Advertising rental property can be difficult for a beginner. When you first get started it can seem overwhelming. This guide was created to help you create Perfect Ads for Real Estate Rentals!
I used these exact methods to lease over 200 apartments in 1 year and generate over 1.2 million in rental revenue! Follow this guide to make a perfect listing and attract renters that are responsible and pay rent on time.
If you are looking for a template for perfect ads for real estate rentals, scroll to the bottom! (I would recommend you read the post as well to apply the tips and know the principles behind why I build listings this way.)
Take Awesome Pictures for your Real Estate Rental Ads
Before you start creating your real estate rental ads, the first step is to take pictures. This is by far the most important part of your advertisements, so take your time to get high quality photos of your rental property.
The very first thing a potential renter will see in your advertisement is the picture. Bad photos will deter potential renters from even reading your listing, so make sure that you put in the effort to get quality photos.
If you want to save time, you can hire a professional to take pictures for you for a reasonable fee. Many photographers are constantly looking for work and will be glad for the opportunity. Experienced photographers will give you great photos and also take care of any minor editing for you.
If you would like to save money on taking pictures, you can take them yourself by following our guide to taking perfect pictures of your rental properties. In this guide we will walk you through all of the pictures you should take, including the best angles and lighting techniques for getting the perfect shot.
Building the Listing
Now that you have your pictures ready to go, you can start creating your actual ads for your real estate rental.
Before you start writing your listing, here a few key things to keep in mind:
The More Information, The Better- Your listing should include as much information as possible to avoid having to answer questions on the phone when potential renters contact you. The more information you put in your listing, the less time you will have to spend on the phone. This part of building a listing is absolutely essential to being efficient. I learned this the hard way when potential renters would keep asking the same basic questions that I could have answered in the listing for them.
Length- I know I just told you to be thorough, but make sure that your listing is less than a page of words. Renters do not want to read through a huge page of text to get to the information they are looking for. You will find that many renters have specific things they want out of an apartment, and they should be able to scan through your listing quickly to find the info they are looking for.
Formatting- It’s best to have a few paragraphs mixed in with bullet points for your listing. You can put your key pieces of information in bullet points, so a lazy reader can find them quickly. This will help break up the text and make it easier for a potential renter to digest. Long paragraphs alone are boring to read through and many renters search through hundreds of apartments before deciding. If the text is too long to read they might just back out and keep searching.
Keep It Simple- You will want to use descriptive words, but do not go overboard trying to sell your apartment. Using big words or trying to sell certain things too hard can make a listing seem scammy. State facts in all your ads for real estate rentals, but keep it simple.
Do not make things too complicated. Your listing should have short sentences that are easy to quickly read.
Title of your Ads for Real Estate Rentals
The title is the second most important thing of your rental listing next to the pictures you include. You have a limited amount of space to use for your title, so try and highlight some of the best features in your title.
Here are a few examples:
- “Spacious Two Bedroom Near *School Name*”
- “Remodeled Two Bedroom With New Appliances”
- “Updated Kitchen In Cozy Two Bedroom”
- “Pet Friendly Two Bedroom in Quiet Neighborhood”
Your title should be simple but descriptive. Try and include at least two selling points in just a few words. Do not make your listing titles more than 8 or 9 words long. Most people only glance at the titles. The shorter it is, the more chance you have that they read the entire thing. Plus, longer titles look unprofessional.
One of the best strategies I have found is to create your listing, then post it multiple times with different titles and cover photos. You can do this on Craigslist as many times as you’d like to. After you have created these listings on Craigslist, it’s as simple as taking 5 minutes a day to re-post them and your listing will move to the front of the line again.
Things to Include In Your Ads For Real Estate Rentals
Now that you have an idea of how to approach writing your listing, here are things you will want to include.
- Contact Info
- Move In Special Promotions
- Nearby Places of Interest
- Criminal Background Check
- Credit Score Requirements
- Income Requirements
- Number of Rooms/Sizing
- Pet Policy
- Rental Management Company Information
The entire reason you are creating these listings is to speak to tenants directly and get your apartment rented. All apartment listing sites have an area for contact info, but you should still include your contact information in the body of your listing.
Make sure to include your contact info at least twice in your ads for real estate rentals. This way they will see it multiple times and will be more likely to actually contact you.
You should definitely accept text messages from your potential renters if you can. Many people hate to talk on the phone in today’s society.
Also, do you have a social media for your property rentals? (You Should) Provide a link for them to go to your profile and mention they can message you there.
Example: Call Or Text me at “555-555-5555” for more information or to schedule a showing. You can also visit us on facebook at (enter link) and send us a message!
After you have your title sorted out, your first paragraph should contain all of the reasons the apartment stands out compared to other apartments.
