More informative advertisements

Like everyone else, tenants value their time – and having to personally inspect potential properties is time-consuming.

That means rental listings need to give tenants all the information they need to qualify whether the property is suitable before they hop into the car.

And yet, so many listings fall short – to the detriment of the property’s owner.

Not only is a poorly-listed property likely to take longer to rent, it may also impact the quality tenant who applies. After all, who is more likely to go out and inspect a property after seeing one photo in the listing – a great tenant or a desperate tenant?

Common failings include:

  • Lack of photos – you need clear, in-focus photos of the front of the house, outdoor living area if any, bathroom, kitchen and living areas at a minimum.
  • No information about layout – ideally, include a floor plan. If not, layout needs to be described in words. An elderly tenant might want to know if there’s a bedroom on the ground floor. A tenant with young children might want to know if the back yard is visible from the kitchen. A security-conscious tenant might wonder if the garage directly opens into the property or if you need to go outside to access it.
  • No detail on the facilities of an apartment complex – if living in this apartment is going to give a tenant access to a pool, gym or communal BBQ area, then that’s useful information to convey.
  • Unnecessary abbreviations – when you’re advertising on the internet, you’re not paying by the word, so why not make life easy for potential tenants by spelling it out instead of using acronyms like LUG (lock up garage) or BIR (built in robes)?
  • Missing information – tenants should be able to tell whether the property can accommodate pets or smokers without having to contact the property manager.
  • A requirement that the tenant contacts the property manager to ascertain inspection times – many tenants don’t think it’s worth the effort, while some fear being put on mailing lists as a result of making contact.
  • Orientation – which way does the property face, in particular living areas?