Advertise Your Rental -- Don't Stop Until It Rents!

One of the biggest mistakes in judgement is pulling your ads too early.

So many times, we see properties with vacant units, and zero advertisements in the local market, and we ask ourselves what the owner is thinking. Barring unique circumstances, there is exactly one way to maximize the return on your property, and that’s to fill space. It’s also awfully hard to fill space without advertising. So if you’ve got an empty rental and you don’t advertise your rental…well, we hope you fall into the ‘unique circumstances’ category.

Probably the most common mistake among landlords advertising vacant properties is that they stop. There’s only one time to stop advertising a vacant property – and even that is iffy.

Don’t Stop Advertising Because You Have a Prospect
Some landlords stop advertising when someone arranges a meeting to look at the property. Their logic, it seems, is that they don’t want to show the house to someone who might not get it (because the people who saw it first might snap it up.) While it’s a good idea from the broadest perspective to watch out for the customer’s interests, you kind of have to keep in mind that the folks who can’t move in aren’t your customers – you’re not going to create any difficulties for yourself by telling them the property got taken by someone else.

Don’t Stop Advertising Because You Have an Applicant
Other landlords stop advertising once a prospect has an application in hand (or after they’ve filled it out and turned it back in, as the case may be.) The logic seems to be the same as before – but the fact is that many applicants turn out to be non-viable tenants for any of many reasons. If you stop advertising while you’re verifying the application and background checking the would-be tenant, and they fail the checks, you’re going to start advertising all over again anyway – so why stop in the first place?

Don’t Stop Advertising Because You Have a Deposit
True story – Royal Rose properties once had an applicant just up and walk away from an eighteen hundred dollar deposit. There’s no guarantee that just because someone has put a couple hundred bucks down on a vacancy, they’ll actually end up moving in. Until you’ve actually collected the money for the first payment period, nothing is certain – and as long as there’s uncertainty about the fate of your vacancy, you should be advertising.

Don’t Stop Advertising (Immediately) If You Have Other Vacancies
In fact, if you have other vacancies, you shouldn’t stop advertising even if you just filled one. Consumers will forgive you for not having that precise vacancy open as long as you can show them something similar that will suit their needs. There’s no need to put extra effort into cutting short an ad that’s already scheduled to run for a week, for example – let it go and redirect those callers to a similar property. Everyone wins!

Much has been made of the current buyer’s market in real estate. But rentals are also on sale, and tenants paying the same rent as one year ago might be paying too much. Great tips!

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This is very true. I was once about to lease an apartment near my work and already paid the deposits and set a schedule to move-in, when my parents recommended another apartment, that is much cheaper, cleaner, and the landlord is a former classmate of my dad.

When I told the landlady who already received my downpayment, she was furious saying that they already turned down prospects. In the end, I was able to get my money back, but I negotiated giving her $10 so that they could pay newspaper advertisements again.

Sometime, you can never tell what can happen until the lease started. I.e., until the tenant moved in.