You’ve worked hard to make your rental unit shine. This is where you mention all of the upgrades you have done. Make sure to include photos of all of the extra work you have put into your rental. Pictures are better than words.
Do your best to sprinkle in upgrades throughout the beginning text of your rental listing. Also, include a descriptive adjective where you can without being obnoxious.
Instead of: “The kitchen has a new back splash and counter tops.”
Try: “The kitchen has a gorgeous tiled back splash with updated counter tops.”
Instead of: “The bathroom has a new vanity and flooring.”
Try: “The bathroom was recently renovated to include a luxurious vanity and modern composite flooring.”
Do not go overboard with adjectives. They can make a huge difference in persuading a potential renter, but over using them can make it seem like you’re trying too hard.
Make sure to highlight all of the extra work you have put in to make your unit beautiful and include this information near the beginning of your listing.
Mention Special Promotions
If you happen to offer move in special promotions, you should mention them near the beginning of the listing, and also again near the end.
There are several tricks to offer potential renters to get them to rent from you. Usually, I would recommend NOT offering a deal if you can help it. A move in special should be an absolute last resort if you can help it. Your property has value. There is usually no need to give away money to entice a renter to rent from you.
Move in specials could include: First month free rent, Waiving the deposit fee, Half off Deposit, and many more ideas.
If you are struggling to get an apartment filled, my favorite option for a special promotion is to offer your current tenants a nice rental discount for referring a new tenant to you. Once the new tenant has been approved and signed a lease, you can offer the referrer a nice $250-$350 off of the next months rent. This pays for itself in the long run and is a great form of marketing in-house. You will make that money back and more in the long run, plus you have filled a vacancy.
Nearby Places of Interest
A great selling point in your apartment listings is to include nearby places of business that your renters might use.
- Entertainment Venues
These small details can make a big difference to a potential renter. Try and include them in the first paragraph or two of your listing.
Number of Rooms/Size of Rooms
This is a very important part of your rental listing.
Every apartment listing website has options to filter by apartment size, so make sure to include the amount of rooms both in your listing body and also when you post your listing. This will allow your 2 bedroom show up in the search results when people use the filters for a “two bedroom apartment.” Many renters already have a specific bedroom count in mind when they do their apartment search.
Try and measure the size of the rooms in your apartment to write out in your listing. This will help renters who know their furniture dimensions calculate if their stuff will fit in the apartment. Listing the square footage of the room might not be enough information. If the room is 100 sq. feet but only 6 ft wide, that might cause some issues when trying to fit furniture inside of the room.
Instead, list the dimensions of the room. For example, write out that the bedroom is 8ft×10ft and they will be able to measure their bed and dresser to know if everything will fit inside of the room.
Including this information can really save time because attentive potential renters will already know what to expect when they come to view the apartment. The more information you put in your listings, the less time you waste on the phone.
Criminal Background Check
It’s highly recommended that you screen potential renters based off of their criminal background. This can help ensure that your properties stay crime free and a safe place to live.
It will cost roughly 25-50 dollars for a background check for your renters. This can be charged to your renter in the form of an application fee when they apply. Make sure to mention that there is an application fee in your rental listing.
A reasonable policy would be to automatically deny any violent criminals or offenders, and also any felons. This will also allow you to market your property as crime free.
Credit Score Requirements
Requiring a reasonable credit score for your renters can help finding responsible tenants who pay their bills on time. Sometimes it is difficult to find renters that meet qualifications, so I recommend requiring at minimum a score of 550. This is a very reasonable score for most renters, and gives a broad range of potential renters to approve. Some higher end properties with more expensive rent can consider making this requirement higher.
A credit report will be included in many landlord background checks which will cost between 25-50 dollars. This fee can be included in the application fee.
You can also consider allowing exceptions to this rule for bad credit due to medical debt or student loans. Just make sure to have a policy in place and stick to it.
Lay out all of your credit score requirements in your rental advertisements to avoid having to explain it to every potential renter who contacts you.
It’s possible you will come across tenants that do not have any credit at all, or do not meet the credit score requirements. In this case, you can allow them to use a cosigner.
The cosigner should have a higher credit score than the minimum requirement. I would recommend a score of 650 or better for the cosigner. A cosigner will be responsible for paying the bills if things go south with the tenant. This is a great way to protect yourself from tenants who do not meet requirements.
You can include a cosigner portion in your lease. Make sure to plan out your co-signer requirements before writing your listing, and make sure to mention your policy in all of your ads for real estate rentals.
It’s obvious, but you should ensure that your tenants can actually afford to rent your apartment. It’s best if they can prove they make 3x the amount of rent per month. Ask them to provide the previous months worth of pay stubs to ensure they can afford rent.
