Our philosophy is to run a low profile and low overhead office which allows us to charge a Flat-Rate Management Fee of as little as $95! Screening tenants is one of the keys to successful management, and we excel at it. We have had just about every trick in the book pulled on us in the past, so we seldom get fooled anymore! No one bats 1,000, and if we make an error we step up to the plate and take responsibility for it.
For our owners we always try to maximize their rental income and control their expenses.
Advertising for Rent
“On the highway of life, if you’ve got something important to say, blow your horn!
No one else is going to blow it for you.”
-Jeff Christensen, 2001
Now that you’ve completed the Property Management 101 course “PREPPING YOUR HOME FOR RENT’ you are ready to try your hand at ADVERTISING. If you happened to go to college you call this MARKETING, but for the rest of us commoners let’s just stick with “advertising”.
- CHECK OUT THE COMPETITION – Go to Craigslist, Zillow or a site of your choice and see what your property will be up against. Remember, the name of the game is BEAT THE COMPETITION. As much as possible, you want your place to be the biggest and best deal for the lowest price.
- SELECT THE PHOTOS – Remember all those photos I told you to take in the PM 101 course? Well now is the time to sort through them and select the BEST 20 to run in your ad. Pretend that you are a prospective renter and think about what you would want to see in the ad … front of house, what you see when you first open the front door, all rooms, washer & dryer, back yard … and don’t forget to take a picture of the neighborhood too! The wording of your ad matters but
IT WILL BE THOSE PHOTOS THAT WILL DO “THE HEAVY LIFTING”!
- POST YOUR AD – Pull out the rough draft of that ad you wrote in the 101 class and put the final polish on it. Look for misspellings and sentences that run on. Try to remove as many unnecessary words as you can and yet still convey the basic facts with a sense of drama and flair! Don’t brag too much about your home … LET YOUR PHOTOS DO THAT!
- SIGN IN THE YARD – Buy the BIG “FOR RENT” sign at the box store and add your phone number with a BOLD BLACK MARKER. Bigger is better when advertising to people driving by at 35!
- FLYER IN THE WINDOW – Just the basic information please … bedrooms, bathroom, square feet, lot size, special features, kitchen upgrades, surprises to be found inside. Limit yourself to maybe 10 bullet points. Be sure to include your contact information. This flyer is to serve the folks that see your sign and stop to look around a bit when you are not at home. It’s like the tasty bait on the hook to get the fish to bite!
- TALK IT UP – Don’t be afraid to VISIT YOUR NEIGHBORS, give them a copy of the flyer and tell them the news … YOUR HOME IS FOR RENT!
So there!- YOU’RE OFF AND RUNNING! Stayed tuned for the next step for the D.I.Y. rental property owner:
PM – 103 : Screening Applications
Prepping to Rent
“It’s so easy, I could train a monkey how to do it!”
- Jeff Christensen, 2009
Ready to learn?
Now put down that banana and let’s get started!
- ESTABLISH THE RENTAL AMOUNT – Go to Craigslist or Zillow and see what owners of properties SIMILAR TO YOURS in the same general area are asking (and likely getting!). WHAT YOU SEE THERE WILL BE YOUR COMPETITION.
- FIX THINGS – Pretend that you are a prospective renter … go through your property and write down things that you notice that you would want fixed … IF you were a renter. Torn window screens? Dirty walls? A door with a hole? Broken light fixtures? IF IT BOTHERS YOU THEN IT WILL BOTHER THE GOOD PEOPLE THAT YOU WANT TO RENT TO.
- DECLUTIER & DEPERSONALIZE – Try to remove half of your belongings to make your home look TWO TIMES LARGER! Renters need a “blank canvas” onto which to project their ideas of “how it could be” if they rented your home.
- CLEAN – Everything doesn’t need to be new but your home needs to be VERY CLEAN. Do the job well so that in your advertising you can HONESTLY say “MRS. CLEAN LIVED HERE!”
- WRITE THE AD – Take some time to write a rough draft of an upbeat ad to be posted on Craigslist or Zillow or a website of your choosing. Emphasize “the good” but do not lie about “the bad”. If it has no garage or small bedrooms, figure out a way to say so in a novel way with some clever humor. IN TODAY’S BUSY ADVERTISING WORLD, EVERYONE APPRECIATES HONESTY & HUMOR!
- PHOTOS – Take lots of them … at different times of the day (esp. important for the exterior shots), the front, the back, all the interior rooms and any special features or upgrades. Then, later, LOOK THROUGH THEM ALL and select only those that BEST represent each room or feature. An out-of-focus photo with poor lighting will not help your cause! YES, IT’S TRUE! … each good photo will be worth more than 1,000 words in your ad.
So there – that’ll get you started. Want to know more? Good! Stayed tuned for a future post on the next step for the D.I.Y. rental property owner:
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – 102 : Advertising for rent
Recently I joked with Michael, my website designer, asking if he had ever heard of the shortest book ever written, titled “The Benefits of Rushing Into Things”. I was surprised by his response:
“Well why don’t you see if you can put a positive spin on that for your next blog post?”
Yeah, right… make a list of things you should rush right into, without undue delay, no putting it off! Things like marriage, buying Florida swamp land & vacation time shares, pay-day loans, cosmetic surgery in Bangladesh. I assumed that Michael had just visited the new recreational cannabis store by his office and put it out of my mind. But the idea took root in me and so one day, over a 12 ounce Americano down at Corina’s Bakery, I took out my yellow pad and my advanced ink ballpoint and I gave it a go… and imagine my surprise as I watched page one fill up!
Take a look for yourself, my list of things that maybe, just maybe, you should get to fast, definitely sooner than later. Here it is, exactly as written … THINGS TO THINK ABOUT RUSHING INTO, or at least not delaying or putting off:
- saving a life
- quitting smoking
- drug treatment
- saying “I love you”
- a diet
- calling an old friend
- preparing your will & medical directives
- getting checked for skin cancer
- walking in a park
- unplugging your TVmaking a donation
- fastening your seatbelt
- calling the dentist when your tooth first begins to hurt
- giving a deserved compliment
- hugging a kid
- kind acts
- leaving the water when the shark warning is sounded
Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve all heard it before … life is short … don’t wait too long … snooze you lose … time flies. We kinda believe that stuff but we mostly ignore it, and that’s too bad because mostly IT’S TRUE, that life IS VERY short and time DOES fly by and if you take a nap instead of taking action then you WILL lose.
What have you been rushing into lately?