The digital revolution has changed the real estate market. While many renters still prefer pounding the pavement and scoping out “For Rent” signs, more and more prospective tenants are using the internet for their preliminary searches.
Showing an apartment online may be unfamiliar and daunting for new landlords. The following are three tips to help you get started and succeed in the online real estate market.
- Develop a Strong Marketing Plan
As with any business in the 21st century, a strong online marketing plan is an essential part of your sales strategy. Stalwarts of the marketing world include a solid website, branding, social media, and utilizing referral and review platforms. This list, however, is by no means comprehensive, and learning how to use each tool requires know-how. There are myriad resources and tutorials out there (you can stick with the theme and do them online), and it’s worth dedicating a few hours to strategize a plan.
Of course, to develop an effective marketing plan, you’ll also need to stay up-to-date with the market trends. Landlords should use any and all available data and available to gather pertinent information about the real estate market. Using these tools and information, a landlord can develop a data-driven marketing plan that targets the highest percentage of potential tenants in the fastest growing neighborhoods using the most popular online real estate sites.
- Social Media and Online Marketing (to Millennials)
According to the US Census Bureau, millennials (young adults born between 1982 and 2000) now outnumber baby boomers; they represent a full quarter of the nation’s population. This demographic grew up during the digital revolution, and they are now entering the real estate market. Targeting millennials requires social media know-how, an understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) and maximizing your online presence and findability; ninety-five percent of buyers use online sites to find a home. Landlords may also consider investing in landlord software. There’s excellent free landlord software out there that enables landlords to display their properties easily by automatically sending the listing out to dozens of websites.
- Make Your Listing Stand Out
First, attract attention to your listing with an interesting title or a highlighted property feature. Nothing catches the eye better than a good picture.
In your listing, show off each property’s best assets. Virtual tours and 3D floor plans are essentials in the online market. Savvy buyers apply the same level of scrutiny to “virtual” apartments they visit online as they do to those they visit in person, which means that a good virtual tour is a necessity. The strongest listings include information about each unit’s amenities, rent, security deposit, availability date(s), number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and pet policies. Additionally, prospective tenants want to know about the neighborhood. Include nearby stores, restaurants, parks, and schools.
If you want to really stand out, make it easy for new tenants to move in! You might include in your listing information that can facilitate and assist with the moving process. Such help can include a link to a moving company, such as this Charleston moving company, a link to a nearby shopping center, or directions to a hardware store in the area. Offering helpful resources to potential tenants is a simple act of kindness and will develop a trusting relationship from the beginning.