This step can be very handy if in the worst case scenario you have to take your renter to court for unpaid rent. You will be able to prove to the judge that when they signed the rental agreement they could afford to pay the rent.
Make sure to include all income requirements in your ads for real estate rentals.
Does your apartment allow pets? Include all necessary information in your listing. Make sure to mention if you charge pet rent in your rentals and also how much the pet deposit will be.
I highly recommend charging an extra “pet rent” per month for allowing animals. This offsets the cost of extra damage done by furry friends and can add up to a nice extra amount of rental revenue by the end of the lease term. Generally I would charge $50 extra per animal in the rental unit. Make sure to mention in the listing that this is your policy. (and also have it in your lease)
Also mention the cost of the pet deposit. Many times renters have issues finding rental properties that allow pets, so providing this information to them off the bat is good. They will probably be looking at multiple apartments so including as much information as possible for them before the actual phone call is smart.
Of course you should include the rent price of your unit.
Tenants have the option to filter apartments by price when looking through listings, so make sure to include this in both the actual listing and when you are creating the listing. Many potential renters have a specific budget in mind when looking for places to rent, so this information is essential for a renter.
Right after the monthly rent amount, make sure to list what the maintenance deposit is for your rental property. Generally this is equal to 1 months rent. Make sure to be up front about all fees you require so there are no surprises when the potential tenant contacts you.
Rental Management Info
Include the name of your property management company in the description somewhere. This is not extremely important, but still relevant information. The brand of your rental management company carries weight with potential renters, so you should include it somewhere near the end of your listing.
Some create a small 4-5 sentence paragraph giving information about the management company at the very end stating the company’s credentials. This is a good way to build a bit of extra confidence in the renter to give you a call and talk about your apartment for rent. You can include this in all of your ads for real estate rentals to give your listing a boost of credibility.
Key Takeaways for Creating Perfect Ads for Real Estate Rentals
- Photos are the most important part of your advertisement.
- Use adjectives where you can, but do not over use them.
- Include as much information as possible to avoid wasting time answering questions.
- Be descriptive, but don’t drag on the listing forever. ¾ to 1 page max.
- Include the costs of Rent, Deposit, Background Credit Check Info, Income Requirements, And any other extras you can think of.
- Make A quality listing, then post it in mass quantities with different headings and cover images.
The Perfect Real Estate Rental Ad Template
Now that you’ve discovered how to build the perfect real estate rental listing, here is an example template for you to use!
Beautiful Pet Friendly 3 Bedroom In Downtown *City Name*
Use the best picture for your cover photo and have 8-10 pictures total.
This spacious 3 bedroom apartment has been completely renovated for the next renter to enjoy!
The living room was freshly painted with brand new carpet in the living room, the bathroom was recently renovated to include brand new flooring and a beautiful vanity, and the kitchen has been updated to include stainless steel appliances and a newly installed dishwasher.
Take advantage of our move in special this month and pay HALF of the deposit to make this beautiful apartment your next home!
This location is perfect for renters who work downtown or who enjoy being close to the center of the city. *Restaurant name here* is just down the street from this apartment and there are also multiple bars and night life venues in the area.
Pets are welcome here! See our qualifications below.
We are currently offering a move in special for this month and are offering half off of the deposit to qualified renters!
- Rent: $1200
- Deposit: $1200 (half off with move in special)
- Utilities: Tenant pays electric and gas, we pay for water!
- Pet Deposit: $600 per animal, limit 3
- Pet Rent: $50 extra per animal, limit 3
- Application fee: $50
- Income Requirements: Must prove income of 3x amount of monthly rent.
You can call or text us at 555-555-5555 to schedule a showing, or find us on facebook at *insert link* to send us a message!
Cosigner’s are possible but require a score of 650 and must prove income of 3x the amount of monthly rent.
Background/Credit Check is required. We require a credit score of 550 to rent this apartment.
No felons or violent criminal offenders. This property is crime free.
This property is managed by *property management company here.* We were established in 2007 and manage over 200 rental properties. Our mission is to provide excellent homes for renters and have continued to keep renters happy for over 10 years. Find us on facebook and connect with us today to discuss this property or others like it.
Call or text us at *Insert Phone Number* to set up a showing or for more information!
Follow the above tips and I guarantee that you will get your apartment rented out in no time at all. Make sure to write your listing in a document to be saved for future use when it becomes vacant again. You can post the same listing across all apartment marketing websites. Once you have the listing built, it takes about 10 minutes to post and 5 minutes a day to refresh your post.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite tip was!
You can also check out these other awesome articles that will help you get your apartments rented out fast.