How To Attract Great Tenants Online
Digital advancements allow landlords, agents, and property managers to pierce the veil of exclusivity and attract prospective renters from beyond their limited zip codes. To do it well, however, is a challenging task: you’ll have to optimize your website, create better attention hooks, be clear in your messaging, and use the halo effect.
Optimize your website
Optimizing your website and social media pages regarding keywords, search intent, mobile friendliness, and load speeds will help you outshine your competition and win more leads online.
More specifically, make sure:
- It’s responsive. 97% of prospective tenants in 2020 searched for rental properties using their smartphones, according to NAR, on apps like Zillow, Craigslist, or Trulia. So, don’t get caught with your pants down having a flawless website on PC... but being completely broken for mobile. You wouldn’t allow maintenance issues to persist on your property- so why allow for technical problems on your website?
- It’s user-friendly. Your copy and UI/UX elements must be easy to read and navigate, forms should be easy to fill out, and listings should be easy to find.
- You implement a keyword strategy. Keywords are what people type into that Google search box. Without getting too technical, a combination of their search intent and how you address it is how Google deems what’s best to satisfy their needs/questions and decides how high to rank it.
Now that we covered the basics let’s dive deeper.
Attention - use hooks
It would help if you used hooks to catch the attention of people scrolling online—and the competition is fierce. Your website’s main headline is a hero shot or UVP (unique value proposition). It should communicate what you do, who you help, how you do it, and why you’re the best.
This applies to the headlines of your property listings, seminars, webinars, blogs, and ads. Make sure they’re well targeted and crafted because when potential renters scroll online — and read 20 property descriptions in five minutes — make sure yours prevails and gets clicked.
Here are three actionable tips you can implement in your “FOR RENT” headlines today:
- Use active voice, actions, and verbs rather than using passive adjectives.
- Specificity gains attention. Does the property fit students? Elaborate on why/how.
- Utilize power words when referencing your rental property, like unique, must-see, one-of-a-kind (without over-selling).
- Have a special move-in offer- Free one Month’s rent, a reduced security deposit, etc.
Be transparent - use simple messaging.
A clear message will always triumph over a trendy expensive ad that ends up confusing the prospect and attracting a mediocre or bad tenant. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Know who you are selling/talking to - research your tenants. Do some tenant screening. C-class and A-class rental listings will attract different people and require different messaging. Research where they cohort, their family status (if they have children or not), what they google, and the pain points keeping them up at night.
- Know what you want to say, in person and online - while being upfront and congruent with your culture, values, and brand voice.
- Build an outline - this applies to cold emails, blog posts, email campaigns, and ads. Stand out from their previous landlords- be original, organized, and welcoming.
- Use white space - using bullet points and visuals - don’t visually overwhelm the new tenants. Too many words in a small space can feel time-consuming and jumbled.
- Be concise - get to your point and avoid overcomplicated words.
- Use analogies - one of the best ways to simplify explanations.
- Be specific - avoid being general in your writing. Specificity equals competency and gets you the best tenants that will fit in beautifully
Use the halo effect
We discussed optimizing your website, grabbing attention, and communicating well. But that’s not always enough because it’s hard to build trust online, and good tenants are suspicious, just like you are. They’re on the swivel looking for potential red flags.Use the halo effect to your advantage, and associate yourself with more prominent, established organizations through logos. Also, if you already have many reliable tenants under your care, publish the number proudly. The number builds confidence (specificity). But the best method is accurate, legitimate people writing testimonials and online reviews. It’s estimated that this marketing method can help you generate 26% more revenue and garner even more of the right tenants.
Leverage your tenant’s positive feedback and incentivize them to write a testimonial for your firm. However, note that you can’t make this a part of the process—forcing people to do so. Potential tenants (and existing!) should feel invited and willing to share their valuable feedback- and future quality tenants will thank you for it.