Writing well written ads
Rental property owners call and email often complaining that they just are not attracting quality applicants, that nobody calls on their classified ads, and that they are having difficulty getting their units rented.
When I look at their advertising material it is obvious where some of the difficulty lies.
* The ads cannot be differentiated from the other ads.
* The ads give no reason why a prospective renter should call.
* The ads at best do a data dump of features, and at worst actually focus on negatives.
* The ads do not generate positive emotions.
* The ads do not tell the prospective tenant to take action.
A well-written ad can out-draw an ordinary ad by 10 times.
Most rental property owners are pretty good at taking care of and managing their properties, but don’t have much experience creating ads that get the best prospective tenants to take the action the landlord wants, such as calling for an appointment to see the property.
When landlords are writing effective ads:
1. They are thinking in terms of benefits or creating mental pictures in the minds of readers of the ads and appealing to their emotions.
2. They are thinking about what will sell the property, as opposed to just the features.
3. They are thinking of the best days to run the ads
4. They are thinking of whether they want the phone to ring or not.
5. They are thinking about what their ad readers are trying to do when they read the ads (it may be different than you think).
6. They have made a list of all the features and the benefits of those feature
7. They have a mental picture of the tenant who will rent the unit
Better ads mean more rental income. That results from three factors:
* First, when you have more competition for a unit, it can fetch higher rent.
* Second, because you have more selection, you can set rental standards higher and select a tenant with a better rental history, such as one with longer tenancies at previous rentals and higher credit scores. Settling for a less-qualified tenant can result in lost rent because of the tenant not paying rent, and you losing income.
* Third, a better selection results in a tenant who stays longer. Think about how much a vacancy costs. It is at least one month's rent — and more if the property requires repair or extensive cleaning.
Robert Cain, publisher of the Rental Property Reporter, has been providing solutions for the rental property industry for seventeen years. He is author of the landlord manuals Profitable Tenant Selection, Can Section 8 Work for You?, Using the Gross Monthly Rent Multiplier, the tape series “Avoiding the Tenant from Hell,” and several other booklets and manuals for landlords and property managers. In addition, he writes and produces newsletters for other companies that serve the rental property industry. He is a highly sought-after speaker, seminar leader and consultant on property management and real estate topics.