How to Identify the Right Audience for Your Rental Listings
Where and how you place your rental listings matters.
Even if you have the best listings in town, if you aren’t reaching your target audience, you won’t generate applicants or build interest in your properties.
So how do you know where to target your rental listings? The first step is to identify the right audience. If you know who you want to reach, you can better extrapolate where those renters are likely to see your advertisements and engage with your listings.
Remember that you aren’t surrendering a portion of the market by narrowing your audience. You can still post your listings on wide-reaching sites like Apartments.com and Zillow. However, by carefully tailoring your social media marketing and using language that appeals to your target demographic, you can generate more applicants that you are ultimately likely to accept.
Here are a few tips for identifying the right audience for your rental listings.
Identify your target demographic.
When you visualize the perfect tenant, who comes to mind? Is it a young professional? Responsible graduate student? A small family?
Picturing your ideal tenant will help you decide on a target demographic for your listings. You may want to consider age or generation, lifestyle, education, experience, or work as factors that play into your perfect tenant.
Remember that narrowing your target demographic does not mean deciding who you will or won’t accept applications from. Choosing a target demographic is not the same thing as discriminating against applicants. Instead, you’re choosing a direction to help you write listings that will attract suitable tenants.
Ask applicants how they found you.
Another way to determine your target demographic is to ask applicants how they found you. This can be as simple as adding a question to your rental application.
Did your renters primarily find you via your company website? Did they browse your photos on social media or get a recommendation from a friend?
By comparing this data with demographic data, you can determine how your tenants find you. For instance, if your best tenants said they found you via social media, perhaps increasing your followers on Facebook or Instagram would be the fastest way to generate more applicants like them.
Feedback from tenants is the most direct way to find out what you’re doing right in your advertising and continue those practices.
Find out what makes you unique.
As a follow-up question, you can also ask applicants what initially attracted them to your properties. Was it your pet policy? Certain amenities? The price or location? What made you stand out from the competition?
Once you have this information, you can decide which of these features to emphasize in your listings to attract more of the kinds of tenants you want to rent your property.
If the price was the determining factor for many tenants, do some market research before making significant changes. Find out what your competitors are charging and what price will keep you competitive while still being reasonable for your business.
Consider your location.
Lastly, consider the location of both your properties and your target demographic. If your properties are located near a university, for instance, you’re likely to get a lot of student applicants. If your properties are downtown, it’s more likely that your properties are near working professionals or commuters.
Sometimes, it’s most lucrative to choose a convenient target population. For your properties near universities, well, you’re bound to get student applicants anyway. Why not advertise those units as student housing?
If your properties are in the downtown environment, find out who frequents the businesses in the area. Do you notice any patterns? Would that population want to live close to their favorite restaurants? Capitalizing on these patterns can help you use the right language in your listings to attract the best tenants.
Audience Targeting for Rental Marketing Success
Pinpointing an audience for your rental listings is highly beneficial for your business. With a narrow focus and persuasive ads, you can attract the tenants you want and generate interest in your properties. Tools like listing syndication and property management software for landlords can help you achieve these goals even faster with automation. Coupled with audience targeting, these tools are your best resources for rental marketing success.