How to advertise for a tenant

4 Successful Ways to Advertise a Property for Rent

Rental properties can be a solid financial investment, with between 30-40% of Americans living in rented homes. However, if you have a rental property, you’ll know that marketing to the ideal tenants can be challenging.

If you’re wondering how to advertise a property for rent, and you’re not sure where to begin, fear not. Read on for 5 successful ways to advertise a property for rent.

1. Classic Signage

Sometimes the old ways are the best, and this applies to property marking too. Before the digital era, one of the main ways to alert the public to a rental opportunity was to affix a sign outside. This method is still a powerful tool today.

Putting a sign outside a property makes it clear to anyone who passes by that there is a rental opportunity. It also means that you’re reaching a much more diverse market, as anyone who is in the area has the possibility of being receptive to your marketing.

Not everyone uses social media or reads a newspaper, but everyone has to look where they’re going when walking down the street. If you’re utilizing this technique, make sure the property's exterior looks appealing to potential renters from the moment the sign goes up.

2. Email Marketing

One of the powerhouses of digital marketing, the efficacy of email marketing isn’t declining any time soon. Email marketing for property rentals requires careful market segmentation, which in turn offers up to a 760% increase in revenue.

Build your email contact list through sign-up forms, and make sure you get explicit consent to contact them. This can be achieved through landing pages or property listings on your website. You can also grow your email marketing list through content marketing with blog posts and social media.

3. Advertise Property for Rent On Social Media

Social media marketing reaches a much wider audience today than in its infancy. If you’re wondering how to advertise a property on social networks, remember that different platforms tend to attract different demographics. All you need to do is consider who you’re marketing to.

If you’re renting a small studio apartment in a vibrant student area, then Instagram and TikTok may be the social platforms of choice for your target market. Meanwhile, if your rental property is a large family home on a suburban street, it’s more likely that your renters will use Facebook and Twitter.

4. Trust The Professionals

If you’re a very busy person, or if marketing jargon goes right over your head – leave property marketing to the professionals. Professional property management companies have all the necessary advertising and marketing knowledge to make sure you find the perfect tenant for your property.

They will delve into their toolkit of property marketing tips and put together a custom strategy for your property. They already have a strong network of interested renters to market to, and it takes all the stress off of you.

The Key To Success

The key to successfully advertise property for rent is creating a custom approach each time. Try out these rental advertising techniques, and you’ll be handing over the keys to new tenants in no time!

For more information on how to market and get the most out of your rental property, contact us today.

Do you write your own ads when advertising for tenants to fill a vacancy?

How to advertise for a tenant

Do you get a good response, or is it kind of hit or miss?

Did you know there are a couple secrets to writing a good ad that attracts good tenants?

It Starts With a Headline

Your headline, or title for your ad is what will attract your potential tenants first.

To many people use something dreary like “Three Bedroom Home For Rent” making them exactly like 90% of the other ads.

Never mind most of the online sites already allow them to narrow down theirs searches by bedrooms or bathrooms. You’re not telling them anything new.

So instead of telling them the obvious, spice it up a bit.

If you’re targeting a family “Bright Clean Home Close To Schools & A Park” or “Spacious Family Home With Fenced Private Back Yard”.

Maybe throw in some humor, I’ve seen ads that you have to read just due to the headline. “Not Just four Legged Pet Friendly, But We Accept Goldfish Too!”

You really just want to create something different, something that might catch their eye and set you apart.

Then Follow It Up With Benefits

But the writing doesn’t stop with the headline. Next you need to talk about all the benefits of your property and this is a huge letdown with most ads.

What do you typically see?

Three large bedrooms, two baths, in-suite laundry. Available right away.

Grabs you doesn’t it? Makes you want to rush over to see those thee large bedrooms because tit sounds like they are just what you’re looking for, right?

Maybe not so much. That’s because those are features, not benefits and benefits are what attracts people.

Instead of just three large bedrooms turn it into something that excites them or fills a need.

