All landlords want to earn a steady income from their rental property. To achieve this, there are specific goals a landlord can try to achieve. For instance, renting to high-quality tenants and retaining them for as long as possible.

Unfortunately, many landlords end up making mistakes when marketing their rentals. However, the good news is that by following the below tips, you can avoid making marketing mistakes and improve the occupancy rate for your rental!

Mistake #1: Not Thoroughly Listing Your Property

When trying to lease out your rental property, it’s important to use as many marketing channels as possible. The more avenues you pursue, the higher your chances of landing a qualified tenant will be. Examples of marketing channels to use include:

  • Newspaper ads
  • Community bulletin ads
  • Flyers and posters
  • Social media
  • Rental listing sites
    A tenant with a blond bob haircut sits at an outdoor cafe and reviews for rent ads in the classified section of a newspaper

Listing your vacancy on multiple platforms will ensure your rental property reaches as many prospective tenants as possible. When your ad is seen by more renters, you’ll have a better chance of landing your ideal tenant.

Mistake #2: Not Familiarizing Yourself with the Fair Housing Act

This is one of the biggest mistakes a landlord can make. Not only can it severely harm your professional reputation, but it can also cost you an arm and a leg in civil fees. Penalties for Fair Housing Act violations range from as low as $16,000 for first-time offences to upwards of $65,000 for repeat offenders. The Virginia Fair Housing Board enforces housing discrimination laws.

As a landlord, abiding by the Fair Housing Act is mandatory. In the state of Virginia, tenants are protected against discrimination by landlords on the basis of protected classes, including sex, religion, race, color, and familial status.

The following are examples of discriminatory phrases you should avoid when writing an ad copy.

  • Suitable for a young couple.
  • Ideal for a Christian family.
  • No pets allowed.
  • Ideal for a female/male.
  • Not suitable for children.

These phrases can be legally interpreted as discriminatory, even if the landlord isn’t prejudiced.

Mistake #3: Not Optimizing Your Rental Rates

To be a successful landlord, you must price your rental property to suit your local market. Undercharging or overcharging your tenants is never ideal. When you undercharge tenants, it can negatively impact your ROI. However, overcharging tenants may make it more challenging to fill vacancies and retain tenants.
a small toy house made of wood with a red roof sits on a black calculator on a white background
To get a better idea of what rent price to set for your rental, you can interview industry experts and conduct a comparative market analysis. Alternatively, you can hire a professional property management company to determine an optimal rental rate. Their expertise and industry knowledge will yield an accurate and data-driven result.

Mistake #4: Not Drafting an Engaging Ad Copy

From using the wrong headline and including low-quality photos to using general language, there are many mistakes one can make when drafting a rental ad. The goal of a rental ad copy is to help you inspire prospective tenants to sign a lease with you. As a landlord, aim to make your listing as interesting and informative as possible.

There are three fundamental elements that make up a rental ad.

Rental ad headline: A proper headline should mention several things, including the rent price, the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and the unit’s square footage.

Photos: The photos in your listing should be high quality. You can use a high-resolution camera or quality smartphone to take pictures of your rental. However, if you’re not an experienced photographer or lack the equipment, it may be best to hire a professional photographer.

Summary description: This section is where you will tell prospective tenants a story that helps them visualize living in your rental.

Mistake #5: Not Highlighting Your Rental’s Amenities

Another mistake you can make when marketing your property is not stating what amenities it comes with. Some of the most popular amenities and features long-term renters look for are listed below.

  • Designated parking spots
  • Advanced security measures
  • Hardwood floors
  • Air conditioning
  • In-suite washer and dryer
  • A swimming pool or hot tub
  • Granite countertops
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Additional storage
    Two tenants relax on outdoor couches on a patio one tenant plays guitar as the other listens

Letting prospective tenants know what amenities you offer will help them decide whether your property meets their needs and wants.

Mistake #6: Forgetting to Monitor Your Ads Performance

While it might be tempting to post your listing and move on, it’s crucial to monitor your ad’s performance. This will help you learn how to improve your listings for the long term. A good way to do this is to keep tabs on the number of leads a particular marketing channel is generating.

Once you know which medium is generating the most leads, you can focus more on it and reduce putting effort into campaigns that are underperforming.

Mistake #7: Not Hiring a Property Manager

If you are just getting started as a landlord or managing your rental is causing you stress, hiring a property manager may be in your best interest. An experienced property manager will have years of experience marketing vacant rentals in the area, which means they know how to fill vacancies quickly.
a property manager in a black suit reaches across the contract and pen laying on their desk to shake a landlords hand

However, before signing a contract, be sure to do your due diligence and make sure the property manager you choose has a great reputation and offers services that meet your needs.

Bottom Line

With the above tips, you’ll be able to market your rental like a pro! However, if you have a question or need expert help marketing or managing your rental property, reach out to DRP Management! We’re the top property management company in Leesburg, VA, and we are ready to help you turn your investment dreams into a reality!