All advertising costs to fill vacancies are billed to the Owner.
In the “For Sale” market, most buyers and sellers go on the internet to get educated as to neighborhoods and prices before they ever contact a Real Estate Agent.
In the “For Rent” market, in days gone by it was the newspaper where most prospective tenants looked for rentals. Most now go to the web first. For renters, it has made finding good rental information more of a challenge. The choices usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Pre-paid Rental Listing Agencies
- Free To Search/Charge To Advertise – Rental Listing Agencies
- Free To Search/Free To Advertise – Rental Listing Sites
- Traditional Real Estate Offices
- Free Internet Classified
- Property Management Websites
- For Rent Signs
Pre-paid Rental Listing Agencies – These companies appear high on most internet searches. They will give a prospective renter only a little bit of property information until you pay them a fee. The fee buys you more detailed information and addresses on available rentals. These companies get their listings from property owners and managers who advertise with them. Some charge to advertise, most do it for free. A few of these companies are very good, many are not. The biggest complaints we hear are that the information is so old that the properties are already rented, and that the fees are very high for information that could be found for free.
Free To Search/Charge to Advertise – Rental Listing Agencies – These companies are similar to the above except they don’t charge the prospective renters. Instead, they more often, charge the owner or manager to advertise. Because they charge they have far fewer listings. Again, the listings are sometimes too old. The biggest complaint is that they predominately have listings only for large apartment complexes with very few for single family homes, condos, or small complexes.
Free to Search/Free to Advertise – Rental Listing Sites – These are growing in popularity with new sites popping up constantly. Some are very good. It requires a lot of inputting time, but we advertise on virtually all of them we can find. At present, a lot of these sites still don’t come up too high in search engine results, but they are becoming more effective over time.
Traditional Real Estate Offices – Some agents, who generally specialize in the “For Sale” market, will also list property for rent. (Especially when sales are slow.) These listings can be found on websites with MLS search capabilities. The number of listings you will find is generally limited, and they are usually for the higher end of the single family home market.
Free Internet Classified – The leader in this area is Craigslist. At the time of this writing they were the 7th most active website in the world. They are free to advertise and free to search. The biggest complaint for landlords who advertise is the tremendous amount of internet scammers who will contact you. If you can’t immediately spot them, it will drive you crazy.
Newspapers - We have been in the real estate business for over 20 years. For most of those years the newspaper, especially the Sunday paper, was a must place to advertise. The effectiveness of newspaper advertising is now minimal. We spot advertise to drive people back to our website, but otherwise it is not the place to be.
Property Management Websites – If you can find them on the web, they will often have the best, most current information for prospective renters. Plus they will have listings for houses, condos and small complexes. For landlords, if you use a property management company, make sure they have a website that lists their available properties and make sure those listings have photos. Everyone wants photos.
For Rent Signs – Of course, For Rent signs still work for most properties. We have found that the large real estate type signs that go on a post are not as effective as a small more traditional For Rent sign.
With the newspapers being ineffective in searching for rentals, many would be tenants are going back to simply driving through neighborhoods where they would like to rent. Our For Rent signs are there with our website prominently listed so they can get 24/7 information on our properties.