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Listings are a key part of marketing when it comes to rental property – especially when you’ve got a vacancy on your hands. Catching the attention of potential tenants is pivotal in the sea of rental listings, and the best way to do so is by making sure your listing is among the best.

Informative listings are a win-win, because they increase your chances of attracting the kind of tenants you’re hoping to find, and tenants can easily determine whether your listing is a good fit for them. Avoid rolling over the same vacancy month-to-month by creating a solid listing, and you’ll have saved yourself more time and money in the long-run.

But how do I create a listing that will attract the right prospective tenants? Well, the good news is that great listings have a formula. Here are the most important steps to creating a dynamite listing that’s sure to fill your empty spot sooner rather than later.

HIT THE BOOKS. Research is the first foundational step to creating a great rental listing. What are we researching? Your audience, of course! What kind of tenants are you looking to attract? Do you prefer older or younger tenants? Are you looking to house families or couples and singletons? Pinning down some basic demographics of who you’re looking to attract will be extremely beneficial in creating your listing. For example, younger tenants are more likely to use rental property apps, while older generations are more likely to utilize local papers and Facebook. Analyzing basic demographic information on prospective tenants will indicate where and how you should market your listing. You may also consider surveying your current tenants on what they like about the property. This will help to pin down the marketable amenities of your place. SCOPE OUT YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Knowing the neighborhood is key to writing an effective listing – whether it’s close to public transportation or near a great school district, this information will help to attract the right tenants. Scoping out the neighborhood also allows you to get a feel for the other property listings available in the area. How are the surrounding management companies marketing their listings? What information and photos are they providing? Most importantly, what do you have to offer that other listings lack? Determining the competitive advantage of your property will be very beneficial – perhaps your rent is below the area’s average, your unit has great storage, or you offer in-unit laundry while other local listings do not. Scoping out the surrounding properties will help to pin down what’s unique about yours. GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. Avoid fluffing your listing with unnecessary words and focus on being informative. Remember, tenants are flooded with potential listings – the more information you offer up-front, the more likely they are to be interested. Right off the bat, provide the square footage along with the best amenities, whether it’s a large yard, finished patio, brand new hardwood floors, etc. The initial description should be informative and enticing, with focus on what the property has to offer. BE CREATIVE! Once you’ve written out the must-know information, spruce up the listing with strong descriptors. The more information you provide up-front, the better – and being descriptive will help you get there much quicker. See the description below: Centrally located. Large closets and nice balcony view. New kitchen. Pretty boring, right? In the sea of hundreds of other listings, it’s sure to fall through the cracks. Let’s spruce it up a bit. This unit is a 10-minute walk to the nearest shopping plaza and a 15-minute walk to the train. The unit offers extended storage with two full-wardrobe closets and built-in floating shelves. The bedroom balcony offers a gorgeous view of the city’s greenery, perfect for sipping your morning coffee in peace. The kitchen was newly remodeled last month, with freshly painted cabinets and marble countertops. Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it? Descriptors can make or break your listing. Once you have the basic information pinned down, focus on painting a picture that will entice tenants to live there. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. Listing photos should display a vacant, move-in ready unit. With that said, avoid taking photos until the space is empty, repaired and cleaned. Photos of freshly painted walls and a professionally cleaned kitchen are far more enticing than a dingy half-moved-out-of space. Provide multiple photos of each room with the best lighting possible. Natural light produces great photos that are clear and representative. Avoid having people, unmoved items, or trash in photos. The more pictures you provide, the better – not only is it the most representative of your unit, but having several photos shows tenants there’s nothing to hide. The best rule of thumb when it comes to taking listing photos? What you see is what you get. ENLIST TECHNOLOGY TO HELP. There are a plethora of different platforms when it comes to listing rental property, and the sea of listings can certainly be overwhelming. Luckily, today’s technology offers a variety of services to streamline the process, so you’re not spending weeks posting the same listing on a hundred different sites. Consider a listing widget to help market your space to tenants on several different platforms, all with the click of a button. This technology also makes your listing mobile-friendly and can even offer online applications, making the process easily accessible and time-saving for both you and potential tenants. Remember, when it comes to rental property, your listing is your marketing strategy. Potential tenants will only reach out if your space entices them, so taking the time to make your listing informative, descriptive and representative will surely pay off. The process of filling a vacancy can be a bummer, but don’t make it harder than it has to be – create a dynamite listing, and you’re sure to have a solid pool of prospective tenants to choose from.

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