Have you ever read a rental listing that comes across more like an essay than a useful description of the potential rental property up for grabs? These long-winded forays into English prose may leave you asking, 'Where’s the beef? Where’s the substance?!' The reality is that potential renters often react the same way.
People don’t have a lot of time, and when they look at your marketing materials for your real estate investments (in particular, your rental property's listing), you have a very small window to capture their attention. You actually have less than a minute, according to some interesting scientific research into our diminishing attention spans.
A study conducted by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, found that people looking at rental homes look at the exterior photo for about 20 seconds—if it’s a good one. From there, 76% of them look at the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and other crucial details. Only 58.5% even begin to read the remarks that follow. For those who actually do read the description, you’d better catch them in the first line—or they’re gone.
You can see our understanding of this research as an expert Lakewood Ranch property management company in every rental property listing that we post here on our website. We list the meat-and-potato details first directly under those captivating rental photos that can make or break your online listings. The majority of your future renters are looking for their next rental home online right now, so your marketing really needs to appeal to this mindset.
Rental Property Listing Blunders
Sometimes, it's actually easier to create an excellent rental property listing by looking at what property owners shouldn't do with their marketing in the Lakewood Ranch area. To maximize the impact of your listing, avoid the following.
Not Listing the Crucial Facts
Recently I was looking at a rental property listing and came upon this in the first line, '…Sitting regally upon its elevated landscape overlooking the serenity of the water, this home lures you into its greatness…' I didn’t read any further. If you're a renter, you've likely stopped at this point, too (unless you're an English major ready to swoop in for the kill).
When I look at a property listing from the perspective of an excellent Lakewood Ranch property management company, I'm always looking for facts—and your future applicants are doing the exact same with every listing they encounter.
- Do you allow pets in your properties?
- Do your single-family homes have volume ceilings?
- What kind of flooring does your townhome or condo have?
- Do any of your properties have desirable granite countertops?
- What about the advantages of a lake view as a potential amenity?
Tell your reader the most valuable and important things your property has to offer in the first line. Sometimes, you can even include this in the title of the listing itself to draw the first glance, then you have a chance that they’ll read further and seal the deal.
Here's another great example from one of our Bradenton rental properties. You can see we've included the excellent amenity of golf access that's rolled right into the rental as a direct part of the title. This is a great way to catch a renter's attention and keep them scrolling to look at the rest of what your listing has to offer.
On the reverse, descriptions that contain hyped-up adjectives, brand names, and too many abuses of the Caps Lock key are listings most likely to be overlooked.
OVERUSING CAPS TO TRY AND 'SELL' YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY!!!
IF THE ENTIRE SENTENCE IS IN CAPS, YOU’RE YELLING. DON’T DO IT!!! That rule likely applies for an excess of exclamation points, too.
There’s a saying we all know and love from a particular animated movie about superheroes, and it goes a little something like this: 'If everyone is special, then no one will be.' Well, if everything is emphasized with caps in your rental property listing, then nothing is truly taking center stage. All those crucial details we mentioned that you need above will get lost in the OVERWHELMING CAPITALIZATION OF YOUR RENTAL PROPERTY LISTING!!!
With great caps comes great responsibility—so use them wisely. Something like this would be appropriate: 'This lovely home has ENGINEERED HARDWOOD throughout the living and dining room…NEW GRANITE countertops have just been installed in the kitchen and bathrooms.'
Another interesting fact worth knowing comes to us from graphic design: it's actually easier for people to read lower-case text. Reading all the words in caps slows the reader down. So please, for the sake of your vacant Lakewood Ranch rental property, don't overuse caps!
Not Handling Abbreviations With Care
The way you use abbreviations and 'real estate lingo' can also have a negative impact on the potential of your marketing. Something like, '3/2/2, 1785SF, H/HW' may be clear to you, but frankly, many readers aren’t sure what that jumble of characters actually means.
Brevity might be the soul of wit when it comes to your actual listing description, but you don't have to go completely spartan with the details if it's only going to confuse your reader! Make it clear and simple: '3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage, 1,785 square feet under heat and air,' etc. Using bullet points is also a good idea if your listing systems allow it.
Using Terrible Photos—or No Photos at All
A little more about the photos that you use—and while this point may be last, it is certainly not least. Property owners, this is just a fact: if you don’t have any photos, many people won’t look at your listing at all. It is essential to have at least one.
- Many websites limit the number of photos you can use, so make the most of the ones you post.
- Using clever angled shots for your photography will make your rooms appear more spacious (shoot from the corners, not the center of the room).
- Rooms in your investment properties need to be completely free of clutter and as nicely staged as possible, without too many details lingering from current renters, if you have any.
- Try to avoid using flash if possible; make the most of natural light by shooting during 'the golden hour.' You can also turn on all the lights in your rental property to prevent the feeling of spaces being cramped and dark.
- Show off the kitchen, living room, bathrooms, and exterior—especially when there is nice landscaping. Curb appeal matters to your future renters, too. Especially in the desirable Lakewood Ranch area!
Not Working With Full-Service Property Management
All of the above are missteps that can plague your rental property listing. However, the greatest mistake you can make as an investor is not working with dedicated Lakewood Ranch property management services to handle the listing process for you!
Why stress and mess with the details of investment property marketing on your own when the seasoned professionals here at Gulf Coast Property Management have it covered? Take a load off, and let us find your next renter! We know how to find, screen, and place high-quality renters in your rental homes.
Get in touch with us today to get your beautiful Lakewood Ranch rental property rented fast!