How to advertise your rental property – 5 tips from a Pro

Since most people research new properties online before arranging viewings, how you choose to advertise your property is really important. You want to attract quality tenants as quickly as possible, as it will ensure financial stability and fewer problems down the line.

Our Key Account Director Max Fordham wrote and reviewed literally thousands of rental property ads throughout his career, and is generously sharing a few tips on how to make sure your ad works to your advantage.

Table of contents:

  1. Pricing
  2. Payment options
  3. Property listing
  4. Clear description of features
  5. Photos
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Save money with Howsy

1.Assess the market & choose your price range

The first and most important thing to consider is the local market in your area. It’s worth taking a look at what similar apartments or houses in the area are going for on property websites Rightmove and Zoopla before pricing yours.

Bracketing your rental and understanding how the portals’ ranges work will also come in handy.  A price change of less than £50 may not change the audience pool that sees your ad.

For example, if you change the price on your property from £450 to £425 you’ll appear in the very same searches to prospective tenants. Whereas if you reduce to £395 or increase to £475, you’ll reach a different audience. Choosing a realistic price to advertise your property at to keep the process as efficient as possible.

Don’t forget! When you register on the Howsy platform you can use our free tool to receive a rental price approximation for your property based on public data. And once you have signed up for our service you can ask for an ‘in-depth valuation’ from your ARLA-qualified account manager.

2.How often do you want to get paid?

In affluent areas, particularly in London, it’s fairly common to charge rent weekly. Outside of London, it’s more common to charge rent monthly. Charging on a weekly basis can result in more administration, with 52 payments to collect each year, but it can also be more lucrative and give you as a landlord more flexibility.

3. Write a compelling description

The opening lines of your property listing description should be a compelling, engaging description of why your prospective tenant would want to live there.

Start with a short paragraph that gives an insight into not just the property but also the lifestyle on offer. Talk the property as though you are walking through it.

For example, if your property is in a suburb and your ideal tenant is a small family, you’ll want to focus on local schools, childcare facilities, playgrounds, doctors, and other facilities that especially important to families.

On the other hand, if you’re in an up-and-coming area for gentrification and your market is young, single professionals, you might want to point out proximity to the local social scene, gyms and trendy restaurants. Our recommended template for writing a compelling description is to start with two key points – bedrooms and type of property, then follow this template:  

  • Explain the downstairs bedroom and any appliances offered. If the appliances are good brands, this also can be a selling point.
  • Follow with describing the upstairs, size of bedrooms being key. (double, single)
  • Once you finish describing the inside of the house, follow with the garden or communal area.
  • Finish with the available date and any parking or key points.

Take a look at the examples below:

Bad description:
Two bedroom flat with double bedrooms, close to XXXX school and available immediately. Kitchen is lovely and spacious with really big lounge to the front. Walking distance to XXXX station and high street.

Good description:
Two double bedroom top floor apartment located 0.2 miles from XXXX station and XXX High Street. Internally the property offers a bright and spacious front living room, opening up through double French doors to the open planned kitchen. The kitchen consists of a Bosch branded washing machine and SMEG fridge freezer. 

Upstairs the apartment offers two double bedrooms with double-glazing to both windows and a modern fitted bathroom with a shower unit over the bath. Externally the apartment offers communal grounds and an allocated parking space. Available XXXX.

PRO Tip: Using capitals to highlight one or two features in the description – such as DETACHED FAMILY HOME or NEW BUILD can be effective, but make sure you don’t overdo it.  

4. Follow it up with clear description of the features

Now that your potential tenant is captivated by the idea of living in this great area, hit them with all the important details they need. This should include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as other important details, like what type of heating is available, details of any garden or balcony area, bills that are included in the rent and any other vital details. Feel free to follow the template below:

  • Location to nearby stations or local amenities.
  • En-suites, dressing rooms or built in wardrobes.
  • The number of double bedrooms.
  • Gas central heating.
  • Top floor apartment or detached house.
  • 100ft rear garden.
  • Any bills or utilities included.

Remember, if you are a Howsy client you can always ask us for help with your property description and features!

5. It’s time to take some photos

Now that you’ve written a high-quality advert, it’s time to match it with great photos that show off your rental property at its best.

The first step is quite simple – get the place clean and tidy. Although it won’t impact your new tenants because the previous occupants will be gone and all their stuff will go with them, photos full of clutter and mess are really off-putting for potential new tenants. Tidy any surfaces that will appear in the photo, and wipe them clean.

Studies have proven that kitchen and reception rooms are the best main photos. If you have a unique garden or exterior, photos of it can be equally effective.

Creating a tour of the property via the arrangement of photos helps applicants psychologically imagine they are walking around the property and can have an impact on them wanting to enquire.

Bad photos -via

Good photos – from our own archive

Lighting matters

Bright and presentable rooms will always naturally create a better click-through rate than a dark, messy picture. It’s usually best to take photos in the morning when it’s bright out. Ideally, take a photo of the exterior when it’s sunny out, so your photos have a natural warmth to them.

For the interior, make sure the curtains and blinds are opened and the lights and lamps in the room are switched on. Dark corners are not a good look. If the lighting in the rental property is bad, consider bringing in lighting equipment (see next point).

Use proper equipment

While it can be tempting to snap a few shots on your iPhone and consider it a job well done, it’s not a good long-term strategy. If you’re going to have to advertise your property multiple times over the next five years – which is probably the case – it’s worth investing in getting some good shots.

With Howsy, you can choose as an add-on our Professional Photography package, and have your property photographed by a professional photographer with a good quality camera.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

Can I just advertise on Rightmove/Zoopla directly?

Unfortunately not – private landlords cannot list directly on Rightmove or Zoople. You’ll need to use a registered letting agent who can add your property listing.

What is a premium listing on Rightmove

A premium listing on Rightmove makes your property stand out as a premium listing. These listings get 35% more viewings than standard property listings. A Rightmove premium listing is included with the Howsy Protect plan.

How to advertise on Rightmove for free?

Well you can’t – but for a limited time only you can sign up to Howsy Lite for free, checkout the details below…

7. Save money and time with Howsy

Howsy Lite is our free introductory offer (usually £50 – free for a limited time) Tenant Find plan which handles listing your property on Rightmove and Zoopla for you.

If you have more questions or would like to know more about Howsy’s complete property management service, feel free to reach out on 0330 999 1234 or email us at [email protected].