How to Advertise a Rental Property

One of the most important aspects of owning a rental property or understanding how to start a rental property business is having the right tenants. Your rental property is an important part of your portfolio, and having reliable tenants who will keep your cash flow consistent is crucial to not only your livelihood but also your mental health. 

No one wants to deal with broken leases, trashed properties, or neighborhood complaints. 

However, vacancies incur a loss of the passive income you’ve worked hard for, meaning you need to know how to find a great tenant—fast. And how do you find a great tenant? 

Through great marketing. 

How to Advertise a Rental Property

Whether you’re renting your property out for the first time, or you’re in between leases, a key skill for any rental owner to know is how to advertise rental property. For instance, did you know that more than 70% of people in the U.S. are no smartphones and that nearly 90% of real estate spend will be on online ads? 

The point: you need to meet your prospective renter where they are. 

Yet, as an owner, having to understand the ins and outs of the real estate advertising world can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, with a few tips you’ll be well on your way to adding real estate advertising to your already diverse set of skills.  

#1 Know Your Market

As an owner, you’ve probably already done your due diligence in terms of understanding the area where you own your rental property. When it’s time to advertise your listing, your knowledge of the surrounding market and demographics are going to work to your advantage. Whether or not the property should be listed as a vacation rental or a long-term rental is a major decision to be made before finding a new tenant. 

Having a firm grasp on who you’re going to be advertising your property can make a significant difference in terms of the effectiveness of your strategy. 

You’re already wondering how to advertise an apartment for rent, but you also need to consider who you’re going to market a vacant rental property to.  

Consider the Circumstances

When you purchased your rental property, you considered your personal circumstances before signing on the dotted line such as rental property tax deductions. Potential renters are going to do the same, making it important for you to consider the individual situations of your target demographic before making both marketing and renting decisions.

As you begin to think about your advertising strategy, consider whether or not the market which you’ll be advertising in has any of the following potential demographics available for you to target your efforts towards: 

  • College students
  • Workers on short-term contracts
  • Millennials
  • Retirees

Advertise Accordingly

Once you’ve done your homework regarding neighborhood demographics, you’ll be able to highlight certain features that may be more attractive to the kind of renter you’re trying to reach.

Below are a few examples of how to use your knowledge of specific rental market demographics to your advantage when it comes to how to advertise an apartment for rent: 

  • College Students – College students are young and on-the-go. Highlighting your property’s access to campus, proximity to popular dining and nightlife destinations, and aligning your advertising efforts with the academic calendar are all ways you can optimize owning a rental property in a college town. Consider using the Facebook marketplace to reach a prospective renter, such as a college student that is technology savvy. 
  • Retirees – Retirees are increasingly turning to rentals for a variety of reasons. From the lifestyle flexibility renting provides, to being able to better predict monthly expenditures, to the overall desire to downsize, retirees are renting. You can focus on this growing market by taking steps like being willing to accommodate accessibility issues if needed. 
  • Short-Term Contract Workers – A great example of a short-term contract worker who might be your potential future tenant is a nurse who works in a large hospital. In this context, you should highlight your property’s ease of access to the hospital, since nurses often work non-conventional hours. Short-term contract workers may also be less willing to sign a two-year lease, depending on the length of their contract. 
  • Millennials – Marketing towards millennials is going to entail highlighting a different set of features than marketing towards a family of five. Millennials tend to marry and have children later, meaning they’re less likely to want to rent a property based on its school district, proximity to playgrounds, etc. What they do want, however, is up-to-date amenities, plenty of intelligent features, and convenience. 

By narrowing down your target audience, you can tailor your messaging to attract them and find your ideal tenant. In fact, this might even influence some of your home improvement initiatives. 

#2 Cast a Wide Net

Although knowing your market is essential and catering towards the demographics that make sense for your property listing is undeniably helpful, sometimes it’s still smart to advertise to a wide variety of potential renters via a diverse range of sources. 

Knowing where to advertise your rental property can be an extremely important aspect of the advertising equation. 

