September 12, 2023 • 7 min read
How many applicants will you get on your rental property if no one knows it exists?
It’s a bit of a trick question, but if you’re not advertising your rental property, you may just learn the answer.
You need to advertise if you want a flood of qualified applicants clamoring for your high-quality rental property. But when budgets are tight, you may need more funds to run expensive ads or sign up for pricey listing sites.
How can you advertise your rental property for free?
This post covers five options to advertise your property for free. We’ll explore free listing sites, social platforms, and more.
Can you advertise your rental property for free? The short answer is yes. We’ll dive into a list of some top options you can use to advertise your property for free, but let’s first examine whether or not it’s wise to rely solely on free advertising for your property.
One of the main disadvantages of relying solely on free advertising is the limited reach it offers. When you only use free channels, your rental listings may reach a smaller audience than paid options. The listing sites with the top traffic, Zillow and Apartments.com, are both paid. If you rely on free listings alone, you’ll miss out on the reach of these massive platforms.
Generally, paid listings tend to attract more attention and visibility from potential renters. Therefore, if you’re listing only on free sites, you may have difficulty seeing your property listing.
Additionally, it can be time-consuming to manage multiple free advertising channels manually. Property managers may need to invest significant time crafting compelling descriptions, responding to inquiries, and keeping up-to-date listings across different platforms. This additional effort and time commitment can become a burden, especially when handling multiple properties.
In short, it's possible to advertise rental properties for free, but you can maximize your results using a mix of free and paid advertising strategies. This approach allows you to tap into a larger pool of potential tenants and increase your chances of finding qualified renters.
Promoting your rental property on social media has several advantages. First, social media has the potential to reach a massive audience. Social media platforms have millions of active users, and posting your properties on these platforms allows you to have your listing seen by a broader audience.
You can also take advantage of the visual nature of social platforms. Sharing engaging videos and well-staged photos of your rental properties can help attract more potential renters, giving them a “sneak peek” of what they can expect from your properties.
Another benefit of social media is the shareability factor. Your followers can easily share your posts, extending the reach to their connections. This word-of-mouth promotion can be a powerful tool in finding suitable tenants for your rental property.
Related Read: How Does Online Tenant Screening Work?
The global nature of social media may be a plus in some ways, but when you’re looking for local tenants for your rental properties, it can pose a challenge. You can take advantage of some targeting options and settings. Still, reaching local audiences can be difficult.
Additionally, you must account for the time commitment regarding social media. Gaining traction on these platforms takes more than simply posting a listing. You or your property managers must dedicate consistent time and effort to maintaining an active presence on your social platforms, regularly creating engaging content to win followers and attract the attention of potential renters.
Finally, social media is full of noise. You’ll compete with thousands of posts and address an audience who may not be actively looking for rental listings. These elements can make it challenging to stand out.
If you have an email list, you should explore email outreach to advertise your rental property! If you have an email list, you should explore email outreach to advertise your rental property! You can segment your email list into categories, targeting the most likely to rent your property. This personalized approach increases your audience's likelihood of engagement.
Email outreach also allows you to leverage your existing contact list of prospective tenants, previous tenants, or other local networks. These contacts already know you, your properties, and your offerings. Since they are already “warmed up,” you can directly target an audience more likely to actively consider your properties.
Email outreach has its drawbacks. First, emails may end up in recipients' spam folders. If your emails are sent to spam, recipients will likely never see those emails. And, if they do, the fact that your messaging is being flagged as spam can hurt your credibility. Crafting engaging subject lines and following email marketing best practices can help you mitigate this risk.
Secondly, email outreach relies on having a robust existing contact list. If you are a newer property manager or have yet to take steps to maintain an email list, your reach may be limited at best.
Lastly, crafting compelling email listings and advertisements can be time-consuming, and you’ll need to dedicate time and effort to managing responses to increase engagement. Many property managers struggle to fit these responsibilities into their already-packed schedules.
