While it’s common knowledge that internet resources are a great way to reach potential tenants in Seattle, you may get lucky with “old school” methods. The most effective type of advertising for your rental depends on what kind of property you have, where it is located, how quickly you need to find a tenant, and, of course, your budget.
Sometimes it takes a combination of strategies to advertise your rental successfully. While it’s a good idea to have a marketing plan in mind that focuses on websites and social media, traditional methods like word of mouth or a simple “For Rent” sign may attract just the renter you are looking for.
· ♦ Signage
If you have an apartment near a college, on a main street or in a busy apartment complex, signage might work for you. A “For Rent” signin the window is a good way to advertise your unit in an area that gets lots of car and foot traffic, especially if your building looks inviting from the outside. Be sure to include a phone numberlarge enough to be visible from the street.
· ♦ Classified Newspaper Ads
This traditional method can target your market with a newspaper that is geared toward the demographic of your renters. For example, if you are expecting your tenant to be a student at a local college, advertise in the college campus newspaper. Choose a newspaper that attracts multiple rental listings. Advertise on Sunday or on the day the newspaper has the largest real estate section. As an added plus, many newspapers are now online as well.
· ♦ Renter Magazines
If you are an investor with a limited number of residential investment properties, it makes sense to advertise in local magazines featuring local listings. Thumb through the magazine to see if it caters to landlords with properties similar to yours. National magazines are another option, but keep in mind that they are designed for property owners offering multiple units in a variety of areas.
· ♦ Bulletin Boards
If your building or a nearby supermarket or café provides a bulletin board for public use, a flyer or an index card may bring in a renter. If you go with a flyer, try placing your phone number on a bottom “fringe” so people who are interested can simply tear your number and take it home. Keep your ideal potential tenant in mind. If you own an upscale property, place your flyer at a pricey fitness center in the neighborhood. If not, the local laundromat may be more effective in attractingyour renter.
· ♦ Social Media
Use your personal social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter to let your friends know that you have a rental available. Include a link that gives the details of the property and a virtual tour. If you have an investment company, set up a Facebook page highlighting your rental properties. YouTube is another avenue that can provide potential renters with video information about your property.
· ♦ Rental Websites
There is a growing list of rental websites that can advertise your Seattle rental successfully.
The importance of listing your unit on Craigslist cannot be overstated, since the site is often the first thing that comes to mind when potential tenants are looking for a property in Seattle. Listings are based on location for a user-friendly experience. Fill in all the information, and make sure you have attractive photos and a virtual walk-through as well. It is a good idea to renew your Craigslist post daily to keep it fresh and ahead of the competition. The time spent is likely to be worth the effort.
Individual landlords and property managers with apartments of fewer than 50 rental units can use Zillow Rental Manager. The website allows you to input details that are shared with other sites. Incoming leads include particulars like income, credit score and pet information, allowing you to contact those who are qualified and suited to your property. When your unit goes back on the market, the information repopulates so you simply designatethe listing available.
⇒ Some Additional Websites
You might try these other websites to list your rental. Some sites are specific to Seattle.
► Rent.com: A free rental site with a large selection of apartments.
► Trulia: Provides maps, school ratings and other neighborhood information to renters.
► Seattle Rentals: Lists hundreds of properties from local landlords.
► Apartments.com: Renters type in the maximum amount of rent they wish to pay and receive suggestions.
► Hotpads: An interactive map helps renters find units in the location of interest.
· Hire a Professional Property Manager
If you are not finding success with other methods, or if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with potential renters, you can list your unit with a local Professional Property Manager. Many Professional Property Managerswill put your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) allowing other real estate professionals to research your property.. Although a Property Manager may include additional costs, by using the professional, you will save yourself all the hassle and time of doing it yourself.