“You’ll be amazed at the size of the three large bedrooms which easily fit a king size bed in the master and there’s still plenty of room for up to four dressers!”

Now it’s created more of a vision someone can see.

“With a growing family you’ll appreciate the second half bath ont he main floor.”

Something simple and to the point but reminding them why a second bathroom is handy.

“You’ll love the included washer and dryer as you’ll be able to get laundry done at home on your schedule rather than spending an afternoon at the laundromat.”

A simple benefit of having in home laundry, you don’t have to go out!

“In a hurry to move, well lucky you we’re able to accommodate a quick move in within a week, or if you need a bit more time we can make that work for you too.”

Not over the top, but simply explaining their options versus simply being available right away.

It’s Not Rocket Science

Writing these ads isn’t rocket science and once you have a great ad you can use it for years and years to continue to attract tenants.

Just remember people don’t care that it has three bedrooms, they care about what they’re like. So explain that part.

Whee possible create an emotional response and always try to explain how the feature will help them.

What Would Benefit You?

I started putting together a course a couple years ago walking landlords through writing effective ads and became distracted by other projects so never finished it.

Then over the weekend, I had a chat going back and forth with another landlord inquiring about how to help landlords advertise and screen potential tenants as they had an acquaintance who had been vacant for a while and was struggling.

So let’s turn the question back to the general audience of landlords out there.

Would you find an hour long course that walks you through writing effective rental ads helpful? This would ad another skill to your landlord toolbox!

Or would you prefer someone to do it for you, create an ad you can use for the next ten to twenty years to attract great tenants? This would obviously cost more, but it would allow you to focus on what you are best at rather than adding to a busy schedule.

Or is there a space in between that would benefit you? Perhaps a two or four week mastermind session where a group of us meet online and we walk through writing successful ads?

Real estate has long been the go-to investment for those looking to build long-term wealth for generations. Let us help you navigate this asset class by signing up for our comprehensive real estate investing guide.

Most landlords dislike vacancies. The longer a rental property sits empty, the more money the landlord loses. Luckily, we live in an era where advertising a rental unit for rent is easier than ever, and most methods are completely free! While there are a lot of options out there, this article narrows down the three best ways to advertise a rental and find tenants quickly so you can minimize your effort while maximizing your results.

1. Create a free listing online

According to Zillow's Consumer Housing Trend Reports, 83% of all tenants use online resources in their rental property search. If your rental unit isn't marketed online, you are missing out on an enormous pool of prospective tenants.

Fortunately, there are dozens of free resources to help you list and market your rental unit for free. Most property management software programs will automatically market and list your rental vacancy to the top websites, but you can list your rental on each individual website as well if you prefer.

The primary websites for rental advertising

2. List it for rent on social media

Social media platforms like Facebook are another great resource for advertising rentals. Facebook has over 2.7 billion users worldwide, and Marketplace, Facebook's platform for buying, selling, and advertising items for rent or purchase, has nearly 800 million users per month.

If you have a Facebook account, you can create a Facebook Marketplace listing for free. You can then share your listing on your own Facebook page for friends to see and share.

3. Word of mouth

The second most widely used search method for finding a rental is word of mouth. This could include hearing about a vacancy from a friend, relative, or colleague, seeing a sign posted in a yard, or meeting the landlord or property manager by chance.

It's important to advertise a rental offline as well. Share the fact that you have a rental unit available for leasing with those you know. You never know who is looking for a place to rent, and it can be a great way to find a qualified tenant before taking your marketing efforts online.

Market where it matters most

There are other methods of advertising a rental, like posting your unit for rent in the newspaper or creating flyers to send via direct mail or post on bulletin boards at local schools, restaurants, or shops, but with less than a third of all renters using those avenues to search for rentals, those methods yield lackluster results. Market where it matters most, putting forth the most effort on the platforms that yield the most results.

Most prospective tenants expect a reply in 24 hours or less, so be prepared to respond quickly. Be explicit in your post about your qualification requirements and screening process so tenants can determine whether they will qualify before contacting you. If you price your rental well and focus on using these 3 best ways to advertise a rental property you will likely find tenants quickly and fill vacancies faster.

