Tools of the Trade – Advertising
This article is Part 2 in a multi-part series revolving around the Tools of the Trade that any landlord needs to be aware of and probably use. In this series, I will cover the following topics and probably throw in a few others along the way:
Advertising your rental property can take place in many different ways and just like my article on telephones you have many options that are free while others can cost you an arm and a leg. It is up to you, the DIY Property Manager to get the best bang for you buck!
Yard signs can be an integral part of your overall marketing plan. Yard signs give you the ability to let anyone that passes by know that this property is currently, or will be shortly, available for lease. With your yard sign, you are not only advertising to the prospective tenant, but you are also advertising to their friends and family. How many times have you encountered a friend or family member that is looking for a place to rent? You might not go out of your way to research available properties but you would let them know that you passed a house in a neighborhood that seemed nice, right?
In my opinion, a yard sign is an indispensible part of my marketing strategy. I refuse to use the cheap ‘fill in the box’ “For Rent” or “For Lease” signs; it is all about how you present yourself. I like to conduct myself as a more professional Property Manager and not some fly-by-night “guy that owns a rental”. I have gone through several iterations of yard signs from the very inexpensive heavy cardboard to plastic and now aluminum.
For a moderately inexpensive yard sign that is very high quality, consider using BuildASign. I have used FastSign in the past for my signs, while it was good quality plastic, they could not stand up to the wind, eventually breaking at every bolt location. Being more than twice the cost of an aluminum BuildASign sign kept me from going back.
Remember how I mentioned that I like to conduct myself as a more professional Property Manager, well, that includes having a custom logo designed for my DIY Property Management business. Just like anything else, you can spend absolutely nothing other than your time all the way to thousands. If you are following this blog then most likely you aren’t Donald Trump, so spending thousands is out of the question and I won’t even bother writing about them.
Though I have never used any of the “free” logo tools that are available (I’m not a designer by any means), a quick Google search turns up quite a few. I took a VERY brief look at Logo Maker and it seemed straight forward to build a logo based on one of their designs.
At virtually the “free” level comes Fiverr. See the leader board above? That was a total cost of $10.00. I spent $5.00 for the orange and black logo and then another $5.00 for the leader board with the DIY Property Management logo embedded in it. Take a look, you will be pleasantly surprised!
Moving on to a Low Cost level brings me to a company that designed the logo for my business cards as well as my yard signs, The Logo Company. For $149.00 you receive 5 initial designs from 5 different designers. From there you will pick a single designer to move forward with providing input as to changes that you want to see. For the price, I really don’t think you can go wrong. I would definitely use them again!
There are many Mid-rang Costs solutions to the problem out there. 99 Designs takes a very unique approach to any design aspect; you hold a contest for designers to compete for the money that you have stated you would pay for your design. With this approach, though it may cost slightly more than (starting at $299.00), you seem to get more than what you pay for. High quality designs from VERY talented designers.
You have may choices available when trying to advertise your rental property ranging from Free to $99.00 or more! I personally have never paid for advertising as I don’t feel the cost is worth the more limited audience. Stick to online advertising and as long as your property is in a decent location for a fair price, you will most likely have more inquiries than you know what to do with.
There are two sites that I recommend using, CraigsList and Postlets. CraigsList is by far my number one choice for advertising a rental property, but you will want to start with Postlets. Postlets offers free syndication of your rental advertisement to, currently, 9 different websites. Once you have setup everything through Postlets, you can then take the HTML that it has generated and copy and paste it into Craigslist (Craigslist doesn’t appear to allow automatic postings at this time).
Other paid options include listing with the properties local newspaper and including in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). As I have never used or really investigated the MLS option, I cannot recommend any services, but as usual, a quick Google search will lead you to MLS listing services.Questions? Comments? Contact DIY Property Manager!