How did you attract tenants starting out?

6 Replies

This is likely a silly question but will go ahead and ask anyways.   When you purchased your first multi family with no landlord experience how did you market your property to rent it out?  Craigslist, newspaper or simply for rent signs in the yard?   How hard did you find it to rent your property when starting out and what method did you find most successful? 

Turn it over to a property management company.  If you have never rented out a home or not that experienced then it is worth it, especially if you have a normal job. 

Since I bought my 1st rental property before the internet, I used the newspaper and a local Tradin' Post classified advertiser.  I also had a sign in the front yard.

Today I pretty much use Craigslist.  Oh, and I still use the yard sign.  

The above posters have good remarks, but....

If you want to easily rent a unit, find out what your perspective tenants want, then give it to them at a fair price. This discovery phase happens PRIOR to purchasing the property. 

Then CL and a yard sign or whatever, then get all of the money.

I rented out all my units myself when I had no experience.  I use to advertise online.  I talked about features that made me want to live there and used CL and to get rental comps.  I would have used a yard sign but my neighbor a few doors down was a new investor too and he said he got too many calls for cheap rentals and that is not what he was looking for.  

I think you should do it yourself... see what questions people have, what things are pros and cons for them, ect.  

For me, it was a while back, when newspaper ads were the way to go; these days, I don't use that method any more.  By way of the newspaper ads, I was contacted by a service - called Locators Inc. - that provides lists of available rental units to tenants who pay for that list; now I just call Locators when I have a vacancy to list with them for free.

For me, a sign in front of the unit works best; it works even better when you have multiple properties within a block of each other and put a "for rent" sign at each of them (even the ones that aren't going to be vacant get a sign, after I tell the tenants that I am not getting rid of them, I'm just increasing the chances of getting the phone to ring).

Your best approach will be to see what works best in your location, by trial and error, by talking with other investors, by talking to the tenant prospects to see where they are looking, etc.

Great question!  I am about to close on my first rental, and it has a vacancy.  I have accounted for property management, but initially I would like to learn as much as I can by doing the work myself.  That way down the road I will know what to expect from a good PM, and if the unit finds its way on the sweet side of the 80/20 rule, I may keep managing it.

I plan to use a yard sign and craigslist to garner interested parties, phone interview to cut out people who are not a good fit or are not qualified, and show the unit by doing an open house or two per week with applications on the counter.

Good luck with the tactics you end up using, and please update the post on how they work out for you!!


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