The way you advertise and market your rental property has a big impact on your success as a landlord and investor. The New York rental market is crowded and competitive, especially in Manhattan. You need to fight for the attention of your most promising tenants. You need to make sure your property stands out from all the others.
Good marketing means lower vacancy rates, which leads to higher returns and more immediate income. The way you advertise your rental home in New York also affects the types of tenants you’re attracting. When you want to place well-qualified residents in your property, you have to know where to find them.
We have a lot of experience leasing and managing rental properties below 34th Street and throughout Manhattan and New York City. We know that a strategic marketing plan is required, and we understand how to put one of those together.
Here are some of our best tips for smart rental property marketing in New York.
New York’s Rental Market Requires Move-In Ready Units
Don’t list a property prematurely. Before you can begin marketing your property, you have to make sure it’s ready for tenants to see it.
Make sure your property is in perfect condition. Tenants will notice the things that aren’t working, aren’t cleaned properly, or need deteriorating. Before you start taking marketing photos or scheduling showings, you’ll need to take care of any necessary repairs. You’ll also want to clean it professionally.
Sometimes, upgrades and updates will be necessary to keep it competitive on the market.
There may be a dozen tenants calling or messaging you every day, looking for information about your property. But, if they arrive and find the unit smells funny or hasn’t been painted or is in serious disrepair, they’re not going to move ahead or ask for an application.
Don’t list your property without getting it ready for the market.
A thorough walk-through of the property will help you decide what replacements, repairs, or updates will be necessary before the marketing begins. Schedule your vendors and get the work done as quickly as possible. Not only are you repairing the wear and tear of the last tenant, you’re also creating an inviting and attractive space for the new tenant.
Here’s where to focus your efforts when you’re getting your property ready for marketing photos, listings, and showings:
- Paint. If your paint seems to be faded, discolored, or chipping in sections, make sure you repaint the walls. Don’t just touch up; painting the whole wall will provide a uniform, fresh appearance.
- Floors. Carpets should not be stained, marked, torn, or faded. If they’re in good shape, clean them between tenants. If they look rough, replace them. You can also consider installing hard surface flooring, which tenants will appreciate because it’s attractive and easier to keep clean.
- Lighting. The home should be bright, well-lit, and full of light.
Make sure the common areas in the building and the property’s exterior are also looking good. Then, you can safely begin marketing the property. You want your prospective tenants to imagine themselves living there when they come for a showing. They can’t do that if it isn’t clean and empty.
Good Marketing Includes Accurate Pricing
If you think pricing isn’t part of marketing, you’re wrong.
The rental value you attach to your property will impact how quickly it’s rented, and what kind of tenants want to see it.
In New York, rental values change quickly, especially from neighborhood to neighborhood. There’s currently a demand for well-maintained rental properties in desirable buildings, and supply always seems pinched in this part of Manhattan. Rental values are climbing.
When you’re pricing your rental property, you need access to good data. Look at current rental listings in your immediate area to determine the average rental price you can charge given the condition of your specific property. Even better – talk to a New York property manager who has access to premium data that reflects what units rented for and how long they were on the market.
Naturally, you will want to earn as much as possible in monthly rent. Don’t leave money on the table because it will only take you longer to get that rental value up to meet the market demands. Beware of overpricing as well, however. It could take you longer to find a qualified tenant who is willing to pay that price.
Prepare to be flexible. If you list and market your home but very few people get in touch, it may be due to your pricing. Don’t waste time waiting for a tenant who is willing to pay that rent. Drop the price a bit and see if that generates any more interest.
Putting Together a Real Estate Listing for New York Rentals
The listing needs to be on point. It contains two important components: the photos and the description.
- How to Take Good Marketing Photos
New York tenants will look at photos first when they encounter your online listing. Be prepared.
Tenants might glance at your price to make sure it’s in their budget. They might check out the location. Then, they’re going to scroll through your photos. They’re going to zoom in on every detail and they’re going to forward those pictures to their friends.
Make sure the photos are fantastic.
They should be professional-level pictures, showing all the best features of your property.
You don’t necessarily have to hire a professional photographer (although it’s not a bad idea). Hopefully, you’re working with a New York property manager who understands the value and necessity of good marketing photos.
Photos should tell a story. They should connect the prospective tenant to your property on an emotional level. That’s the power of good real estate photography. Your photos will show off your property and all its best features. Maybe the kitchen is updated. Maybe the bathroom is larger than most. Show off the view and the details like upgraded appliances or hardwood and tile floors.
Every good marketing plan will include pictures of:
- The front of the building.
- The kitchen, including appliances and dining areas.
- Living and common areas.
- Bedrooms and bathrooms.
- Any upgrades and updates.
If you’re comfortable using video, consider making a walk-through video. This will help tenants get a feel for how the home is laid out, and it will be especially beneficial for tenants who may be moving into New York from outside the area.
- The Description Should Match the Photos
A detailed and accurate description should accompany your photos. Talk about the benefits of living in this property, and describe the neighborhood and its amenities as well. Is it close to a subway station? A gym?
Attention spans are short with today’s online scrollers. So, focus on some of the main points you want to get across. Talk about the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
Always mention that you’re willing to consider pets if you’re renting out a pet-friendly property. Including this in your marketing materials will attract a larger pool of potential renters. More than half of New York’s tenants own at least one pet. They’ll want to know you’re willing to welcome those animals into the home.
Your description should also include rental amount, security deposit amount, and when the home will be ready for move-in. Don’t forget your contact information. Let tenants know how to contact you for a showing appointment or to ask questions.
Where Should You Market Your Manhattan Rental Property?
You need to market your home on the sites and apps that tenants are using. In Manhattan, some of the most popular and well-trafficked sites include:
You need some good technology and software that will allow you to syndicate a single listing across dozens of sites, otherwise the marketing of your property will be rather labor intensive. If you don’t have access to the technology you need, contact a New York property management company. We can launch your listing across a number of websites in minutes.
However, online marketing and advertising is always the most effective way to generate interest in your property.
As you begin to have some interest from tenants, be responsive. Communication is a big part of your marketing plan. You can’t put the listing out there and then avoid answer calls and returning emails from people who are interested. Schedule showings proactively.
We know that marketing a rental property in New York can feel overwhelming, especially when the market is flooded with available properties and tenants have higher and higher expectations for what they want.
We can help. Please contact us at Krieger Property Management. We’re a full-service property management company in lower Manhattan serving SoHo, West Village, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, and Chelsea.