How to Write a Good Rental Listing

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Woman Searching Rental Listings

You see dozens of apartment listings and start to sweat. Your competition is fierce. How do you create a rental listing that will attract the best tenants? Don’t worry, even if you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got you covered. Combined with AptAmigo’s locating service, you already have an advantage. So, let’s get started!

What Is the Purpose of a Rental Listing?

Your unit would be a perfect oasis in a bustling city, but nobody will know that until you tell them. A good rental listing warmly introduces your future tenant to their next home. Creating the best first impression will make your apartment memorable, and all the other units will just be meh. Your listing will establish a tone to entice prospects to visit your building, all due to the words you choose.

Also, putting in this time will help you find the tenant you want: responsible, financially stable and ready to move. You’ll attract the person who will appreciate your building and seem like they’ve always lived there. Even when listing a single unit, you not only advertise that one space, but also the quality of the entire building and its fantastic amenities. Ideally, you want to become the apartment complex that everyone wants with few vacancies. Sounds good? Then let’s get writing!

What Items Need to Be Included in a Listing for a Rental Unit?

Grab Their Interest with a Great Headline

First, you’ll need to create a headline that grabs the attention of a future tenant you want to reach. It should be engaging, thought-provoking and excite them to read more.

Which headline would catch your eye?

1.  For Lease: New Upstairs Apartment Near Park

2.  New Balcony Apartment with Beautiful Park View Is Waiting for You!

Both examples identify new upstairs apartments near a park. However, the first headline presents generic facts about the apartment. While the second headline combines facts with language that helps the prospective tenant visualize the park, which means they have moved in mentally.

Dish the Details with Some Panache

Once you capture their attention, remember that most people skim through the rest of the listing, looking for the must-haves they want in their apartment. Typically, they’ll focus on:

Neighborhood (safety, good schools, etc. Just be careful about how you talk about the neighborhood because Fair Housing Laws prohibit certain topics and language.)

Size (square feet, bedrooms, and bathrooms)

Price (per month and move in costs, such as a security deposit)

Amenities (laundry, parking, pool, gym, etc.)

Restrictions (pets, income, etc.)

When describing the apartment, mention the most sought after features at the beginning. Then continue to build your listing with added features and end with any restrictions, price, and a call-to-action for them to get more information.

For example:

Newly renovated 1,200 sq. ft. 2BD / 2BA apartment with gorgeous Grant Park view. Upstairs unit with large balcony, vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets and laundry room with W/D included. Gourmet kitchen with gas stove, dishwasher and trash compactor. Utilities included: garbage, water, and sewer. Oversized parking garage with two assigned spaces. Building includes a gym, swimming pool and sauna. Pets allowed, with manager’s approval. $3,500/mo. with first, last and security deposit required. Secure and quiet apartment with lots of amenities, contact Mr. Lewis at (312) 555 -1212 for more information or to schedule a tour.

When including your details be sure to use the most common acronyms such as 2BD / 2BA apt., which is self-explanatory. Avoid using less known acronyms such as PL, SP (pool or swimming pool) as it might not be as obvious to your reader. Besides, if you have a swimming pool, don’t make your future tenant decipher your listing, happily tell them their sweltering summers are over!

All of the details in your descriptions can work together to give an overall impression, such as a large balcony, vaulted ceilings, and oversized garage. These words emphasize the space throughout the apartment. Also, pointing out features that provide convenience, such as a dishwasher, laundry unit, or gym, makes the case that everything is available in one location. If you want to add some strategic bolding for those who do skim, that could make your listing stand out even more.

Photos or Videos will Help Launch Your Listing to the Next Level

Many prospects will want to see the apartment, and that’s why sharing photos to make your listing more noticeable is a great idea. Sometimes you can also include a video tour. This gives your future tenant more details, such as their actual window views, the layout of the kitchen, and whether the closet can handle all their clothes and shoes.

Some tips to keep in mind:

1.      Check with the posting site about the size requirements for photos and videos.

2.      Show the best features, such as a vaulted ceiling along with natural lighting.

3.      Make sure furniture is arranged and clutter is gone prior to taking the photos or videos.

4.      Schedule your photo and video shoots on the same day for consistent lighting.

5.      Don’t use stock photos or Photoshop to enhance a view outside your window.

Where to Post Listings?

You created your message, wrote a snappy headline, and included all the details necessary to entice your future tenant to visit the apartment in person. But, they won’t be able to see it until you find the perfect website to post your listing. Here’s some websites where you can get the word out:

Apartments.com

Domu.com

Rentals.com

Once you rent your apartment, don’t forget to remove your posting from all the websites. Otherwise, people will feel super disappointed that someone else is in their gym or sauna.

Help People Find their Best Apartment Match

Lastly, if you’re interested in helping people find their next great apartment, using the best listings in town, you could join AptAmigo’s team as an Apartment Locator. Check out AptAmigo for more details. 

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

About the Author: Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.

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