Got $1,000? The 10 Top Investments We’d Make Right Now

Our team of analysts agrees. These 10 real estate plays are the best ways to invest in real estate right now. By signing up to be a member of Real Estate Winners, you’ll get access to our 10 best ideas and new investment ideas every month. Find out how you can get started with Real Estate Winners by clicking here.

7 Tips for Placing a Great Tenant in Your Investment Property

How to advertise for a tenant

Erin Eberlin is a real estate and landlord expert, covering rental management, tenant acquisition, and property investment. She has more than 16 years of experience in real estate.

There are good tenants, and there are bad tenants. While no screening method is fool-proof, there are certain factors you should look at that will give you a better chance of finding a great tenant for your rental. Following these seven tips can help you make the best choice.

1. Follow the Law

Landlords must treat all prospective tenants equally. There is a law, known as the Federal Fair Housing Act, which is designed to prevent discrimination against certain classes of people in any activity related to housing. In short, you cannot discriminate based on:

  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (families with children)
  • Disability

In addition, many states have their own Fair Housing Rules that you must follow, so make sure you know and adhere to your local laws as well.

2. Choose a Tenant With Good Credit

You want to look for a tenant who is financially responsible. If they are responsible with paying their bills, there is a strong chance they will pay their rent on time and be responsible with your apartment. Getting a credit check has a fee, and sometimes landlords ask their applicants to pay the credit check fee as well. Checking a tenant’s finances is a two-step process:

A. Verify Income:

  • Ideally, you will want to find a tenant whose monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent.
  • Ask for copies of their pay stubs.
  • Call their employer directly to confirm their employment, length of employment, attendance record and monthly earnings.
  • Do they have a history of paying their bills on time?
  • Check their income to debt ratio.
    • Even if their income is three times the monthly rent, you have to factor in how much debt they have.
    • For Example: The rent is $1000 per month. Tenant A is making $3000 a month, but has $2400 in debt payments every month. This tenant may have a more difficult time affording the apartment despite their monthly income. Tenant B makes $2500 a month, but has no debt. This tenant could be an excellent candidate to pay the rent even though their income is not three times the monthly rent.

    3. Perform a Criminal Background Check

    Criminal information is public record, and can be viewed at various court houses. This check will turn up both serious and minor offenses. You will need the tenant’s name and date of birth to run one. Keep in mind that those with a criminal record may try to falsify this information, so make sure to check a valid ID to verify that they are who they say they are.

    A Thorough Criminal Check Will Include:

    3 Points of Caution:

    1. Certain states, such as California, prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters with certain criminal convictions. As a landlord, you may have an easier time justifying your rejection of a prospective tenant with a drug or violent crime conviction than you would rejecting a tenant with 50 speeding tickets. This is because drugs or violent crimes can jeopardize the safety of other tenants.
    2. There is no nationwide database of criminal records, so it may be hard to do a thorough background check.
    3. Doing a criminal check yourself can be very time-consuming. It may be best to hire a reputable tenant screening company to perform this check for you. It can often be combined with the credit check, for an additional fee of course.

    4. Look at the Tenant's Rental History

    If possible, you should talk to at least two of the tenant’s previous landlords. This is because if the applicant was a problem tenant, the current landlord may want to get the tenant off their hands and may not be as truthful.

    Questions You Should Ask:

    • Did the tenant pay their rent on time?
    • What was the reason for the move? Was the tenant evicted for non-payment of rent or for breaking the landlord’s rules?
    • Did the tenant give 30 days’ notice prior to moving?
    • How did they keep their apartment? Were they clean?
    • Did they cause any damage to the apartment other than normal wear and tear?
    • Were they respectful of their neighbors?
    • Did they complain often?

    Of course, if the applicant is a first-time renter, a student or a recent graduate, they may not have a rental history. In this case, you can require a co-signer for the lease.

