The Road Ahead: Marketing

MoneyMarketing for student rentals. What a challenge.

In years past we have used the local university off-campus housing service to list our properties, and we have also put a few ads in the newspaper.

Medium:
For 2007, we plan to up the ante because we’ve had vacancies over the summer months that aren’t acceptable. We will advertise in three mediums, the off-campus housing site, the campus newspaper, and online through iiProperty and any rental listing sites I come across. We will also expand our listings to the local college which is a 20-minute bus-ride away, but at least it is a direct route.

Differentiation:
How can we differentiate ourselves from the thousands of per-bedroom vacancies in London? Number one, we include all utilities and wired/wireless highspeed internet in our homes. Second, our properties are fairly well-kept (upper-middle of the pack) and are thus well-priced. Third, we offer free laundry in our 5-bedroom houses.

Word of Mouth:
This-year we want to expand on the power of word of mouth advertising by offering incentives to our tenants.
1) We will offer 1-month free rent to current tenants who sign a 12-month lease.
2) We will pay $150 for each referral (obviously only ones who sign leases).

Property Managers:
Because we lost a lot of revenue due to having 6 vacant bedrooms last summer ($9600), we’re going to be in touch with one or two property managers this-year. Last year we had one, but we started using her too late in the game, and she couldn’t find any tenants for us. If we start earlier this-year, we should be in luck. Last-year she only charged 1/2-month of rent for the property, which works out to only $1000… a small price to pay!

Wish us luck!

This post is part of the writing project over at BiggerPockets.

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4 thoughts on “The Road Ahead: Marketing

  1. Found you through the BiggerPockets writing project.

    For advertising, please do not forget about craigslist.org. I can fill most vacanies without spending a penny on advertising — because of Craigslist.

  2. Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for the tip. I had thought about using Cragslist before, I’ll definitely check it out this-year.

    As a side note, I believe that iiProperty has an automatic function to create Cragslist ads. This is another reason for going with iiProperty. I’ll have a central website for hosting my rental information (which I can place in all of my campus-directed ads), and those ads will automatically be placed onto Craigslist.

    Nice website as well Jesse, have you ever thought about franchising your business? It looks like you have a good breadth of services to offer landlords and investors.

    Nick

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