With so many options, it can be a little maddening figuring out which site is right for you to advertise your rental property online. From platforms that offer speed and enormous traffic to others that are more about convenience, landlords have never had more resources to locate tenants and monitor the process through to the finish line. Consider the pros and cons of each of these options for posting your rental property online. Often your best option is to post your rental property on multiple websites. Each one will reach a slightly different demographic, and renters will usually check out more than one site when searching for a new rental.
In many markets, Craigslist is the go-to online classifieds – though not without downsides. On the positive side, Craigslist can connect you with prospective tenants almost instantaneously, especially if you’re likely to rent to younger tenants who are familiar with buying/selling on the site. Over the course of two decades, Craigslist has become a critical online marketplace that should give you an extensive list of possible renters with minimal effort. Creating a listing with great photos – whether on mobile or desktop – is also very simple and straightforward.
On the flip side, the main drawback has been well established by now: Craigslist is loaded with scammers looking for tenants to hand out information. Although this is a common problem for many sites and there has been an effort to cut down on the prevalence of scams, you can still find plenty and Craigslist is now treated by many with a healthy dose of skepticism. Additionally, Craigslist doesn’t have the tools for organizing rental applications, background checks, or to help landlords with rent collection. Still, Craigslist’s popularity and simplicity are still major selling points, ensuring its place as a prominent platform for landlords.
Facebook’s massive footprint makes it a natural platform to find just about any kind of renter you’re looking for. With the potential for 360-degree photos, customization, and enormous amounts of traffic, Facebook Marketplace is a great way to start getting interest in your rental property. The appearance of your listing is also likely to be a little more dynamic than with Craigslist, one of Facebook’s main competitors.
Unfortunately, Facebook also has a rental scam problem, albeit one not quite as well-known as the issue with Craigslist. At the same time, Facebook continues to make major strides when it comes to limiting fraudulent activity throughout the site, giving landlords and tenants some confidence problems are being efficiently handled. Unlike sites that offer more services than just advertising for your rental property, Facebook leaves the landlord on their own when it comes to online rental applications, screening tenants and property management, making it a little less convenient on the back end. But with a little help from another platform that can help you accept online rental applications and screen tenants, Facebook is a great option for listing your rental property.
Apartments.com can be both niche and mainstream, creating a potent platform that is easy to use and effective for a wide variety of properties. Cross-marketing with Apartment Finder, ForRent.com, and Apartment Home Living give landlords the type of reach they’re looking for and free listings for your rental property online are just as straightforward as Craigslist and Facebook. While Apartment Finder focuses on budget renters, Apartment Home Living specializes in matching tenants to the right lifestyle. Combined with the versatility of ForRent.com, the partnerships of Apartments.com form a significant advantage for anyone looking to post a rental property.
Apartments.com has exciting niche affiliations as well. With support from Apartamentos.com, marketing your property in a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood is a breeze while other affiliations are geared towards senior living, college students, and corporate housing. Apartments.com can be a great option for upscale property, although its versatile network and services accommodate the full spectrum of rentals.
With plenty of traffic overall and name recognition, Rent.com is another enticing option for landlords to post their rental property online. Although Rent.com has a reputation for being particularly great for apartments and condo units, it also has plenty to offer for anyone renting out a house. For any landlord managing multiple properties, Rent.com is certainly worthy of consideration and virtual tours also can give a landlord an edge on finding a tenant.
Marketing your rental property online can be an involved and time-consuming process. Your best option is to find a service that will syndicate and market your listing across multiple platforms. This allows you to create your listing once or twice, rather than having to re-create for each platform. It is also essential that you have a great description of your rental property.