients and may even turn o a potential corporate renter or a human resources professional who would otherwise have rented multiple units from you!

Mistake #5: Being Too Shy To Ask For Reviews

No matter what type of rental you o er, your listings will bene t from a series of positive reviews. is is true even if the listing and the reviews are not located in the same place, because an interested buyer or renter will do their own research online. If you have a particularly pleasant tenant, encourage them to write a positive review about their experience with your company or rental. Past guests will in influence future guests, so take the quest for positive reviews seriously.

Mistake #6: Taking Your Time Following Up With Leads

Trust me: Your renters are shopping around, and they want to get this housing issue settled. While this may be particularly true in corporate rentals where individuals are usually moving on a tight deadline, it certainly holds true in long-term rentals as well. If you do not respond to an inquiry right away, someone else will probably get “the jump” on your potential tenant.

Mistake #7: Using The Same Listing Every Time

Especially with vacation and corporate rentals that come up for listing several times a year, it can be tempting to try to “save time” by just copying and pasting your last listing into the new listing space. is is a mistake, however, because your property will be appealing for different reasons at different times of the year. You may want to market your property as a ski retreat in the winter and an outdoors-y adventure in the summer, or you may want to advertise a special offer or deal within the text of your headline. Update your headline/title often and see which attracts the most attention.

Mistake #8: “Making Do” With Poor Listing Photos

A picture says a thousand words, so make sure those “words” are positive! Have good quality photos that showcase your property in a positive light.

Mistake #9: Not Posting Enough Photos

The more photos the better. People will see what they’re getting and be more confident working with you. You might even want to consider video, either pre-recorded or via a social media outlet for live video on Facebook.

Mistake #10: Overlooking Commuter Details

If your potential tenants are not familiar with the area, they may not realize how close your town is to major cities (and employment opportunities) or even the proximity of your listing to major local employers, such as hospitals, universities, or corporate headquarters. Brag about it! If your property is only 10 minutes from the leading healthcare provider in the area, make note. Nurses and doctors will search for properties using that provider’s name as a keyword. If you own a property in such a location, you may want to consider converting it from a long-term rental unit to a short-term corporate rental in order to attract higher rents and visiting physicians and other healthcare professionals.

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  • Kimberly Smith

    Kimberly Smith is the founder and CEO of AvenueWest Corporate Housing, a full-service property management program that is available across the United States. Visit AvenueWest.com for more details.

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