Easy Rental Real Estate Marketing Ideas for the Busy Landlord

Real estate and rental marketing includes advertising, branding, reputation management, and networking. Every landlord and investor should know how to engage positively with reviews, leverage networking opportunities for growth, and combine modern and traditional marketing strategies.

You’re a busy landlord and now more than ever your time is a precious commodity. The good news is that you don’t need to draft a complex and expensive marketing plan to incorporate a few good strategies quickly.

Before running out to interview real estate marketing companies or spend too much time and money on marketing resources, check out these quick and easy (and often free) rental real estate marketing ideas to spotlight your business and vacancies.

Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Whether a property management company or a private landlord, drafting and posting a thoughtful vacancy listing is just good business, although much thought usually goes into a rental listing, marketing covers so much more than a vacancy post.  

Real estate marketing includes advertising, branding, reputation management, and networking. Check out the below for quick and easy real estate marketing ideas to save you time and money. 

One – Rental Real Estate Advertising

You have vacancies to fill, property management services to sell to owners, or both. Advertising directly promotes an available service. 

Don’t Wait for a Vacancy
Way before you get a notice that a tenant is moving, review your listing and your website so you are ready. A good property management software allows you to keep your listing up-to-date so that it only takes a few clicks to get it out to syndicated rental listing websites. 

Better yet, consider a property management software that has a built-in lead system. That will allow you to post your properties on a website and manage leads year-round. Having a waitlist of interested prospective tenants at your fingertips may save you time posting and managing vacancy listings. 

Your Words Matter
Make sure your listing not only fits the market and highlights the property and amenities to attract good tenants, but also complies with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) anti-discrimination laws. 

Make it Picture Perfect
After a thorough cleaning, before you take pictures be sure to open all the window blinds and turn on all the lights. Especially in this day and age when most house-hunting happens virtually, your pictures need to stand out. Bright pictures will showcase the unit and set up apart from the competition. 

Two – Property Management Branding

Branding is is the intersection of advertising and reputation. It sets your identity apart from every other landlord or property management company. And it speaks to your core business goals and character which builds trust. 

Visual Branding
Whether you use pictures of you and/or your properties, a logo, or both, make sure to be unique and stand out from the crowd. It’s best not to use stock photos or a generic logo. You can hire a graphic design student or freelance designer fairly inexpensively. Check out or post to collage job boards, craigslist, or fivr.com to ask for help. 

Put it in Writing
First, think about your email signature. Does it list your website and social media accounts (see below for more on those)? Do you have a slogan? Have you added your logo? Your email signature is an extension of your brand that makes you memorable and a free advertising and branding space.

Think carefully about your written material, even emails, and choose a font and font size that not only matches your company persona but also makes it easy to read for your audience.

Three – Physical and Online Presence

Online Presence
Your website is an extension of you, your business, and your brand. If you don’t have a website, there is no better time than now. There are very simply website creation tools these days for even the least tech-savvy among us. If your property management software doesn’t provide a free website creation tool, here are a few places to turn to for help: 

  • Wix.com
  • Weebly.com
  • GoDaddy.com
  • EnomCentral.com
  • Sites.Google.com

And more.

Property Appearance
Have you let your apartment complex landscaping get a little unruly? Are garbage bins hidden or overflowing with debris? Your property appearance reflects your brand. Decide what your brand stands for and maintain that in your core objectives. A well-maintained property tells your tenants, owners, and the community what your brand stands for — if not, it may negatively impact your reputation. 

Four – Reputation Management

Unless you put yourself out there, you’re basically all dressed up with nowhere to go. Instead of shelling out advertising dollars for listings and ads, have tenants and owners seek you out with these real estate marketing ideas to build your reputation. 

Add your Business to Online Listing Pages
Consider getting your business listed on local sites such as:
Local.com, Yelp.com, Yellowpages.com, Bing local, and Google local

Create Online Social Accounts
Some of the most popular social networks are
LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. In Facebook you can create a business page, a community page,  and/or group.

Answer all Positive Reviews
84% of those that read positive reviews consider them as trustworthy as getting a recommendation from a friend. That’s how important your positive reviews are to your business. So, remember to reply to your positive reviews with thought and gratitude. How you speak to someone in these public forums speaks volumes about who you are, what others can expect, builds trust, and helps develop your good reputation. 

Answer all Negative Reviews
The same advice applies, answer every negative review and comment with grace and gratitude. How you respond to negative feedback makes a world of difference, building trust. There will always be trolls who harbor ill or are disgruntled no matter what you say or do as a landlord – but how you respond will spotlight your character and overall reputation.

Other Reputation Building Ideas
Start a blog with a comment section, write guest posts for other blogs, or become a guest speaker.

Five – Network to Build Your Rental Business

One great way to fill vacancies or add to your owner portfolio is by networking. Just being personable, engaging, and in-the-know might keep your units full and grow your business much faster (and without cost) than advertising tactics. 

One of the best rental real estate marketing tips out there is to meet other property managers and property management companies. Reach out and suggest a lead-sharing partnership to refer leads when you have no vacancies or aren’t a match for a potential tenant. 

Another way to get referrals is to network with real estate agents and brokers. If you are a property management company, it’s a great way to gain new owners under your management group. If a private landlord, there are many reasons someone selling their home may be looking to downsize to a rental. Real estate agents are in the know and can be a great resource for your business growth. 

Other ways to network: 

  • Volunteer in your community
  • Answer questions on online forums 
  • Join a Facebook group 
  • Comment on related blogs 
  • Teach a community class 

Six – Old School Real Estate Marketing Ideas

You might not be ready to build a website or hop into the online social scene. Or maybe you’re new to landlording and property management. In either case, you may not know about some old-school real estate marketing ideas that are inexpensive and easy to try. 

  • Place an ad in the local newspaper.
  • Order yard signs and/or banners to catch the eye of walk and drive-by traffic. 
  • Create a flier to pass out and/or put in a holder outside your office for self-serve. 
  • Post vacancies on community bulletin boards.
  • Create a referral program and offer a gift card for a successful referral.

Tip: Some property management software can create a simple flier from your online listings. 

Rental Real Estate Marketing Wrap-Up

From creating a great tenant or owner newsletter to managing your online reputation, it’s all about connection and communication to present yourself, your business, and your properties in the best possible light. It doesn’t have to take too much time or money, just a little proactive planning and management.

This article was originally published in July 2020 and has since been updated.