Regardless of where you choose to advertise your rental property, you should still consider investing in the following: 

  • Professional Photos – You may be tempted to snap a few pictures of your property with your iPhone to save money on professional photos, but having professional shots of your rental might help bolster your ROI in the long term. Professional real estate photographers know how to emphasize the best features of your property, which will in turn allow prospective tenants to get a true glimpse of their potential new home. 
  • Deep Cleaning – In a perfect world, your tenants would leave your property just as clean as when they found it. But even if you have the tidiest, most conscious tenants out there, once they move out you still will more than likely need to invest in a professional cleaning service. This will pay off in the long run, since it’s essential that your property makes a great first impression during walk-throughs, open houses, etc. 
  • New Paint – A fresh coat of paint can make a world of a difference both in person and in photographs. Even if your previous tenants left the walls in good shape, new paint can make your space feel bigger, brighter, and newer.  Just remember—regardless of your personal preferences, you ultimately need to rent this space, meaning neutral and classic is always better. 

Once you have your place in tip-top condition, the next question is where to advertise the rental property? 

Traditional Advertising Avenues

Although putting a sign up in the yard may seem like an outdated method of advertising, there’s still merit in attracting potential renters via traditional avenues. Many of these methods are inexpensive, and it never hurts to expand your rental property advertising.

As an added bonus, many of these strategies are community-based, meaning you’ll be upping your reputation as a landlord within the community you’re working within.

 Consider using a few old standbys like: 

  • “For rent” signs
  • Newspaper ads
  • Flyers 
  • Word of mouth

When you consider that 31% of home sellers continue to use yard signs, sometimes it’s the traditional channels that will draw in the perfect local resident.  

Non-Traditional Advertising Avenues

It’s a great idea to include a few tried and true advertising strategies of eras past. However, as a proactive owner and real estate investor you still need to know how to market in a modern world. 

For a more up-to-date advertising approach consider using:

  • Facebook, including specific housing groups
  • Popular rental websites
  • Other forms of social media, such as Twitter and Instagram
  • Video-showings

#3 Let a Property Management Company Increase Your ROI

At the end of the day, you’re renting your property to optimize your cash flow and to generate a return on your investment. 

You aren’t renting your property to have to deal with the administrative and logistical challenges that being a rental property owner can often come along with. 

Though at times these two realities may seem inextricable from one another, hiring a management company can help you achieve the results you desire, without letting renting out your property eat at the time you should be allocating towards generating passive income. 

The Tools You Need to Handle Issues

Management companies can answer your question such as how to advertise rental property or how to value a rental property

Reputable, experienced experts like the team at Great Jones have perfected the art of marketing properties, screening tenants, and filling vacancies. Consider teaming with a professional property management company like Great Jones to help assist you in finding a quality tenant. 

As a real estate investor, you know the value of capitalizing on great opportunities, and hiring a management company is a great chance for you to do so. From providing professional photographers to implementing self-showing capabilities, to having access to rental history reports, a management company can make your life easier. 

If you’d rather let your passive income sources err on the side of passive, then hiring a management company like Great Jones is in your best interest. 

Get the Help of Great Jones 

Being a property owner means running a business. At the end of the day, it’s all about your bottom line. 

Effectively marketing your property to attract great tenants in a timely manner reduces the amount of time your rental isn’t making you money. So whether you want to go it alone, or you want to get some help from a trustworthy, innovative team like Great Jones, it’s time to get advertising! Offering property management in Gainesville, FL to property management in Austin, TX, we’re here to help.


Rent Prep. How to Advertise Your Rental Property.

Landlord Tips. Digital Marketing for Landlords: How to Market Your Property Online.

Mass Mutual. Renting? May be a Better Choice for Retirees.

Web Assets. 2019 Real Estate Trends and Insights Report.

National Association of Realtors. Quick Real Estate Statistics.

Abigail Besdin

Abigail is a co-founder at Great Jones, leading Growth. She believes rental property ownership is a brilliant idea.

Suggested: Hiring a Property Manager Property Maintenance Rental Income