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How to Write an Effective Property Listing

EJF Real Estate Services - Thursday, March 25, 2021

The only way to eliminate a vacancy is to list your rental and find a new resident. However, merely putting a few details and quick photos together to post online won't deliver the quality renter you need to maximize your rental income. 

Writing effective property listings is both an art and a science. The "science" includes the correct details and critical facts to make your listing legal and fair to all applicants. The "art" requires the right mix of compelling photos and storytelling to help your listing stand out on search sites and generate plenty of interest.

How can investors create high-quality listings to attract the best residents for their DC rowhomes for rent? Follow our expert property management insights!

Right Facing For Rent Real Estate Sign In Front of HouseThe "Science"

Every listing must include the "nuts and bolts" that tell a potential renter the must-know facts about your property. These details must also be clear about the criteria required to qualify for your property. 

It's not technically "science." However, these are essential "data" elements to set up your listing while following the laws for a fair screening and selection process. These details also help potential renters know if your DC rental is right for them. 

Property Details

What do renters need to know about your property? Your listing should include:

  • Square footage
  • Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Parking details
  • Heating and cooling information
  • Pets or "no pet" policy
  • School districts
  • Location details

With this information, potential renters get an idea about the size and location of your DC rowhomes for rent and if a property is a good fit for their needs—but don't stop with these details.

Rental Requirements

Let potential renters know how to send in an application and what's required to qualify for the home. Your listing should include the monthly rent amount and requirements for any fees and the security deposit amount. 

Criteria can include minimum income requirements, a minimum credit score, and a prior rental history with no evictions. Helping potential renters understand what can qualify (or deny) them from your property—while following Fair Housing regulations—helps investors attract the most qualified renters.

The "Art" 

What will renters love about your rental? What sets it apart from similar homes in the area? There's no need to give a lengthy description of the in-demand features of your rental. However, a checklist of details won't win anyone over. Your listing needs visuals to show off the rental's best looks and a story to help potential residents picture themselves in your property. 

Tell (and Show) a Story

A brief description of the home and surrounding neighborhood help make your property more appealing to applicants. Let them know what they're missing if they don't get to live in your DC rowhomes for rent.

  • Describe the yard, neighborhood, and nearby resources like restaurants, shopping, parks, and schools. 
  • Use professional-quality photos to help every feature stand out and "wow" potential renters
  • Highlight new appliances, improvements, and other in-demand amenities that DC renters want

If your property seems boring and out-of-date, prospective new residents will scroll by your listing. A potential renter should learn just enough about your property to understand what it takes to qualify, intrigue them, and encourage them to book a showing.

Man Selecting New House On Laptop At HomeBe Accurate

While telling an engaging story and using high-quality photos (and the best angles) are critical aspects of a compelling listing, make sure everything is accurate. Exaggerating the size of a room, editing pictures to hide flaws, or giving inaccurate details can discourage renters when they see that the property in person doesn't match the online description. 

Be sure to check your listing for typos and grammar errors, too. You might have the best rental property in DC and a compelling listing to go with it. However, a listing fills with mistakes, and poor grammar can turn quality renters away. 

Review your listing before posting to online rental listing sites and check for:

  • An accurate address and location description
  • Correct spelling throughout
  • Updated rental and fee amounts (if you adjusted the rate based on recent rental market research)
  • A working link to apply and book a showing

Communicating the quality of your DC rowhomes for rent starts with the rental listing. If renters see a property description with too many errors and broken links, they might assume your property suffers from a lack of quality care, also. 

A DC Property Manager Delivers Quality Listings and Renters

We know that reducing vacancy times and finding better residents starts with a quality listing for your DC rowhomes for rent. With our experience, we accurately describe your property, use professional photos, and tell a story that attracts quality potential residents.

EJF Real Estate Services also ensures that your listing and screening process follows the law to avoid discrimination claims. From researching the ideal rental price to leasing and maintaining rentals, we help investors experience better residents and more income through their real estate investments. 

Learn more about preparing for new renters with our free Makeready Checklist.