As I take on new investment property customers, one of the early questions is: “Where do you find tenants?”. As with most other questions, I usually say “It depends”. The neighborhood in which the property is located often has a lot to do with your advertising technique.
Here are some different advertising suggestions and what I have found works best for each tenant demographic:
- Craig’s List-This is a free resource for almost every major city the US. I have had good success with Gen X & Gen Z tenants on Craig’s List as they are on-line so many hours per day. You should post pictures in every ad, as some prospective tenants will not look at your post without pictures. Also, you must repost your entry every 4-5 days as just like the search engines, we have been trained to never go past the 1st page.
- Major newspaper-In Minneapolis, this would be the Star Tribune. Although typically a more expensive option, this is one of the only ways to reach out to tenants without computers. I have had good success with the newspaper in NE Minneapolis. You should pay for the full 2 week run which will cost you about $165.
- Free newspapers-Typically these are the newspapers inside the door at the grocery or record store. Many of these papers actually have incredible circulation numbers. They are often cheaper to advertise in than the large corporate newspaper (such as the Star Tribune). You should examine your target tenant to decide if they would read this newspaper.
- Yard sign-In certain areas this has outperformed all other advertising. I recommend NOT using the $3 wimpy sign from Home Depot that is going to blow over at the slightest wind. Find a sign shop and have them make you a bright red 2’X3′ sign with a metal frame that says “For Rent” in 4″ letters with your phone number. I will even put my sign in the front of my building on a busy street just to get calls for another building down the road.
- Ask you existing (good) tenants for referrals and pay them $200. People love to recommend businesses and connections they are comfortable with. Generally, people will also only recommend other good tenants as a bad one will reflect poorly on them.
Each of these suggestions may need to be tailored for your area or the property. By analyzing where your calls are coming from, you can optimize your time and money spent finding new tenants.