Marketing Rental Houses

Hello all.

I’ve been “checking-in” with this forum for a couple of months now and have not seen this topic started – so, here it is.

What do you do to market your vacant rent houses?

What resources do you use?

So far I have just placed ads in the local papers and have had decent luck getting leads. However I want to step it up a bit and am interested in knowing what/who I can use to help. Here are some of my ideas with questions of how to go about it:

  • I wand to have a couple of professional looking “For Rent” signs made. Should I make one generic sign (i.e., House For Rent Call 970.XXX.XXXX) or should I have a specific sign made for each house (i.e., 5bd/2ba House For Rent…)??? How do I find a “sign maker”

  • In addition to the sign I want to create flyers (similar to realtor’s “for sale” flyers). What inexpensive, easy-to-use software program is available to include a few pics and details.

  • Website. I almost dread this one. I am a gen-x’er who grew up with computers, but never learned ANYTHING about creating a website. Any easy way to create and have a site hosted?

Any thing else that might work???

Thanks in advace,


Hello B–

First of all, your standard real estate sign is usually pretty cheap. You can get three or four double-sided signs made (at least where I live) for less than $100, not including the stakes. Sign-makers should be abundant in your local yellow page directory.
I normally do not include specific information about the unit on the sign, but I do tend to write lengthy newspaper ads. So far, I’ve had great results from listing my homes in the local paper, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest route. Still, I think you’re on the right track with newspaper listings.
As far as the internet is concerned, try to find a statewide website which organizes and advertises apartment complexes by city. In Alabama, it’s For an annual fee, this site might allow you to list your homes on their page. They also send you an e-mail everytime a potential tenant logs onto the site and expresses interest in renting a home/apartment in your town. The e-mail will always include that person’s contact information and full name. You may or may not have this resource available in your state, but it’s certainly worth researching.

Hope this helps,

I have noticed the trend of people looking online before they just waste gas and drive around. THere are many sites to advertise your rental property. I would advertise online and then post as many pics as you can with little information about price so they contact you directly. Also, newspaper works if you put as little as possible, not the price but the location ect…

I have had the best luck using the good ol’ newspaper classifieds. I have never had problems renting my homes ( or recieving my rent) because I offer a rental discount for timely payment. It works like this: If the tenent pays before the first, they recieve a $50 discount off rent. On the first: the stated rental price. After the first: $50 additional to stated rent.
I recieve about 80% of my rent before the first, about 5% on the first and the rest after. Yes, you get $50 less on the rent BUT you get your rent on a timely basis and have an edge on the competition.
Advertise the rental with the discount included in the ad, eg - $500/ mo (or whatever it is) with a $50 rental discount available.
You’ll get calls.

Rental discounts may be illegal in some states, they’re illegal in mine. It’s actually kinda funny, you can’t have a late charge or offer a discount for early payment until the rent is 30 days late. You can begin eviction procedures if the rent is one day late though. Judges aren’t too happy if you just wait a day though.

As for signs, Home Depot and Staples carry For Rent signs as well as a bunch of other signs. They’re only about $15 or so. Less for the smaller signs. It kinda depends on the area if you get any response. In one area, I got as many calls or more from the sign than the newspaper and in another I never got a single call from the sign.

As for the internet, in this area, everyone basically uses, it’s free and tons of people use it. Did my last few rentals with just the craigslist ad and didn’t pay to put it in the newspaper.