Marketing 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.
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.
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).
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.