    5. Choose a Tenant Who Is Stable

    On their application form, look at the tenant's prior addresses and employment history. Do they move or switch jobs often? If they move often, this pattern is likely to continue and you will soon have a vacancy on your hands again. If they have not shown consistent employment, they may not be able to afford the apartment in three months and you will be left starting your tenant search from scratch or dealing with an eviction.

    6. Maximum of Two People Per Bedroom

    The more people per apartment, the more noise and the greater the wear and tear on your investment. Although HUD does not have specific rules regarding the number of occupants per bedroom, a rule of a maximum of two people per bedroom is considered reasonable under the Fair Housing Act, with the following exceptions:

    • State and Local Law:
      • If a state or locale has specific housing codes, then the landlord must follow them.
      • A 500 square foot bedroom can hold more occupants than a 250 square foot room.
      • A unit with a living room and den can hold more occupants than one without.
      • Refusing to rent to two adults with an infant for a one bedroom could be considered discriminatory, but refusing to rent to two adults with a teenager for a one bedroom would be considered reasonable.
      • You can give a maximum number of people per apartment, but you cannot give a maximum number of children per apartment.
      • If the capacity of the system can only tolerate a certain number of occupants in the dwelling.

      7. Trust Your Instincts

      You can do all the screening in the world, but sometimes your instincts are the best judge of character. You may feel that there is something off about a tenant who otherwise looks good on paper. later to find that the tenant has been using someone else's identity to apply for the apartment. Trust your screening, but do not ignore your gut.

      When advertising rental property, it is important to include information about the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and the rent. Advertisements should accurately reflect the condition of the property. A landlord should avoid advertisements that contain discriminatory requirements about race, gender, religion, disability, and familial status. For example, it is unacceptable to include words like "women," "single," or "adult building." Language referring to age is also best to avoid unless the rental is devoted to senior housing.

      The following list contains a variety of ways for advertising rental property.

      Use a "For Rent" Sign

      Using a "For Rent" sign in the window or yard of a property is not only cost efficient, but one of the best ways to advertise a rental unit in areas where foot and car traffic is heavy. Because potential renters see the building as they pass it, this method is most effective when the exterior of the building has great curb appeal. If the passerby likes the building’s exterior, it is more likely that they will want to see the unit for rent. The sign should include information about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the rent, and the availability of parking.

      Advertising Rental Property Online

      Advertising vacancies online is a good way to publicize the availability of a rental unit to a wide array of potential tenants. Check local real estate sites and national sites like craigslist for advertising opportunities. Advertising online offers a great way to reach potential renters already living in the area and those moving to the area.

      Place an Ad in the Newspaper

      Placing an ad in the classified section of a newspaper is a time-tested and traditional way to find tenants. Many local newspapers can now reach more renters because online editions of papers are often available. A landlord may also consider advertising in specialty newspapers, such as in college presses or in locally published magazines.

      Make Neighborhood Flyers

      The neighborhood that the property is located in is often one of the best places to advertise a vacancy. A flyer can notify local residents already living in the area of the vacancy. A landlord can place flyers in laundromats, churches, on college campuses, on grocery store bulletin boards, or in a neighborhood gym. A simply flyer with the landlord’s phone number included on detachable tabs is sufficient.

      Publicize Through Word-of-Mouth

      Sometimes the word-of-mouth is all of the advertising that is necessary. Friends, neighbors, family members, and colleagues can spread the word about the vacancy. A landlord can also tell current tenants about the vacancy and encourage them to tell friends, relatives, and co-workers. Most tenants would rather have a friend or acquaintance as a neighbor than a stranger. As an incentive, offer a finder’s fee for a referral.

      Post Notices at Universities or in Corporate Housing Offices

      Many universities and corporations keep a list of available rentals nearby. A landlord can usually list a property for free or for a small fee. In particular, renters employed by the corporation are good applicants since the employer has already performed screening and background checks.

      Employ an Apartment-Finding Service

      If it is difficult to find renters, using an apartment-finding service can generate traffic. Typically, the landlord pays the fee for the listing, but some services charge the tenant for finding the rental unit. Many of these service providers are available online.

