The internet has changed the game for real estate investors. Once upon a time when there was no such thing as the internet, it was very difficult to find suitable tenants to fill your vacant units. Mom and pop investors resorted to labor-intensive, strategically placed signs and classified ads. I’ve built a rental portfolio to over 1,200 units in both single- and multifamily space, and the following are currently the best forms of effective and cost-efficient marketing to display your available rentals to the public.
Facebook Marketplace: This is the newest kid on the block, but it has perhaps the largest reach and most powerful search tools. Use the search radius tool and try searching to terms like “probate,” “death,” “FSBO.” Posting on this platform is free and simple, which makes it a clear choice for busy investors.
Craigslist: This platform was a property owner and tenant favorite for some time, but the once-simplistic user interface now just feels old and lacks functionality. It is cumbersome to use and the posting process is long and arduous. The user base is varied, but typically includes bargain-bin home shoppers, which can result in troublesome tenants.
Zillow: This perennial favorite for the retail homebuyer also has features for renters. Sophisticated investors don’t rely on the estimates for home prices or rents on this site, but it is where most people shopping for real estate to rent or buy start because it is easily accessible and typically the first internet search result for an address.
The Online Presence: Many apartment buildings now have their own webpages. Millennials tend to want to interact with a property without the pressure of a live human and therefore would like to read up on specifics and compare multiple rental options. In this digital age, if there is not an online presence for the developer or development, savvy consumers question the validity of an establishment. Aside from dedicated websites, properties can set up digital storefronts on places like social media and Apartments.com.