We’ve written before about 5 ways to market your rental, and all of that is still true. However, to write rental listings that attract renters today will take a little extra transparency and creativity to fill a vacancy during such unprecedented and uncertain times (how often have you heard that lately?).

The quality and extent of the information included in your rental listing is critical to attracting renters during this time. Right now, space, saving, and comfort are top of mind for most people. Additionally, people are concerned about safety and cleanliness, so it is best if you address those concerns up front in rental listings.

Additionally, your rental listings will probably face more scrutiny than usual, especially as people are strapping down on their financial resources to weather the economic impact of the virus outbreak.

Be transparent about your safety measures for viewing the unit

Include any cleaning and sanitization protocols or guidelines you followed to ensure the cleanliness of the property.

You should also let the applicant know your virtual/contactless methods of showing the place (i.e., how will the renter be able to view the rental without compromising their safety), such as virtual or video tours or contactless entry to the property.

Include any amenities that are conducive for hunkering down 

Especially if these amenities are in-unit, such as kitchen space, cupboard space, balconies/backyards, in-unit laundry. It would also be good to note the proximity to essential services (such as grocery store, post office, bank, laundry mat, etc).

Offer extra incentives in rental listings

If possible, add something a little extra to sweeten the deal. Some landlords have done the following to incentivize renters

  1. Month-to-month lease so the tenant can leave in thirty days if they don’t like it (helps you too, if you end up needing the tenant to vacate!)
  2. Offer a free month of rent or discounted rent
  3. Offer a free parking spot
  4. Include a utility bill
  5. Pay for the moving truck
Explain how you’re managing everything remotely

For example, using a property management app like RentRedi means you can reassure tenants that you’re able to do everything digitally to reduce the risk of physical paperwork or meetings.

  1. Mobile prequalification, applicants, and background checks so you can screen the applicant without having to meet in person
  2. Space for an embeddable Calendly link so you can the applicant can set up a time to meet for both your assurances
  3. Space for an embeddable e-lease link, so you can send the lease electronically (we recommend a site like DocuSign to upload your lease)
  4. Contactless rent payments so the tenant can pay rent right from their phone without having to drop off a check
  5. Video repair requests so the tenant can submit them to you right from their phone for when you’re able to send in a maintenance person
  6. In-app notifications, so you can keep the tenant informed of any updates or announcements

Though it is never easy to fill a unit normally, now it is even harder. Being transparent with your safety protocols, setting up virtual tours, and offering incentives such as discounted rent or the perks of using a mobile landlord-tenant app can help motivate and attract renters who unfortunately need to move. Especially as renters are being more cautious and scrutinizing where they dedicate their financial resources during the pandemic.