      Special Tips for High End Rentals and Owners with Multiple Units

      Not every advertising method is appropriate for all rental units. Higher end rentals and landlords with multiple properties may need to use additional and more aggressive methods:

      When advertising vacancies in 2021, the first thing you should focus on is the marketing strategy that would best fit your rental business. To generate more leads, you should be ready to market your listings on multiple online platforms.

      Gone are the days when word-of-mouth was the only way to draw attention to your listings, and offline advertising tools have become the most labor intensive way to inform potential tenants about vacancies. There are much more efficient strategies that can help you find the right tenants for your rentals and avoid any extra costs.

      Let’s take a look at the three steps you should take to fill a vacancy faster:

      1. Get a personalized listing website.

      If you’re a TenantCloud user, creating a personal listing website won’t take you a lot of time but it will bring you tons of perks. Setting up a free custom website allows you to show off your vacant properties to potential renters at no cost. It’s possible to build a solid portfolio with all the properties available for renting, add property images to the gallery, and customize rental applications for the prospects to apply right from your website.

      With the Leads Tracking Tool, you can view all prospective tenants and Rentler Leads via your TenantCloud account. And, after thorough analysis and tenant screening, decide who is the right candidate for your property.

      2. Select the best websites for rental property advertising.

      External listing websites are also great services to increase traffic to your landlord website. Plus, the option to syndicate listings from a single management platform that some property management systems offer make it possible to reach your target audience in a few clicks without spending half of your marketing budget on tenant hunting.

      But if you don’t leverage any rental management tools, listing services like Hotpads, Trulia, Craigslist, Rentler, Facebook Marketplace, etc. can be worthy solutions. But keep in mind that your listings should meet the requirements of the platform you choose and you might need to pay listing fees on a weekly or monthly basis.

      3. Upload high-quality pictures and add accurate descriptions.

      Regardless of the approach you choose, there’s always one landlord rule that is even more relevant to the digital era- The better property images you post, the more likely you’ll fill the vacancy. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your rental has to be the best one in the neighborhood. It’s more about the way to present it to your potential renters. You may even want to hire a professional photographer who can get the right angles and focus on the best parts of your rental property.

      Along with that, use a catchy description and add detailed property information with the correct price displayed on the page. This will not only save you time, but also help you create the positive first impression of you as a professional.

      We asked our users about their plans for changing or improving their strategies in regards to advertising rental listings. Here’s what we’ve found:

      Lea Uradu, J.D. is graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, a Maryland State Registered Tax Preparer, State Certified Notary Public, Certified VITA Tax Preparer, IRS Annual Filing Season Program Participant, Tax Writer, and Founder of L.A.W. Tax Resolution Services. Lea has worked with hundreds of federal individual and expat tax clients.

      Homeownership may be a part of the American Dream—but in reality, roughly one in three American households (nearly 36%) lives in rentals, according to a 2020 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Renting has also become much more common among the age groups and family types that were traditionally more likely to own their housing, the report found—in fact, rentership rates for all age groups under 65 are at historic highs.

      Since you’re dealing with something as vital and intimate as a person’s home—even if it’s only temporary—it’s important that everyone involved in the lease understands their legal rights.

      Landlord-tenant laws generally fall under the jurisdiction of individual states. But since many state laws are very similar in scope, tenants and landlords throughout the U.S. should expect that no matter where they’re located, these are four things property owners should never do when they’re renting out a unit.

      Key Takeaways

      • Although landlord-tenant laws vary by state, there is generally some uniformity in certain areas.
      • Landlords cannot enter tenanted properties without giving proper notice.
      • Landlords cannot arbitrarily end someone's tenancy before the lease expires.
      • Arbitrary, mid-lease rent increases are not permitted unless specified in certain circumstances in the lease or by the municipality.
      • The Fair Housing Act prohibits a landlord from discrimination in renting, representing properties, or providing services to tenants.

