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How to write effective rental property listings

28 October 2015 Larissa Gardner

When it comes to writing an effective rental property listing there are a number of essential attributes you need to include to get it right.

How you present the rental property makes a huge difference to the number of enquiries you'll receive. To attract genuine tenants that are ready to move in, it is crucial to make your rental listings as appealing, comprehensive and user-friendly as possible.

Here are the four ad 'must haves' to ensure your listings are attractive to renters and generate interest and enquiries.

  1. Attention-grabbing headline

Set your listings apart from others in the same area by writing a headline that will compel prospective renters to click on your listing. The title should be short, concise and provide enough information to reel in potential renters.

Try to avoid using empty phrases, clichés and sweeping generalisations like 'great location' and 'nice, clean one-bedroom apartment' in your headlines. Ask yourself 'what makes this property unique or interesting?' and 'what benefits does living there offer?'. If the location is your biggest-selling point, be specific as to why the area is desirable, i.e. the property is 'walking distance to the train station', 'a family home close to primary schools', 'five minutes to the beach' or 'three blocks from the shopping precinct'.

Alternatively, use the title to highlight attractive or bonus features or amenities on offer. Such as, 'off-street parking', 'polished timber floors', 'spacious backyard, garden maintenance included', 'on-site laundry facilities' or 'fully air-conditioned spacious unit'.

  1. Quality images

Having clear and appealing photos in your rental listing is vital and, in most cases, will be make-or-break for the potential tenant. Listings for rental properties that exclude or have only a couple of images suggest to renters the property must look terrible and they will more than likely skip the ad altogether.

When renters are searching for a property after setting their price range, suburb preference and number of bedrooms required, the photos are the next major criteria they will use to judge the property.

Tips for nailing listing photography:

  • Use clear images (meaning no dark and blurry camera-phone photos) to show off the kitchen, living area, bathroom(s) and the exterior.
  • Before taking photos, make sure rooms are tidy, clutter-free, well-staged and all surfaces are clean and shiny. 
  • When photographing the property, try to use as much natural light as you can and avoid using the flash.
  • To portray a feeling of spaciousness, take the photo kneeling or sitting down in the corner of the room to get the widest angle you can.
  1. A thorough and concise description

In your description, make sure you cover all the practical information a renter is looking for. Make it easy to scan for the key information and draw attention to the features that make the listing unique.

Key information to include in the description:

  • Rental cost and security deposit. One of the major deciding factors for a majority of renters is the cost of rent. Listings that do not include the weekly rent are usually disregarded. It is also a good idea to include the cost of the security deposit and whether the rental price is negotiable or not. 
  • Specs and amenities. At a minimum, you should always provide the size and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the rental property description. Other desirable attributes to talk about could be a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, balcony, closet space, floor coverings and outdoor entertaining areas.
  • Location is a high priority for renters. You could include a digital map in your ad to pinpoint the location of the property so they can check the proximity to their work, cinemas, shops, restaurants, public transport, schools, parks, public pools, freeways, etc. Also try to describe the neighbourhood and what is located within walking distance of the home.
  • Explain what utilities (if any) are included in the rental amount, so renters can factor them into their budget and make sure they can afford the property.
  • Availability and lease length. To ensure you get the right kind of tenant, include when the property will be available from and the length of the lease on offer.
  1. A call to action

Last but not least, be sure to add a call to action at the end of your listing urging potential tenants to get in contact with you by phone or email for more information. Also make sure you let them know if there are any incentives or specials if they get in touch with you before a certain date.

If you tick off these four elements in your rental listing, you will be more likely to attract genuine enquiry and provide potential tenants with all the information they require to decide whether your property is right for them.

Are there any tricks or key attributes you use in your listings to successfully find the right tenant? You're welcome to share them in the discussion section below.

How to write effective rental property listings
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