7 Tips for Writing Engaging Listings for Your Rental Property

Discover seven tips for writing, organizing and posting rental listings that help generate traction online and fill vacancies fast.

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By Dave Spooner • Dec 13, 2022

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

More than 80% of renters search for new homes and apartments to rent on the internet. What does this mean for the owners of rental properties? Landlords and real estate investors who want their properties to gain traction in online rental communities must create marketable listings suitable for the internet.

Your listings need to be visually appealing, versatile and adaptable across different platforms, and they need to be tailored to your audience. Crafting a perfect online listing is no easy task. However, you don't have to be a social media expert to create one that will draw interest to your properties. Here are seven tips for writing engaging online listings for your rental property:

Related: How to Get More Eyes on Your Rental Property Listings

1. Add personality

Imagine for a moment that you're a tenant looking for an apartment to rent. You're scrolling through hundreds of listings on Zillow or Apartments.com. Which one catches your eye?

If you advertise on popular listing sites like these two, your listing needs to stand out from dozens of other similar properties. One way to do this is to add personality to your listings.

For example, try using professional-quality photographs or a unique headline. Be sure to leave your name, phone number or email address so renters can contact you. Including your contact info signals your personal investment in your properties and your willingness to speak to potential renters directly.

2. Best feature first

Another way to ensure your properties stand out is to mention the best feature first. Internet scrollers are not known for having the longest attention spans, and anyone advertising online should organize the information in their listing accordingly.

Don't wait until the end of your listing to reveal that the property has a beautiful balcony, island kitchen or coveted location. Whatever your rental's selling point is, mention this feature first. That way, prospective renters have a reason to click on your listing and read more.

You can even place this feature directly in the headline. Here's a formula for your headline that includes all the relevant information and engages the reader at the same time: Price—beds and baths, type of property, location and best feature.

Here's an example of a headline that uses this structure:

$1,200—1 Bed/2 Bath Apartment in Ann Arbor with detached garage

3. Be brief and direct

Prospective renters aren't likely to read through blocks of text to find out if a property is worth their time. Instead, they'll skim the headlines for ones that meet their initial criteria — the number of bedrooms, type of property and location.

If a renter can't find this information relatively quickly, they'll move on. That's why it's important to include all the essentials in the headline and other vital details soon after.

In the body of your listing, try to break up large chunks of text with bullet points and short sentences. Try to balance enticing, descriptive language and direct statements of the facts.

Related: How to Get the Most Out of Your Rental Property Investments

4. Direct viewers with links

Hyperlinks allow you to send a renter from a listing site like Zillow to Apartments.com to your company website. Use links mindfully as you set up your listings by deciding where to direct prospective renters' attention next.

For instance, use links to direct renters toward your other similar properties, properties in the same location or ones with a similar price point.

Above all, make sure your website is easy to navigate. This way, if prospective renters liked the original listing they saw, but it wasn't exactly what they were looking for, they can easily find another one of your units that meets their needs.

5. Mention pet- and environment-friendly policies

Renters are always looking for rentals with policies that match their lifestyles. Pet owners are rarely willing to part with their pets and will likely limit their search to pet-friendly properties only. If your rentals are pet-friendly, indicate this feature upfront.

Likewise, most renters who care about green policies and initiatives will be attracted to your rentals if you share similar values. Appeal to renters interested in protecting the environment by advertising your recycling options, eco-friendly appliances or other sustainable features.

6. Use listing syndication

Listing syndication is the easiest way to get your properties listed on as many sites as possible across the internet.

One of the best ways to syndicate your listings is to use a property management software tool with this feature. Here's how it works: You write one listing for your property directly on the platform. Then your software tool automatically posts this listing to dozens of rental listing sites, such as Zillow, Cozy, Facebook Marketplace, Apartments.com, and even Airbnb or VRBO, for short-term rentals.

Listing syndication saves you the time and energy of posting listings to each site individually. Your properties will also get increased exposure to different populations of renters.

Related: How to Avoid Long-Term Rental Vacancies and Safeguard Revenue

7. Emphasize your competitive price

High rent rates are dealbreakers for many renters. However, most expensive rentals have high price points because they offer features or benefits that other, similar properties do not.

When writing your listings, focus on why your rental rate is competitive compared to similar properties in the area. Your unit doesn't have to be cheap to attract attention, but it does have to be comparable to nearby alternatives. If you can offer more affordable prices or better features than your neighbors, be sure your renters know about it.

Renters are constantly searching for great deals. To make your property one of them, follow these seven tips for creating attractive, competitive rental listings. By taking care of how you write, organize and post your listings, you can gather new rental applications and fill your vacancies as quickly as possible.
Dave Spooner

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Co-founder of Innago

Dave Spooner is a co-founder of Innago, property management software designed to simplify life for small to mid-sized landlords. He has been involved in the real estate technology space since 2013, working to enhance the way landlords and tenants communicate.

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