The Best Sites to List Your Rental Property
It doesn't matter if you have a single-family home or property with four units, when you list your rental property online, you're hoping to find a qualified renter — and quickly.
Trust us, we understand just how challenging that can be, especially today. Demand for “non-apartment” rentals is at an all-time high, yet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rental vacancy rate in Q2 2021 is actually higher compared to the same time last year. So it really comes as no surprise that nearly one-third of rental owners say filling vacancies quickly with high-quality residents is their top source of stress.
We're here to help. Our team came up with a list of the five best websites to list your rental property to improve your chances of finding a perfect tenant. In addition, we've provided a few tips to help you get the most out of your rental property listing.
With a focus on rental properties with one to four units, like single-family homes, condos, duplexes and townhomes, listing your property here connects you with the right audience immediately. Potential renters who come to Rentals.com are looking to work with DIY landlords or property managers that have family-oriented homes to lease.
Rentals.com even offers online applications and makes it easy to screen potential tenants, so you can review and approve applicants in a flash. Landlords enjoy a 100 percent online screening process, including a universal application, credit, background and eviction checks. This all moves you from a vacant property to a rented one in less time, which saves you money.
The listing interface lets you add video tours, and gives you a dashboard to keep track of all your prospective tenants.
Rentals.com wants the landlord to have the most up-to-date marketing technology to operate your rental property smoothly and make informed decisions about selecting the best tenants.
If you live in an area with a younger population of renters, consider Rent.com. While this site is used by renters of all ages, it is fairly popular with younger renters who are open to living in all types of properties in cities across the U.S. You'll be targeting a more diverse audience when you list your rental property here, which potentially means a greater chance of filling your vacancy.
In addition to an expanded reach, you'll also have access to more landlord-friendly features when you add your listing on Rent.com. The site is part of the RentPath network, so as with Rentals.com and Apartment Guide, you're able to accept online applications and screen prospective tenants.
Plus, with all three RentPath sites, you're also able to collect rent through an online service once your property is rented.
Although it's historically a site where apartment hunters go, Apartment Guide has a section that highlights your house listing(s) to renters who may want to try something new. These are people who never knew they wanted to live in a house. Once they see your impressive listing, though, they're hooked.
Just like Rentals.com and Rent.com, Apartment Guide is part of the RentPath network, which means when you list on one, you list on all three. Between these three sites, your listing will reach more than 15 million potential renters, giving you the most exposure possible. That's huge.
Not only will listing here give you access to online application review, the ability to screen prospective tenants and the option to collect rent online, but you'll also have a dedicated customer service team to help you every step of the way.
Since Facebook Marketplace keeps things local, listing here immediately connects you to the people most likely ready to live in your rental. It also enables you to share your listing with your own social network. This allows your connections to promote you to their friends and family, as well. Word-of-mouth advertising almost always improves your odds of renting quickly.
While Facebook Marketplace makes your listing searchable, it really targets everyone within a certain radius of the actual listing. This could limit the people who see your listing first, but it could also get your property rented faster since you're targeting those focused on your area already.
However, there are a few big disadvantages of using Facebook to list your rental property. First, the social media platform isn't designed for real estate or rental properties. People use Facebook for anything from posting baby pictures to finding fishing groups, so you really aren't going to get as many highly qualified renters as you would using one of the RentPath sites.
Second, you're doing most of your initial communicating through Facebook itself rather than using your own email. This can make it easier to miss messages if you're not accustomed to checking Messenger.
Finally, the information you post can be viewed by everyone in your network. Do you really want all of your friends to see details of your property and listing price so they can make assumptions about you and your lifestyle?
Listing on Craigslist can help you potentially reach the most overall viewers, but just like on Facebook, many of the people who view your rental property listing will be unqualified renters.
Craigslist has also earned a reputation for fake ads from scammers. This means people may approach your listing with a little extra care, as a result, until they're certain it's legit. In addition, you also run the risk of scammers reaching out to you through your post.
Using one of the RentPath sites (Rentals.com, Rent.com or Apartment Guide) is a safer option for your rental property listing.
Tips for attracting renters to your listings
There are a lot of steps between pricing your rental property and signing the lease with tenants, but a key piece to renting out your home is the listing itself. You now know where to post your listing, but what should it say, and how should it look?
Your goal should be to craft a listing that entices tenants to take the next step and come view the property. It happens with the right combination of photos, video and property information. Equal attention should go into creating all three to give you the best odds of a quick turnaround of your property.
Include high-quality pictures or video
You know the saying, “a picture's worth a thousand words," right? It's not wrong. The best thing property pictures do is help prospective tenants visualize themselves living in your rental. Whether you're shooting it furnished or empty, imaginations run wild, in a good way, when they can see images.
- Take high-resolution photos at angles. This will help you capture the most area of each room in a single image. Bring in as much natural light as possible to make the home feel bright and open, as well. You can zoom in on any special features, but don't miss out on capturing the essence of each room by highlighting its size.
- Use a tripod. Set up your phone or camera in the ideal spot in each room without having to worry about squishing yourself into every corner. A tripod will also help make sure your camera or phone is steady when you take each picture, which means better shots that aren't blurry.
- Hire a professional photographer. If you can, bring in a pro to do all the work constructing the perfect images for you. Since you'll most likely list this property over and over, it may be worthwhile to get one professional set of images that you can reuse.
- Don't forget about videos. Watch your lighting, use a tripod and try to highlight the size of each room. If you can, capture some 360-degree video to give viewers the feeling they're walking through the home themselves.
Following these tips will make your listing appear more professional and attractive to renters.
Highlight the positives in your written description
Cover the basics, but highlight the unique features of your rental property in the written portion of your listing. Yes, everyone wants to know the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage and other physical aspects, but once you get those out of the way, play up what makes this home special.
Highlight features like:
- Kitchen appliances
- Outdoor/parking space
- Recent renovations or upgrades
- Included amenities like utilities or internet
- Neighborhood information
Tackling this information in a way that highlights why your property is so great not only adds value to your rental, but also enables prospective tenants to get excited about the property.
Ready to list your rental property?
Having the right listing on all the best sites does make a difference when it comes to putting tenants into your rental property. Exposure is the key, which means making sure you list your rental property in more than one spot.
With this strategy, before you know it, you'll have tenants moving in, and you'll be looking to technology once more to figure out the most efficient way to manage your rental.