Write a Killer Rental Ad That Attracts Your Ideal Tenant: The Ultimate 7-Step Guide

You already know the websites you need to advertise on, the photos you need to have and what you want in a tenant. That’s all fine and good, but …

You already know the websites you need to advertise on, the photos you need to have and what you want in a tenant. That’s all fine and good, but none of that helps if you post a poorly-written ad that drives away the exact kinds of people you want to rent to. 

It is a landlord’s market, so you probably won’t have trouble finding a tenant but you don’t just want any tenant. You want a responsible, intelligent, discerning one. And the only way to get that is to write a high caliber rental ad that meets that ideal tenant’s requirements. 

The fact is that good tenants want good landlords and the first indication of your competence is an ad that shows pride and attention to detail. So, before sitting down at your laptop to compose your award-winning ad, read over these 7 guidelines that will attract the renters you want.

1.       Compelling Headline

If you advertise on places like Craigslist, you know that the first step to getting the right tenant is just getting your ad in front of their eyes. In the ridiculously long list of apartments that come up in their search results, you want to make sure yours stands out. Try this no-fail format: Descriptive word + property type + best feature + neighborhood. Here’s an example: Modern Apartment with Renovated Kitchen in the Heart of Lakeview.

2.       Smart Formatting

If you yourself have ever hunted for a new apartment, you know that the process can be daunting. Make it easier on your potential tenants by putting your information into an easily-digestible format. If it looks messy and amateurish, the savvy tenants you want will not even bother.

Start off by putting the features of the property into a bullet point list – readers will scan these quickly against their mental checklist of must-haves. Next, create a well-written description that’s divided into short paragraphs. Huge blocks of texts are off-putting for people who are trying to quickly determine whether your place is a good option or not.

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3.       Emphasize One Unique Feature

In the headline and the ad itself, emphasize the most unique and compelling part of the property. Not only will this draw people who love that particular feature, but it will make your ad more memorable. 

If the place you’re renting has a beautiful view, be sure to go into detail about it in your ad and in the showing. When your potential ideal tenant is reviewing his or her options, they’ll have an easy nickname for it: “the place with the gorgeous view.” Doesn’t that sound nice?

4.       Enticing Description

If writing isn’t your thing, it may be worth it to ask someone else to write the description. This is essentially your sales pitch, so it should be both persuasive and informative. Use specific and enticing language to describe the property and the neighborhood or your ad will just blend in with all the rest.

Here are some effective words and phrases that draw readers in:

  • Gorgeous
  • Jaw-dropping
  • Breathtaking
  • Stunning
  • Luxurious
  • Spectacular
  • Charming
  • Vintage
  • Modern
  • Unique
  • Spacious
  • Vibrant
  • Hip
  • Funky
  • Tasteful
  • Quiet
  • Private
  • Bright

5.       Tell All

Your rental ad is not the place to hide anything. It’s key to be upfront, honest and comprehensive when it comes to describing the property. If you don’t, you’ll just end up wasting your time showing the place to people who lose interest after getting the whole picture. 

If, for example, the bedroom is small, say that it’s small. And if the building doesn’t have a communal washer and dryer, include that along with the fact that there’s a Laundromat nearby.   This way when someone calls or comes for a viewing they’re prepared for what they’ll see and will be much more likely to remain interested.

6.       Neighborhood Matters

Location, location, location. It’s all about that, even for renters. Instead of just doing what everyone else does and simply mentioning the neighborhood, use the area as another great feature of the apartment. Talk about how it’s full of young people or families or artists. Then, mention its proximity to public transportation and the best pizza in the city or the coziest little café. These kind of details will make the place come to life in the mind of readers.

7.       Your Involvement

Here’s the thing about an irresponsible tenant who will definitely trash the apartment: they don’t want you around. They’re looking for a situation with a hands-off landlord who lives on another planet, ideally. So, to put those people off make sure that your ad communicates that you live close by, are personally invested in maintaining a great building and do small repairs yourself. OK, not all of those things are necessarily true but they are all red flags to tenants who plan to be up to no good on your property. 

You may be thinking that this sounds like a lot to do, but consider this: putting the time in upfront to create a great ad will save you headaches, money and time down the road. A great ad attracts great tenants who will not cause you problems, and that’s worth its weight in gold.



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