WRITING A RENTAL ADVERT
A vital part of any marketing campaign is the advert. It is after all the first line of communication with your potential customer. You should be relieved to know that you don’t have to be a literary genius to produce a simple and effective rental advert.
‘tricks of the trade’
Here’s a quick run down of how to go about it. At the same time I throw in a few tricks of the trade on how to make your rental advert stand out from the crowd.
To start with most rental adverts need the properties location to be given. There are occasions where being ‘creative’ in identifying your properties area can be helpful in initially pulling in prospective tenants.
For example: when your property is on the border between a good and ‘dodgy’ area.
However, remember that prospective tenants aren’t going to be too happy if you lure them to the less salubrious side of the tracks, only to present them with a hovel. This approach will only work if the property is good enough to genuinely overcome the constraints of its’ immediate postcode.
Guide to using abbreviations
Having located the property, now its time to describe and sell it. For those who are a little unfamiliar with press advertising, you actually pay per line hence the perpetual abbreviations.
There is a whole range of them for rental property ads which I have listed below:
COMMON ADVERTISING ABBREVIATIONS
|Fgch||Full gas central heating||Pt/furn||Part furnished (appliances no furniture)|
|All mod cons||Appliances – cooker, fridge freezer, washing machine||Fully/furn||Beds and other furniture|
|Pcm||Per calendar month||U/f||Unfurnished (no appliances or furniture)|
|Pw||Per week||D/g||Double glazing|
|Exc||Exclusive of bills||N/s||Non smokers|
|Inc||Inclusive of bills||pk||parking|
What to include
As I have said before the aim of any marketing exercise is to deliver the right message to your customers, your potential tenants. Inevitably a big part of this message will need to be factual such as does the accommodation have: a garden, central heating, off street parking, how many beds, etc.
The next step is to think how you might embellish these details and attract your tenant by differentiating your property from all the other similar properties to rent. This is not easy; especially when you are trying to do it in as few words as possible. Therefore, if you do have the option of a photograph, try to use it to represent your property’s best features. This might be the ornate doorway, a lovely decked patio or even a captivating view. Indoors, a minimalist bathroom or newly fitted kitchen always goes down well.
The description is probably the biggest challenge. Start with the state of repair. The expression ‘newly refurbished’ will give a good indicator that the property will be clean and tidy. You could suggest a more comprehensive programme of works by mentioning, the new, bathroom and Ikea kitchen. Tenants like the word ‘new’, it reassures them.
I often hear tales from tenants who have been relieved to find my property after parading around a whole range of dirty, shabby flats. Therefore, even if you have just had a few walls repainted then a description of ‘newly redecorated’ will reassure many tenants that your property isn’t a hovel.
Increasingly, landlords are buying new property to rent out. This of course is attractive to many tenants and this fact should be drawn to their attention. If your property isn’t new then other stock phrases that give an indication of a reasonable condition are ‘clean’ & ‘well presented’.
How many words?
Obviously, less words means lower advertising costs although with fewer words you are less able to ‘paint a picture’ of the desirability of your residence. You should be able to get your message across in 25-35 words, unless your property is an upmarket or specialist let when it is probably worth spending a little more announcing its’ details to the letting world.
Another way of making the printed rental advert stand out is in the ads layout on the page. Newspapers encourage you to spend extra on a more ‘eye catching’ layout by suggesting you have a blank line above and below your ad, or even a lined box around it. This will certainly make your ad more prominent, but it is also likely to double its’ cost.
Is it worth it?
Personally, I remained unconvinced. To me if a tenant has bought a paper to look for a specific type of accommodation in a particular area. They will go to these and then scour through them picking out the ones that they like the sound of. Unless there of hundreds of similar ads I think it unlikely that the layout will make much difference.
One time where it might is if you have something unusual to let that otherwise would have got overlooked in the ‘sea of details’.
Having a good rental advert will not guarantee that you let your property, but it will mean that you maximise your chances of getting a viewing. Viewings are the critical first step in getting your property let.