Tips for Optimizing Your Rental Listings

Getting your property rented starts with listing it online. Advertising your rental property is usually the first step in finding tenants – so you want to be sure to make a good first impression!

Whether you are advertising your property on Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, or one of the other numerous listing sites, an effective rental listing ad can help you have your property occupied sooner. And of course, you want your rental listings to attract the best possible candidates for your property – qualified applicants. 

Once your listing is up and running, you’ll have people reaching out to you to inquire about the rental, which means you’ll be spending time communicating with potential tenants – answering questions, clarifying information, and arranging viewings. This takes precious time out of your day, which is why it’s important to tailor your listing to your ideal tenant. Ultimately, creating great rental listings will save you the time and effort of communicating with unqualified prospects.

So how do you write successful listings, and how can you optimize your listings to get the best results?

If you’re looking for tips to help you write good rental listings, we’ve got you covered.


1. Make sure the most important information is in the headline.

The post’s headline is where you’ll catch people’s eye. It’s also important for getting found in search. You should always include the number of bedrooms and neighbourhood in your listing title, as well as if utilities are included. For example:

1 bedroom apartment in the heart of Centretown! Hydro and wifi included

You want to be thinking about what potential tenants will be searching for – typically they will be looking for a set number of bedrooms in a specific area of the city. By always including these important criteria in the listing title, you can capture their attention while they scroll, and you can improve your chances of being found in search results.


2. Keep your descriptions short and sweet

Your prospects aren’t going to spend a long time reading through large paragraphs of text. Important information can get lost in long, drawn out listing descriptions. Instead, you want to keep it on the shorter side. Leave out uninteresting or unimportant details.

You don’t have to include everything in your description. Rather than trying to fit everything in, focus on the most important and most impactful elements of your rental. Ask yourself, what are my tenants looking for? What would they prioritize? What would attract their attention? The other details can come later. Get your message across in the simplest way possible and keep your descriptions short and concise.



3. Know your ideal tenant

Who is your ideal tenant? Are they students or working professionals? What are the demographics of the area you are renting in? Get to understand your tenant’s needs and wants. For example, some renters are looking for luxury and lifestyle perks, while others are looking for function and convenience. By knowing your audience, you can tailor your listing to speak to them directly. 

Luxury-oriented tenants are usually looking for things like special amenities such as pools, hot tubs, fitness centres as well as high-end finishes. On the other hand, convenience-oriented tenants may be looking for something a little more practical. Think cost-effective, functional solutions that are simple. A clean, convenient, and safe rental is usually what draws these renters in.



4. Highlight the neighbourhood

Aside from including the neighbourhood in the title, you’ll also want to include it in the listing description. Choosing what neighbourhood to live in is a major part of choosing a new apartment. What is there to love about your property’s neighbourhood? What is there to do in the area? How walkable is the neighbourhood? Is it transit accessible? Tell them what’s nearby, but keep it straightforward – short and sweet is best.


5. Use attractive, well-lit photos

The photos you use in your listing will play a big role in whether or not tenants reach out to view the apartment. If you can get photos taken professionally, this will go a long way! Professional photographers who specialize in interiors usually use a wide-angle lens that makes the room appear larger. They can also capture the space in great lighting and notice little details that might improve a photo.

The photo that you choose to select as the “cover photo” matters too. This should be the best photo of them all. Renters like to see interiors, so kitchen shots or stage living rooms look great. However, you want to play on the apartment’s strengths. If the kitchen is on the small side, you may want to share a photo of a different room.


6. Make the next steps clear

How can they arrange a viewing? When are viewings available? What is required in order to apply for the apartment? This is your opportunity to quickly explain the rental process so that they know what to expect. Including these answers in your listing will save you the time of communicating back and forth with prospects and answering questions.

It’s important to manage expectations right from the beginning. This is also a good time to set boundaries around how you would like to be contacted and the best way to reach you. Should they send a direct message? Give you a phone call?

When it comes to writing effective rental listings, a little strategic thinking goes a long way! Find more landlord resources and tips on
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