If you have a rental property, you already know how challenging it is to market it effectively. From signage to upgrades to digital marketing, there’s constantly something you can be doing or improving. No matter which aspect of marketing you are concerned with, search engine optimization plays a role. If you don’t get a handle on search engine optimization, or SEO, then all other aspects of your marketing approach are doomed to fail. Read on to learn 6 ways you can use search engine optimization to market your rental property.
What Is SEO?
Before we dive into what to do, let’s take a quick moment to define search engine optimization. Some of you are probably already familiar with the term and can skip down to the tips below. However, for many, search engine optimization is still a new and confusing topic. In brief, search engine optimization is a set of tools and best practices that help your website, business or, indeed, rental property, appear more prominently in search engine results. This is crucial for your marketing plan. You want your rental property to be the first one people find when they search for vacation homes in your area. The means for doing this are actually pretty straightforward and simple. Search engine optimization can be as simple as giving your website a sensible name or making sure you include information about the details of your property. If you are marketing online, having a website that includes all the relevant information about your property will often solve the problem of search engine optimization organically. Other important factors in search engine optimization include:
- Having a clear URL
- Writing a good website title and description
- Including content users will want to share
- Optimizing keywords
- Having strong UI
- Making sure search engines can find your website
- Including compelling content on your site
Now that you understand more about search engine optimization, let’s jump in to the tips and tricks for marketing.
1. Spruce Up the Property
Before you get online, make sure the physical property itself is as appealing as possible. If there is home repair or other work to be done on the property, start there before worrying about marketing. You can use local home builders and home repair workers to get quick approvals and faster turnaround times on repair work and upgrade. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your walls, as can things like porches, new furniture and updated appliances. While you’re at it, check things like pipe fittings, plumbing and electricity to ensure everything is in tip top shape. This might be a good time for you to take a close look at your property and ensure that every bolt and screw is in perfect working order. Don’t let it be a renter who finds a loose doorknob or creaky floorboard. As an added bonus, most of these upgrades look very appealing in pictures and can help with marketing your property online. Not all upgrades need to be large complicated projects, however. Something as simple as putting down a new rug to cover up an ugly floor can make a huge difference in the appeal of your rental property. Also consider changing out old, dull lighting to give your place a brighter, more friendly appearance. Other ideas for simple upgrades include:
- Painting furniture to make it look fresh
- Hanging curtains to change the look and feel of a room
- Adding temporary wall treatments like decals and removable wallpaper
- Adding things like pictures and art to the walls to make display walls more decorative
- Including a few hardy plants to add some fresh greenery to the property
2. Highlight Upgrades
So, you’ve made some upgrades, big and small. Scream about it! You’ve put in the hard work. Don’t be shy about telling potential renters about it in your rental listing. Even as you are doing all this upgrade work, make notes so you can include this information in your rental property listing later (though sooner is better, in this case). Remember: Upgrades are appealing. They tell potential renters that the people managing the property take good care of it and keep it in good shape. A pipe fitting or fixed floorboard might not sound like the most exciting upgrade, but it signals to renters that this property is in excellent condition, something they can’t necessarily see in photos. You are also marketing yourself in this process, and a property owner paying attention to those kinds of details is clearly a property owner who cares about the home and is keeping it in good condition. Speaking of photos, take pictures of all these upgrades as you make them. They make great marketing material when you update your property listing. Show off that fresh coat of paint or new artwork on the wall. Renters will want to walk into a home that looks like the photos they’ve seen, so definitely make sure your property photos are up to date as you’re making improvements. You don’t need to be a writer to highlight your upgrades. It doesn’t take flowery language and long descriptions. Simply describe the work you did and the improvements you made. Simple is better, in this case. A potential renter just wants to know the type of work that was done and why. Don’t get overly wordy. Simply say what you did and how it makes your property better. No matter what upgrades you’ve made, remember: Don’t be humble about them. Now is the time to sing your own praises and highlight all your hard work.
