The property rentals market is a lucrative one but it is also extremely competitive. It isn’t enough to prepare a furnished rental, set up a website, add it to a rentals listing site and wait for the money to roll in. With so much competition, you have to be proactive in your online marketing if you want to maximize occupancy.
The math is simple, the higher the occupancy, the more you earn. The less time your rental sits empty, the less the property is paying for itself and generating profit. Achieving maximum occupancy takes time but is something you can achieve if you follow these tips.
Sort out your back office processes before going online
Renting properties is all about maximizing efficiency and streamlining the entire process as much as possible. The easier it is for someone to rent from you, the more people will want to rent from you.
Consider setting up an auto-response for all rental emails. A simple ‘Thank you for your inquiry, we will get back to you within 24 hours’ will make all the difference. If you can feasibly do it in less than 24 hours, great. If you’re the first to respond to a query, you’re usually the first to get the business.
Create email templates to speed up those responses. You can add specifics like dates, names, costs and so on but having property details, leasing terms, arrival information and supporting data within a template turns a half hour job into a five minute job.
Do the same for bookings, leaving, arrivals and a welcome email. It really does make a difference.
Get a website to promote your furnished rental
If you don’t have a website you don’t exist. It was true ten years ago and it’s still true now. Once you have a property and a plan, it’s time to go public. Get a good quality website up and fill it with life. Includes lots of images of the property, lots of property information, location information, directions, a map and all information you need to impart to your guests.
When working on your website, pay particular attention to images. They are what sells a property. You could have the most compelling copy on your site with the best calls to action but they pale in comparison to the power of images. Include as many as you feasibly can and make sure to include all rooms and highlights. Make sure the lighting is good and all images are of a good quality. The power of images cannot be overstated!
Titles are also important. You must choose the correct site title and page titles. You can read all about it here. Be sure to write all the content for the site and the property description. It must be unique content, no copy and pasting!
Make sure to include a feedback section to your rentals website where you feature positive feedback and request feedback from guests. Nothing happens now without some kind of social proof.
WordPress is a great platform for launching your first website. Check it out here. Once you’re up and running and making money you can buy hosting and transfer your website to your new host if you need to.
Use a reputable property listing site
You can promote your website from dusk until dawn but you will never get the kind of audience a good property rental listing site will. Do your research and find a local or national listing website to feature your property. If you supply a niche like vacation rentals, short term rentals, apartments for military personnel or something else, find a listing site that has that audience.
For a super shortcut, you can add your rental to sites like Rentlinx and Zillow Rental Manager. These sites take your listing and distribute them to other popular realty sites like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads and a bunch of others. It saves doing it manually!
Some listing websites require payment, some take a referral fee while others take a percentage. Find one that works with you and for you. The good ones count their visitors by the million so while it will require some kind of payment it should provide a return on that investment relatively quickly. Try websites like Airbnb, Flipkey or Corporate Housing by Owner first.
If you’re planning on marketing your furnished rentals online, these tips will go a long way to maximizing your occupancy and profit. Good luck with them! If you want to see our properties, click here.