Here's how to best market your rental listings
Lauren Nostro
6 min read

Apartment occupancy in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2022.

The turnover rate for multifamily housing has fallen to 47.5%, which is the lowest level in two decades. Low vacancy levels reflect a historically high number of renters renewing their leases, but we all know that the rental market changes frequently these days. To speed up the process of finding qualified residents for your property, it’s important to effectively market your rental listings.

Whether you’re an owner or property manager, WYL has a few strategies to help raise the profile of your listings:

  • Use the right keywords: If there are unique characteristics in your listing, be sure to capitalize on them in your description. Prospective tenants will use keywords in the search for a place to live. Detailed, colorful, but accurate descriptions will bring your apartment to the top of a search. Be sure to list the amenities and other desirable attributes in clear and concise language. Other important keywords include the number of bedrooms and baths, kitchen amenities, floor plans, and whether or not the floors are hardwood or carpet—for example. For your rental description, be sure to include notes about the location. Are community parks in close proximity? Is the rental unit near public transportation? Is it in a university setting? Include any helpful notes about nearby shopping, cultural places of interest, culinary hotspots, and places of worship. Not only are you selling your apartment, but you’re selling the total package of where prospective residents will be living.
  • Hire a professional photographer: Visuals are really important to get your listing seen. If possible, splurge for professional photos. A photographer will make the place look better than you think it could. Lighting, staging, angles, and other professional tricks can take a small space and make it seem much more appealing. If a professional photographer is not in your budget, then make sure you have a plan in place. First, start with cleaning up. Keep furniture sparse, clutter out of sight, and don’t leave too many knick-knacks around. People like to see clean spaces, where they can visualize their things—not yours. Begin by taking photos of the rooms. Make sure to highlight each room with a photo that highlights the potential use of space. It’s a good idea to have a plant, coffee maker, or some candles, but keep the personalized clutter to a minimum. Follow this strategy for each room. The living space should highlight where a TV can be placed, and a suggested floor plan that includes a sofa, chair, or desk. Ensure that bedrooms (if furnished) are tidy. But don’t take too many photos. Prospective tenants don’t have the time or patience to scroll through hundreds of images.
  • Put your listing on the right website: Real estate platforms like Trulia, Padmapper, or Zillow are popular, well-trusted, and well-known rental and home sites. There may be a fee to list your apartment, but it's worth the exposure as you will reach prospective tenants. What’s helpful about these platforms is that people can use keywords to narrow down listings to find yours. As we mentioned above, make sure your listings are packed with keywords and photos to catch prospective residents' attention.
  • Use social media to reach the right audience: Drive traffic to your listing through social media posts. Make them sharable to the public. Consider allocating a budget to advertise listings on Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter and Pinterest. Again, make the ads rich in keywords and attach an enticing and accurate photograph or two of the spot. If possible, tag others in your posts who can spread the listing even further. Using videos of the rental property on social media can make a difference, too. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 85% of buyers and sellers prefer to work with agents who use video marketing, but only 15% of agents are using video to promote their listings. This data proves that there’s an audience interested in videos. Consider shooting a video tour of your apartment. Show the space room by room. Also, be sure to take videos of the common spaces, apartment lobby, and building grounds.
  • Connect with the local community: Pursue outreach to local agents or organizations who help local residents, employees, or students find apartments. Even if you have to pay a fee, it may be well worth the cost if they bring resident prospects your way.

Successfully marketing a rental listing can give you an important edge in a competitive market. Follow the steps above to help give you the edge you need.