3. Mention Amenities
Look outside your property as well as within it when you’re marketing. Amenities, both at the property and outside it, can be a huge selling point. In fact, one of the most attractive amenities to potential renters is the location itself and not just the physical property. Sell the location! Talk about all the things that are nearby that you love to do. If there are conveniences within walking distance, such as grocery stores or restaurants, be sure to mention those. Renters will appreciate knowing that the location is just as appealing as the property itself. Other amenities are more specific to the property itself. This could be something as simple as in-unit laundry. That can be a big deal for renters. If you can provide something like in-unit laundry, don’t forget to mention it just because it is ordinary and routine to you. Some other amenities worth mentioning include things such as:
- Air conditioning or heat
- Outdoor spaces like yards or patios
- Hot tubs and pools
- Large windows
- Open floor plans
- Closet and storage space
- Availability of parking
- New or upgraded appliances
- Any other renovations you’ve made to the property
This is not an exhaustive list. Think about the particulars of your property. If you worry you are listing too many amenities – don’t! You can’t oversell the amenities that are part of your property. Potential renters will appreciate the other details. You never know what specific amenity might sell them on choosing your property in the end. All those amenities come with the added bonus of boosting your search engine optimization. If someone is looking for a specific feature, for example, they may search for amenity + location + rental property. Don’t miss out on getting to the top of those search results because you neglected to list an amenity. Every little bit helps!
4. Provide Suggestions for Local Attractions and Activities
While you’re discussing amenities, offer some suggestions for local attractions and activities. Not all amenities have to be practical. A lot of folks will be looking to rent for a vacation; they want to have a good time. So be sure to also provide some suggestions for things to do this weekend while they stay at your property. Some popular attractions and activities include things like concerts, cultural events, farmer’s markets, sports events and conventions. You never know what might bring someone to town, so be thorough when listing event and activities. A mini golf course might be a big draw for some, while a water park, nature hike or mall could appeal to others. Here are just a few ideas for events and activities worth listing:
- A science center or museum
- Music or dance classes
- Historical monuments and landmarks
- Public pools
- Outdoor activities like hiking, rafting or adventure parks
- Public gardens and greenhouses
- Biking trails
- Lakes and rivers with public access for boating, kayaking or swimming
- Shows like circus performances, concerts and plays
- Singles events
- Bars and clubs
- Tourist destinations
If you are struggling to come up with events and activities, check to see if your town or city has an events listing page or brochure of some sort. Particularly if you live in a place that gets a good amount of tourism, your local government may have already done the work for you in terms of listing events and activities.
5. Invest in Signage
Not all marketing needs to take place online. Word of mouth and good old physical signage can still do a lot for your marketing campaign. See if you can find local advertising agencies that might be able to advise you on custom sign design for advertising your property. They may also know the best places to put up a sign and the best times of the year to advertise. For example, there could be times when your town or city has a particularly high number of tourists visiting. A sign could plant the seed for a future rental. One of the biggest upsides of signage like this is that it is usually relatively cheap. You can just get a single sign to place on the property and it should last a long time. Plus, your neighbors, seeing that sign, may become some of your best advocates. They certainly don’t want bad renters coming to the neighborhood, so they may go on to recommend your property to friends and family whom they trust. Of course, there are a couple downsides. Because the signs are cheap and light, there is a real risk of theft. Luckily, they aren’t too terrible to replace, but if your signs are constantly being stolen, they may not be worth the investment. Signs listing a phone number can also lead to some spam calls that don’t have anything to do with your rental property.
6. Implement a Digital Marketing Campaign
Along with a physical marketing campaign, you should implement a digital marketing campaign for your rental property. Online is how most people find the things they want these days, and that definitely includes rental properties. If you are especially lucky, you may be able to find a local SEO company to help you with your digital marketing campaign. They can advise you on the ways to maximize your search engine optimization and make your content marketing as effective as possible. They also may be able to advise you on where your money and time is best spent. Most marketing companies (61%), have noticed that organic searches and improved SEO are a top property when it comes to a marketing campaign. With search engine optimization and digital marketing being so important, it can be hard to know where to start or feel overwhelming. That’s where something like a local SEO company could be a big help. Not everyone is equipped to comb through their website optimizing everything for search engines. SEO can include article creation, keyword creation, reformatting pages, adding metadata to images and much more. Having the help of an expert can definitely make this process easier. If you do want to do it yourself, take the time to learn about search engine optimization, as well as the best apps for real estate investors. Things like apps and tutorials can help you feel fully equipped to take on SEO yourself and get your rental property in front of the people who would be most interested in seeing it.
An Overall Marketing Campaign
All of this might sound like a lot, but you don’t need to use or implement every tip discussed here. Start small or with something you are familiar with. Maybe you are already a search engine optimization pro. Great! Start by optimizing your website. Or maybe you’d like to start by sprucing up your property or investing in physical signs. Wherever you feel comfortable starting, your rental property marketing campaign will benefit. http://mbawalls.com
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