We’ve all seen an example of how a bad property listing can tank the appeal of houses for rent in Washington DC. The reverse is also true: a well-written property listing is the key to quickly obtaining multiple, high-quality applicants.
Think of your listing as one of the most effective ways to advertise your property to potential renters: not only are you selling your property, but you’re selling yourself as a landlord! Your listing is most effective when it highlights the best aspects of your property and includes relevant, descriptive information. Think about it this way: what would you want to know if you were renting that property?
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss some of the crucial tips that landlords should be aware of when writing a property listing for their houses for rent in Washington DC from the perspective of the experts in Rent Estate™!
Be Detailed—but Choose Wisely
Your property listing is your chance to represent in words what you can’t describe through your pictures! You should use this as an opportunity to be detailed about the basics concerning your property—but you don’t need to go over the top. Start with what potential residents need to know, then work your way from there.
The price of your rental property is one of the basics: there’s nothing more exciting for renters than finding houses for rent in Washington DC within your budget! While some tenants might get curious about a listing that doesn’t outright state the price, you narrow your pool of qualified applicants by being vague.
Additionally, most online listing platforms help you find the most qualified renters by using the price you set as a filtering tool: you are looking for applicants who can afford the property, and not waste your resources by inquiring because you’ve skipped a crucial detail!
You should also expect to include some of these additional basics:
- The square footage of your rental home
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms it has
- Amenities offered, like parking or laundry
- Any deposits or fees.
Once you get beyond the essentials, it’s time to move on to the details that turn your rental from just another house into a home your renters can see themselves residing in!
Bring Your Listing to Life
This is where you can get a little more creative with what you “put to paper.” The goal is to tell a story about why your rental would make an ideal home for any prospective applicant. This part of your listing really sets the stage for your photos and ties them together to make your listing complete.
Using descriptive phrases like “Wide bay windows” or “Sunny, spacious patio for entertaining” helps your potential renters see themselves inside your property.
Compare the following, and see which sounds better:
- “Backyard sanctuary” vs. “yard”
- “Sun-filled” vs. “lots of light”
- “Floor-to-ceiling windows” vs. “tall windows.”
Be specific regarding features: “Viking range,” “new granite countertops,” “barn wood accent wall,” and other specific touches sell your photos and your property to potential tenants. You should also consider embedding a map for your property! Mapping capability is something we add to all of our listings because it quickly gives prospective residents a chance to get a feel for the neighborhood.
Let Your Pictures Do the Rest
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this is especially true with your rental listing! When it comes to houses for rent in Washington DC, don’t just post as many pictures as you possibly can. Include high-quality photos that help your prospects see themselves in your space.
That said, you should always include photos, even on (and especially on) social media. While your written listing is important, when it comes to online listings, your photos are what first attract the attention of your future tenants—even before they read what you’ve written. The first two things that most renters see about your listing are your pictures and your price, so be sure the photos that you use are worthy!
- The kitchen: Place emphasis on appliances, lighting, and available storage. Cabinet space is a hot commodity!
- Living room: Shoot from multiple angles that highlight its spaciousness.
- Bathrooms: Focus on fixtures, storage, and any custom tile—and close that toilet lid!
- Bedrooms: Will that king-size bed fit easily? Don’t forget the “hers and hers” closets—storage is imperative.
- If your property does have a “backyard sanctuary,” highlight this in your photos!
Taking advantage of crisp, clear photos and natural light will help your property look its best! If you’re considering staging your property, do so with minimal details that help renters visualize what they’ll do with the space. Even when staging is not an option, work with your tenants to make sure the unit is photographed in a clean and clutter-free state.
- When photographing, be sure to shoot from corners to give a better sense of scale: photographs taken from walls only minimize your spaces.
- For most properties, the golden hour is a great time to capture natural sunlight in your photos. If you can’t seem to get enough help from natural lighting, make sure all the lights are on in your property when taking your shots.
Lean on the Professionals!
This tip is one that most landlords forget: if trying to list your property sounds overwhelming, you can always turn to the professionals in Washington DC property management at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA! Not only can we help you craft the perfect listing that gets your rental home filled, but we also know that the work doesn’t end once you hit “submit.”
After you start finding high-quality applicants and narrow them down through a thorough screening process, it’s time to get your property ready for move-in day! This is where our FREE Make-Ready Checklist comes into play! If you’re worried about making sure you check every box when it comes to prepping your property, our Make-Ready Checklist can help you move on to a great move in!