By Erin Ruane, Executive Director of Homes.com Rentals
It used to be that a homeowner who decided to rent out his home rather than sell did so as a last resort—usually because it was time to move to a new house and there was a need for some sort of income, so renting was preferable to letting an empty house sit.
During recent years, due to economic and lifestyle trends, industry insiders have seen an increase in the single-family rental market, and this is one area that real estate professionals needed to pay attention to more carefully.
As of the beginning months of 2014, the economy appears to be in recovery mode and the housing market seems to be correcting itself, with home prices beginning to rise and credit loosening for entry-level homebuyers.
Still, more homeowners are finding value in renting out their homes rather than selling. A real estate agent can help find quality renters who will not hurt the value of the home down the line.
That says, Homes.com has compiled five ways that a real estate pro can better promote rental listings.
1. Internet Marketing: Just as with any property listing, visuals are often the key to generating interest in a rental home and with 90 percent of consumers starting their search online (National Association of Realtors), it’s imperative that you have a presence there. Prospective renters want to see photos of all the rooms, the exterior and even nearby places in the community. Highlight all of the best features with bright photos and videos and create a visual experience that will have them banging down the door to see.
2. Utilize Mobile: According to Advertising Age, more than 20 percent of the overall media time was spent on mobile in 2013. So a real estate pro who uses mobile advertising as a way to promote his or her rental listings will be ahead of the curve. Let’s face it, people are on their phones and tablets constantly, and by sending rental listings to clients by email and texts, they will be seen and acted on quickly.
3: Social Media is Your Friend: By now, you probably already have a Facebook account, and use sites like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to connect with your network about new listings. Don’t forget to highlight your “For Rent” properties as well, as often times, people are connected to those who are looking for a short-term housing solution. A recent article on our sister site, ForRent.com, praises the power of social media and the importance of creating positive sentiment. The trick is to harness the power of ”word of mouse” by capturing positive reviews from past clients and promoting them in places that prospects frequent online.
4 Use QR Codes: Whether you create a print ad for the local paper, signs in community establishments or even billboards, adding a QR code to your advertisement is a great way to get people to interact with your message. When you have listings that are for rent only, this is a great way to highlight the property and let those on-the-go renters see what’s available with a scan and click of a button.
5. Reach out to Corporate Clients: The demand for corporate housing has increased substantially over the last decade, as many companies bring over workers from other parts of the country or even the world. Many of these employees need to stay in one location for only a year or two, and renting a single-family home is much more pleasurable for them than living in an extended stay hotel. According to a recent article in Business Traveler Executive, 70 percent of professionals who are relocated for a period of 1-3 years take their families with them, so a house is a preferred option.
Remember, a single-family home can be sold at a retail price, giving you another potential exit strategy for the property. Plus, many who rent will eventually decide to buy the property, or at least one in the neighborhood, giving you another potential sales opportunity.
Another great way to connect with local renters on the go is through Homes.com’s new mobile local rental ads. With 40 percent of mobile traffic searching for rentals on Homes.com, it’s a great way to promote your rental listings to active renters on a device that is most personal to them. For more tips, trends, and resources, visit the Homes.com blog dedicated to real estate professionals.