Craigslist rose to popularity — and stayed there — due to its localized structure. Using Craigslist, you can target potential renters in a specific location. Craigslist is also browsable by subject, so when you list your properties on Craigslist you can reach individuals actively looking for rental properties in your area.
Moreover, Craigslist has an established user base actively searching for rental properties. This built-in audience increases the chances of finding interested tenants for your property. Many people consistently turn to Craigslist to find their next rental.
Craigslist can be powerful for property managers, but it also raises some concerns. One concern is the prevalence of scams and fraudulent listings on the platform. Potential renters tend to approach Craigslist property listings cautiously, so you must ensure your posting is legitimate.
Another drawback is the limited formatting options on Craigslist. The platform primarily relies on a simple text-based format, which may make it challenging to showcase your rental property's unique features and amenities effectively. Without visually engaging elements, standing out from the crowd and capturing your audience's attention is challenging.
Lastly, due to the popularity of Craigslist, there is often significant competition among listings. Standing out among other rental options, especially in high-demand areas, can be challenging. Property managers must make extra effort to make their listings compelling, appealing, and professional.
Rentberry offers several advantages as a rental platform for property managers looking to promote their listings! One major benefit is its targeted audience: Unlike many other channels discussed in this post, Rentberry users search for rental properties. By listing on Rentberry, you can increase your exposure and reach a broader audience specifically interested in renting.
Rentberry also provides features like online applications, tenant screening, and rent negotiation tools. These advanced functionalities streamline the rental process, making it easier for property managers to manage inquiries, screen potential tenants, and negotiate rental terms without sinking too much time into managing these processes.
Related: Intellirent Features and Pricing
You must keep a few things in mind when using Rentberry. While basic listings are free, Rentberry offers premium features at a cost. Evaluate the value of these premium features before investing in them to determine whether or not they meet your needs!
It's also important to note that Rentberry is as well-known or widely used as other rental platforms like Apartments.com or Zillow. Its market presence might be limited in certain areas, so assess whether Rentberry is popular and widely used in your target market before relying solely on this platform.
Property managers must also familiarize themselves with Rentberry's specific rules and guidelines to utilize the platform effectively.
Dwellsy is another platform that property managers can consider when promoting their rental properties. One of its key strengths is its user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for property managers to create attractive listings. The intuitive platform streamlines the process of showcasing your rental property.
Dwellsy also provides nationwide coverage. You can leverage this reach to advertise your properties in various markets across the U.S. This extensive coverage is particularly beneficial for property managers with multiple rental properties in different markets.
Finally, Dwellsy offers enhanced search options for tenants. Its detailed search filters enable individuals to find properties that precisely match their specific criteria. This feature increases the chances of connecting with qualified and interested tenants actively searching for rentals like yours.
Dwellsy has its limitations. Firstly, it focuses on the U.S. rental market, so it may not be the best fit if you have international rental properties. It's important to assess whether Dwellsy covers your rental properties' locations before relying on it as your primary promotion tool.
Furthermore, Dwellsy is in direct competition with more well-known rental platforms, meaning property managers must ensure their listings stand out among the available options. Investing time and effort in creating compelling descriptions, high-quality photos, and accurate property details can help your listings gain visibility and attract potential tenants.
Lastly, while Dwellsy covers many locations, it may have unequal coverage across all markets. Like Rentberry, you should ensure Dwellsy is popular in your target market before relying too heavily on it for promotion.
The sites and channels listed in this post are all great options for advertising and listing your rental properties for free. However, while free advertising can seem appealing, you may need more than these options to get you in front of the best, most qualified renters for your property.
If you want the ability to create attractive, customized listings for your properties and quickly and easily publish them to your website and every popular listing site, you need the help of an advanced tool.
Intellirent can help with this and much, much more!
Our solution can streamline every part of your property management process, from creating and posting your property listings to running background checks and accepting applications.
See if Intellirent is your right solution with our free Product Tour today!
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