There are many different ways a landlord can advertise their rental property. The kind of advertising that works best depends on numerous factors that include property characteristics, location, landlord’s budget, and whether he / she is in a hurry to rent. There are many combinations of advertising methods landlords and property managers use to achieve the best results, some of which are as under.
1. ‘For Rent’ Signs The most common method of advertising is the putting up of a ‘For Rent’ sign, either in front of the property, or in one of the windows. A relatively cost-free method, it works best if a lot of foot and motor traffic goes past the building. It also helps if the building is as attractive as the rental unit.
2. Advertising in the Newspapers As much of a tradition as ‘For Rent’ signs, newspaper ads are also available online, if the paper has an online version. Many potential tenants begin their search for a place to rent by scanning the classified ads in newspapers, while, out-of-towners can log on online to the local paper from wherever they are. Ads should always be placed in papers having many residential listings, as it has been found they work best. And, they should be targeted to produce the right kind of prospective tenants i.e. if a landlord primarily rents out to college students, the best bet is to advertise in the campus newspaper or put up a ‘For Rent’ sign in the housing office. To play it safe, it is also a good idea to list the rental in a general newspaper, as well.
3. Neighbourhood Flyers As well, a landlord can post ads on neighbourhood public bulletin boards to be found at grocery stores, Laundromats or coffee houses, complete with tear-off strips listing their phone number. However, if the property is upscale, this is not the best way to advertise for it, though there might be takers at the high-end gym down the street.
4. Listing Online: Online listings have mushroomed like crazy in recent years, from national in scope, to regional, and for good reason. These type of listings are usually free, and most potential tenants will check them. The most common online sites in London Ontario are KiJiJi and Craigslist.
5. Spreading the Word Small-time landlords instead of advertising widely and screening potential tenants, find it easier to market their rentals through word-of-mouth i.e. telling friends, colleagues, neighbours, and current tenants. After all, people already living on your property will invite decent neighbours. So, when a property becomes vacant, simply send a note around to every one, asking them to tell friends or relatives about the available apartment.
6. Real Estate Offices Many real estate offices handle rentals, but of course, there is a fee involved, but they will handle all the dirty work.
7. Property Management Firms Going through a property management firm is the easiest way to do it. They handle advertising, showing tenants around, as well as, selecting tenants, collecting rents, and interacting with residents during tenancies (handling repairs, etc. etc.). Again, all this comes with a fee
. Next Steps Once, the advertising has been done, the next step is to create a rental application and select a tenant. When advertising vacancies and selecting and rejecting applicants, read up on your local Landlord and tenant rules. In London Ontario that would be the Landlord and tenant board (www.ltb.gov.on.ca). Evaluate prospective tenants by thoroughly checking out their rental applications, and tenant consent forms for contacting references, performing credit checks and criminal and background checks. The only way to avoid unnecessary litigation is by screening prospective tenants and conducting background checks. You due dilligence and this stage will pay dividends during the term of the lease. A good tenant is a landlords best asset.