Real Estate Marketing Ideas, Single-Family Rentals

Ultimate Marketing Checklist for Your SFR Listing

By Emily Maracle Last Updated March 30, 2023 4 min read

The single-family housing market shows no sign of slowing down, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t devote time to finding the perfect tenants. 

While traditional marketing methods such as word of mouth and for-rent signs are beneficial, knowing how to creatively market your rental properties to your ideal tenants is vital. Single-family rental marketing strategies often differ from multi-family ones, even if you’re a seasoned rental property professional or listing agent. 

That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate checklist to ensure you market your single-family rental successfully, helping you close more deals in 2023. 

Download the checklist.

How to Prepare Your Listing

Review the neighborhood and area

Doing basic research on your market and reviewing its demographics can help ensure that your listing targets the right audience. 

If your single-family rental is located in an area with lots of outdoor space and dog parks, but you don’t allow pets—you likely won’t see many property leads. Similarly, if the rent of your property exceeds the area’s average income and rent, it will be a tough sell. 

Make any necessary updates or repairs

Preparing your listing is essential to ensure it’s move-in ready and photographable. You don’t want a qualified rental lead to show up and see chipped paint, dirty walls, or drywall holes. And the same goes for real estate photos. 51% of home buyers look online first, so first impressions are key. 

Clear any clutter

If a tenant is still in the SFR you’re looking to list, consider hiring a professional cleaner or previewing the space before picture day. 

It’s always helpful to collaborate with the current tenant and request that they declutter and tidy the space before real estate photos are taken. From there, a professional cleaner can clean the space. 

Any clutter, dirt, or mess won’t photograph well, giving potential tenants the wrong impression of the space or making it incredibly difficult to imagine themselves there. 

Consider virtual staging

If your single-family rental is vacant, you can stage it or include virtual staging to give clients an idea of the space. Whether you use virtual or traditional staging, helping potential tenants visualize themselves in the space and giving them a clear idea of the home’s layout and size can build more interest. 

However, keep your staging modest with thoughtful details—not everyone wants an eclectic-boho interior. 

Use a professional real estate photographer

It’s possible to take quality photos of your single-family rental if you have a DSLR, professional camera, or newer smartphone. But there’s more that goes into professional photography than the equipment. 

Professional real estate photographers have the skills and knowledge to make your listing shine. What might take you all day to get the perfect shots of your SFR could take a professional photographer an hour, meaning your listing is up and generating leads sooner. 

They also have insight into a rental property viewer’s wants and needs. While you may be able to sell a listing through verbal and written communication, they can sell it through artfully shot photos, requiring less work on your part. 

Craft the perfect listing description 

If you can’t effectively describe and sell your listing, you’re not likely to benefit from listing it! 

Potential tenants are unlikely to set up a showing or even inquire about the property if you have an ineffective listing description. Describing the property is vital, but only stating it’s a “3-bedroom, 2-bathroom ranch” isn’t doing you any favors. 

Think about the home’s unique features and points of interest in the area or community, and use descriptive adjectives that entice your target audience.  

Create a lead generation capture form

While having a website is the first step in targeting your ideal audience and generating property leads, you have to capture those leads. A lead gen capture form on your website gives you all the information you need to convert those interested. 

How to Market Your Listing

Know your audience 

A crucial part of any marketing strategy is knowing who you’re marketing to. The same goes for marketing rental properties. 

Currently, the target audience or market for most SFRs is Millennials and Gen Zers. As home prices have increased and potential homebuyers are outbid, many have moved on to the next best thing—renting. 

And since those looking to rent single-family homes have a similar profile to those looking to buy, your rental needs to appeal to them.

Use social media

A social media presence, or any type of online presence, will attract more of your target audience. As previously mentioned, Millennials and Gen Zers are comfortable with the internet and use it throughout their home search. 

Regularly posting on various social media accounts to show off available properties, share helpful tips, and engage with your local community is an easy and free way to connect with potential tenants. 

Offer a community 

Renting a single-family home is considered a long-term plan for most in the market. Just because they’re renting doesn’t mean they don’t want to make their house a home! Showing the best parts of what a community offers is a great way to promote your rental property. 

Have a website 

You’ve heard it a hundred times before, but the real estate market is shifting online. According to NAR’s 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trend Report, 95% of home buyers began the search for homes online, and only 19% contacted a real estate agent as their first step. The same can be assumed for those looking for single-family rentals. 

You’re missing out if you don’t have a website that showcases your listings and gets your name out to your target audience. 

Additionally, consider learning and using blogging and SEO tactics to further target those looking for rental properties. 

Post your listing online

While word of mouth, for-rent signage, and referrals are still effective ways to find tenants, you’re missing out if you’re not listing your single-family rental online. 

Managing rental properties means your target audience is Gen Z and Millennials, and research shows they prefer to find and vet a home online before they choose to commit to a walkthrough of the property. So, if you aren’t listing your property online, you’re losing out on potential leads. 

Posting on sites like Zillow, Apartment List, Zumper, and PadMapper is an easy way to get eyes on your rental. 

Download our Ultimate Marketing Checklist for Your Single-Family Rental

Ready to rock your single-family rental listings? Download the PDF checklist to make marketing your SFR listings easier than ever!