According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, the national vacancy rate for rental properties in the first quarter of 2013 stood at 8.6%. That means nearly one of every nine units stands empty. For property owners, that translates to a significant cash drain.
An all-important job for any owner or property manager is to fill all rental units. To that end, here are some websites in which you should market your units in the event of a vacancy.
Top Rental Sites
This high-traffic site is one of the first places people go to for any number of needs including looking for a place to live. The site features location-based search that significantly increases the odds that you will be reaching your target prospective tenants.
This has become a leading go-to site for all real estate needs. They claim to have a million more listings than MLS (Multiple Listing Service). After setting up your account, you can quickly create your listing and upload pictures. As an added feature, your listing here can be sent straight to Craigslist for free. The benefit of starting here is that they will prepare a custom code that uploads to Craigslist and makes your listing look professional. (Mobile app available, as well.)
This is another online listing site that also has a tool that allows posting directly to Craigslist. They also provide visitors with the ability to get inside information on properties and communities that attracts additional prospective renters. (Mobile app available, as well.)
This site offers a search-optimized website for your property listing with a unique URL. Postlets makes it fast and easy to create a professional-looking classified ad, and then to syndicate the listing on Craigslist, Zillow, Local.com, as well as your Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn account.
This online site drives additional traffic by offering $100 gifts card to anyone who rents through the site. (Mobile app available, as well.)
This site features location-based, comprehensive apartment search functionality. (Mobile app available, as well.)
Affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS, this site claims to have the most up-to-date and accurate listings online. (Mobile app available, as well.)
Local Newspaper Websites
Just as many people still view print ads when looking for a rental property, many also look to local newspaper websites for the latest listings. A good number of individuals use these sites as their browser’s default “Home Page,” meaning this is the website that automatically appears when they open their browser each time.
Social Media Websites
Don’t forget social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest. It’s the new digital word of mouth.
You can post your listings directly on the above list of sites. Or, if you are using property management software, you likely have the ability to post your vacancies to hundreds of sites on the Internet including most of those listed above with just a couple of clicks of your mouse. Most programs provide professionally designed listings automatically. Prospective tenants can be directed right to your website if they are interested in one of your units.
In addition, for a fee, you can add rental listings to an MLS. There is no agent involved, but you can list here starting at around $100.
Renting empty units is a top priority for you, and there are more ways than ever to get the word out to prospective tenants online. Use as many top rental sites as you can to keep your vacancy rate down.