      1. Enter Without Proper Notice

      Even though the premises technically belongs to them, landlords can’t enter a rented home whenever they feel like it. According to many state statutes, they must provide at least 24-hour notice if they wish to enter an occupied property. The notice must outline the reason for access and must be given in writing unless indicated otherwise by the tenant. (In some states, you must receive the tenant’s specific approval to provide notices electronically—that is, through email or text message.)

      When a landlord gives proper notice, whether it is to make repairs, conduct a routine inspection, show the property to prospective future tenants, or carry out any other reasonable request, their tenant may have to invite them to the unit.

      9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

      The only hours that landlords can enter a renter's unit in many jurisdictions: in other words, regular business hours on weekdays, from Monday to Friday.

      A tenant cannot deny a landlord access to the property when proper notice is given, and the request is reasonable. However, the occupant may request to change the date or put in a clause in the lease to limit the number of times the landlord can enter the unit.

      Exceptions and violations

      Even states that mandate advance-notice rules allow exceptions. There are two that usually apply: A landlord may enter the premises in an emergency, such as a fire or leak, or if they believe the tenant has abandoned the property.

      A tenant who feels that their landlord violated the rules by entering their premises in a non-emergency without giving notice does have a few options. The first is to let the landlord know of the problem. If that doesn't work, the tenant may be able to bring it to the attention of the local or state housing authority or file a trespassing claim with local police or the court system.

      2. Unlawfully Evict Tenants

      A landlord may evict a tenant for many reasons, but they must go through the proper legal channels and give the tenant due notice. The amount of days necessary for due notice varies by state and can range from nearly immediate to 30 days or more.

      A landlord who does not follow the correct protocol generally faces an uphill legal battle if they end the rental agreement or a tenant’s occupancy before the lease expires. Landlords who abruptly lock a tenant out of the property without warning may fall within the definition of retaliatory eviction. Not only that but they may also be slapped with trespassing or burglary charges. Similarly, turning off utilities could be seen as intentionally putting a tenant in danger, especially if the local climate is prone to extreme heat or cold.

      If a landlord violates housing laws, a tenant may be entitled to remedies, including monetary damages.

      On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Agency Order, which, as of this writing, has been extended until July 31, 2021. Applying to residents earning less than a specified amount, it bans evictions for nonpayment of rent.

      3. Unjustifiably Raise the Rent

      A lease is a legally binding contract. Once signed, there are very few circumstances under which the landlord can raise the rent. The only way the terms can be changed is if the increase meets a certain set of conditions in the lease itself. These may include:

      • A new tenant joining the household
      • The addition of a pet
      • If the landlord significantly remodels part of the property

      Landlords may also increase rent if the property is located in a city with rent-control or rent-stabilized ordinances that permit such changes. These ordinances define the circumstances under which the rent of qualifying properties—usually older ones—can be changed, and by how much. Increases might be tied to the rate of inflation, for example.

      4. Discriminate Against Tenants

      Unlike the other regulations, which stem from the states, the rules forbidding discrimination come from the federal government. The Fair Housing Act of 1968, also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, forbids anyone—including landlords—from refusing to rent to an applicant based on:

      • Race
      • Color
      • National origin
      • Sexual orientation
      • Familial status
      • Disability
      • Gender

      For example, you cannot advertise your rental property as being for Asians only or no children allowed—yes, even families with children are protected under the FHA. Similarly, you cannot provide different terms or agreements for members of different protected classes than you do for other tenants.

      The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ‘s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) acts as the chief enforcer of the FHA. On Feb. 11, 2021, HUD announced that it “will administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

      The Bottom Line

      Property owners have to put in a lot of time, money, and effort if they want to become a landlord. And part of that effort means understanding what the law does and doesn’t allow them to do. Although a landlord may own a rental property, tenants have unique protections from discrimination, harassment, arbitrary rent increases, and wrongful eviction.

      Aside from those dealing with discrimination, landlord-tenant laws vary by state, but as long as landlords maintain the home and leave tenants in peace—and tenants respect the property and pay their rent on time—chances are that neither will have to consult local statutes or complain to local authorities.

