6 Steps to Better Rental Property Listings and Tenants

Osprey Property Management   |   date May 2023

Published July 22, 2022
Updated May 11, 2023

So, you've made the big jump to purchase an investment property. Or perhaps you're interested in property investment and are doing your research. Either way, once you've secured the property, the next step is to place residents or, at the very least, create a pool of appropriate future renters to choose from. 

Finding the right renters for your investment property is a delicate balancing act as you want to fill the space quickly but don't want "just anyone" to live in the rental home. Instead, you want suitable applicants who align themselves with your protocols, policies, and goals

This process starts with your rental listing. However, without the right approach, a listing can lead to future issues, from evictions to late rental payments and even property damage. 

Today we'll look into what makes a good property listing, how to list a rental property, and a key strategy to ensure you nail your listing the first time.

What Is a Rental Listing, and How Can It Help? 

Your rental listing is the online advertisement of your rental property to show that it is on the market and available to be leased or rented. 

However, rental property listings can either help you find quality leads, go completely unnoticed, or in the worst-case scenario, attract poor-quality tenants, leading to eviction or costly legal battles and court fees. 

When creating a rental listing, the primary goals are to reduce vacancy times and fill the space with quality renters. For these reasons, a well-written, informative, and attractive listing is fundamental to success with your rental properties. 

6 Steps to Create the Ultimate Property Listing

So, what should every listing include to attract quality tenants and help you meet your ROI goals? Here are six critical elements for success when learning how to list rental property. 

1. Create a Compelling Description

The description is the written language in your listing designed to inform and attract potential renters.

Generally, the property listing will contain the following features:

  • A strong title

  • List of critical attributes (local amenities, utilities, schools, access to public transport)

  • A compelling description

  • The monthly rent amount

  • Security deposit amount and other fees

  • The location of the property

  • Protocols such as pet rules or smoking-friendly vs. non-smoking

Focus on adjectives and descriptive language that will help paint a picture of the property without going overboard. A good tip is to scroll through website property listings and get a feel for how they're structured. Then, single out listings you like and focus on what makes them attractive or why you were drawn to them to help inform your description writing. 

2. Use Professional Photos

The listing's images are the first impression potential renters will have of your property. Therefore, the photos should catch these residents' attention while making your listing stand out—much like your description. 

Compelling rental property listings help property owners find good tenants.

If you imagine renters scrolling through a listing website, they will spend a few seconds (or less) on each listing before landing on one they like. Therefore, professional photos add credibility and respectability to your listing.

Try to opt for between 15-40 photos to showcase the property. A professional photographer can leverage features such as angles, lighting, and color contrast to bring your property to life. In addition, consider hiring a professional photographer as an investment, as you can keep the photos for future use. 

If you have the resources, a walk-through video adds a nice touch to your listing and is a great way to highlight features such as the property's surrounding area. 

3. Rental Rate Based On a Rental Market Analysis 

A rental market analysis is a process to help determine an appropriate rate to set for the rent. There is no one way to run a market rent analysis, but a property manager can help you apply the best formulas and approaches

Factors that are generally included in this analysis include:

  • Location of the property

  • Vacancy rate

  • Insurance

  • Whether there are additional costs, such as HOA fees

  • Mortgage rates

  • Taxes

  • The purchase price 

If you're still unsure how to run a thorough rental market analysis, the easiest way to go about it is to reach out to a Hampton Roads property management group that can analyze it for you. '

4. Create a User-Friendly Application Form

The rental market is highly competitive! This means rental property owners must make it as easy as possible for potential residents to apply for a property. 

Add links to rental listings for easy access to a user-friendly application form. Make sure it collects necessary details such as the applicant's name, phone number, credit history, employment, proof of income, and references. In addition, include a section in which applicants sign off on permission for you as a property owner to conduct a background check.  

5. Be Honest and Accurate

Ensure everything in the property listing is accurate and honest. Fraudulent misrepresentation of the property or overselling something to attract more applications can have long-term impacts on your experience as a property owner. Inaccurate listings may also lead to flagging your listing as a scam on popular listing sites. 

Hampton Roads property management experts list properties and find quality tenants.

If you're unsure of the best details and descriptions to use in a listing, seek advice from a property management company and double-check all information you've uploaded. 

6. Use Multiple Sites to Advertise 

Don't rely on one listing website to advertise your property. Instead, create your profile and spread it across several listing sites to reach a broader tenant pool. 

Opt for well-trafficked rental listing sites and incorporate a mixture of free and paid listing pages into your strategy. Free sites may be an easy option but can lead to a higher frequency of scams and low-quality tenants. 

As a final tip, keep in mind that if your rental property listing isn't generating as many leads as you thought it might, or you're attracting tenants that are the wrong fit for your property, you can always let a property manager help

Expert Rental Property Listings Help You Find Quality Renters!

Rental property listings are the first step toward successful rental properties in the Hampton Roads area. By following the key steps above, you'll be able to effectively advertise and eventually secure the perfect residents for your property. 

Osprey Property Management is highly proficient in delivering outcomes for real estate investors at all steps of the investment property journey. For more information on how we can help you secure quality tenants by creating effective property rental property listings, reach out to a team member today.

Learn more about what you need in the best property managers! Download our free resource, the "Guide to Finding the Best Property Manager in Hampton Roads."


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