Tips for Advertising Your Rental Home in Houston
You have gone through the “legal” legwork and have our home “make ready” so now it is time to get a renter in the home. To do this, you will need to decide how much your rental property is going to rent for, as well as where and how you are going to advertise the home for rent.
How do you decide what to charge for rent? Try Craigslist or other local listings for rental rates of comparable properties. The classifieds sections of local news websites can be a great place to search. Checking with online vendors such as Rent Range may be an option, too. Remember that what you think your home is worth (what will cover the mortgage, etc.) most times is not the same as what the market will bear.
When determining security deposit amounts make sure you understand the Texas laws with regard to maximum amounts. Many States limit the amount of security deposit you can charge for your rental property to cover damages from a renter. In Texas, there is no limit to the amount a landlord can charge for security deposit. Although, there are strict laws regarding when it must be returned. Determining market rental rates in Houston and appropriate deposit laws will take just about an hour of your day.
Once the market rent and security deposit laws have been determined, it is time to post the property for rent. Taking photos and/or video may seem like a great idea, but make sure you take the time to get the right shots. Remember you are selling a renter to live in your rental property, and dark, ambiguous, or ill-centered (sideways, upside down) photos will not show your property in the best light. If you don’t take the time to get the right shots, renters could be scared away before even seeing the property. When taking photos in the bathrooms, for instance, make sure the toilet seat is down and you are not a “ghost” in the mirror. If the room has a large window that brings in natural light, take the photo with your back to the window to capture the room filled with light. Remember, too, a bedroom is more than a window and a closet, so ensure that you get full pictures showing the entire bedroom. The photos you take should entice you or your family and friends to want to see more. Once you have the right shots, use an online editor to ensure the photos will show your property in the way that you see it while attracting renters that will want to live in the home. Taking quality, well-lit photos and/or video and editing will take about four hours of your time.
Dark photos can take the appeal out of your property.
Well-lit pictures make your property more attractive and will result in more calls.
Now that you have photos and/or video of the home, prepare an advertisement that speaks to the renter. Try to steer clear of writing in such a way that you are advertising “who” you want to live in the home instead of advertising the home and its amenities. List appliances and utilities that will be included, as well as restrictions and special neighborhood highlights. While Craigslist is still widely used for rental advertisements, look into paid advertisements in local sources and online if your home is not getting “hits” requesting a showing or application. Writing your advertisement and placing it online will take about one hour of your time. Paid advertisements range from $35 and up.
On a final note, do not forget to place a for rent sign at the home that conforms with your neighborhoods standards. If you are in a common interest community, for instance, there may be restrictions on the type and placement of signs. Some common interest communities may require a post sign, similar to those used by realtors. Obtaining and placing a for rent sign will take about one to two hours of your time. Many rental signs are inexpensive, but a post sign, can cost $75 and up.
With the right preparation, advertising your home for rent properly will pay off with the rental rate you wish to achieve in Houston, and even the possibility of a tenant that treats the home not like a rental, but truly a place to be proud of.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.