      There are more than 1 million international students studying in the U.S., and many are searching for a place to live. If you have a vacant unit, advertising to international students could help you fill the vacancy quickly. Since international students may be seeking different features in a rental apartment, this requires a few tweaks from your current advertising approach.

      Read on to learn how to target international students for a successful landlord-tenant match.

      How International Students Differ From Local Renters

      International students have different needs from local renters, and when you understand these needs, you can position your property accordingly.

      While some international students may be enrolled at a local college and seeking accommodation from your city, others are searching from their home country and cannot make an in-person visit. Thus, it’s important to have accurate photos of your rental and accept online applications so students can apply from their home countries.

      Furnishing the apartment can help, as many international students don’t want to purchase everything needed to create a home. Use that old furniture from the garage or shop at yard sales so you can offer a furnished apartment. This is a one-time expense that is offset by the rental income.

      International students may be visiting for a semester, so a short-term lease could suit their needs over a year’s lease. Consider offering three-month lease terms or month-to-month lease agreements to increase interest in your listing.

      If you’re struggling to fill a unit in a renter’s market, all the more reason to be flexible: These tweaks will make your open unit appeal to a broader range of people, from international students to locals.

      How to Rent to International Students

      Aside from these key differences, the rental process isn’t very different. Just as you would with any other tenant, clean the apartment thoroughly before taking photos for the listing. Then, clearly describe the property and its amenities in listing copy.

      Advertise the listing through your usual channels as well as on websites that offer housing for international students. If you live near a university, see whether it has an apartment board (virtual or on campus) to connect students with rooms for rent.

      You can use your standard lease agreement (with an optional change in lease duration) and screen applicants, too. This isn’t as easy as running their Social Security number (since they don’t have one), but you can run their name through criminal databases in their home country to protect yourself. You can also request financial information (such as bank statements), which you can use to see whether they have good financial habits. Since the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on national origin, you must treat international student applicants the same way you would treat other applicants.

      Since many international students have invested a lot of money to come to the U.S. to study, they may be less likely to party than local college students, which means your apartment is in good hands. By renting to an international student, you can feel good knowing that you’re helping someone who has moved to the U.S. to further his or her education.

      Disclaimer: All content provided here-in is subject to AAOA’s Terms of Use.

      How to advertise for a tenant

      Tenant placement services are similar to realty services in that they connect property owners with new occupants. Many property owners, both residential and commercial, use tenant placement services to fill rental vacancies and screen potential tenants before entering into a lease. Similarly, a wide variety of tenants use these services, especially when seeking corporate housing or relocating from another state, or if they have limited time to secure a lease.

      Plan and Start You Tenant Placement Service

      Obtain necessary licenses. Some states require tenant placement agents to acquire a realtor’s license before they can engage in business. Check with your state’s business and licensing department or contact your state representative for state-specific licensing requirements.

      Create a database of available rental property. You can accomplish this by perusing rentals in your local paper, online advertising sites such as, or forming a business relationship with apartment owners. Create a list or an Excel spreadsheet of all available properties, including the following information for each rental: landlord or leasing company, physical address, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as additional amenities.

      Contact landlords and offer your service. In order for your tenant placement business to be profitable, you must receive payment from landlords, tenants or both for the use of your services. Attempt to work out a deal in which a landlord will pay you a “finder’s fee” for each tenant that leases an apartment through your services.

      Advertise your services to potential renters. Place advertisements in your local paper and hang fliers throughout your community, including colleges and universities. Additionally, consider creating a website to market your services. Websites have the potential to reach a much wider audience and may attract clients who will be relocating to the area.

      Assist tenants and collect a fee for your services. When a potential client requests to use your placement services, take down preliminary information such as name, price range and any space or amenity preferences. Compare your new client’s preferences with your list of available rentals and set up appointments for your client to view the spaces that fit him or her. Additionally, have your client sign a simple contract that provides for payment in the event that you successfully place them in a rental unit.

      Krystal Wascher has been writing online content since 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science and philosophy from Thiel College and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law. She was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 2009.