Property Management: 5 DIY ways to better qualify your rental leads

DIY Propery ManagementThe search for high quality, stable tenants can seem daunting.

There is no shortage of tips for a DIY approach to property management of which this post with help you with, however there is no beating the avenues an industry professional can take to promote your property. Here are a few reasons to hire a dedicated property manager.

However, it’s still very possible to take a do-it-yourself approach to finding tenants and here’s some advice.

Smart Marketing

Since reaching qualified tenants is basically a numbers game, you need to advertise where you’re most likely to get results. Make sure to take advantage of your company website as a first step. You’ll have complete control to highlight your properties with no listing restrictions. Your own site also gives you the chance to present the personal touch and let potential renters know why they should work with you.

Other sources of free marketing include sites such as Craigslist, Trulia and HotPads. These sites require an investment of time to create a new entry for each property on every site, but they can generate a lot of attention. In a recent survey, landlords claimed that 20-30 percent of all their leads came from Craigslist. One thing to keep in mind is that due to the high volume on these sites, you’ll want to repost daily to keep your listing from getting lost in the crowd.

If you are willing to pay a fee for a more-aggressive marketing approach, sites such as Zillow Pro,, or Lovely, may be useful. These sites receive a lot of traffic and can provide you with high quality leads. Do so research to find out which sites are strongest in your location. You should also explore local listing services such as newspaper classifieds, military or student housing sites, and any other services that are part of your local market.

Request Tenant Referrals

Offering a rent credit or gift card for successful referrals can be an easy way to get solid leads from existing tenants. You’re essentially encouraging others to give you free marketing by recommending your property. And statistics show that potential renters are twice as likely to sign a lease if friends or family recommended the property.

The Importance of Prescreening Tentants

Asking a few upfront questions before scheduling a viewing appointment can help you avoid wasting time on tenants who aren’t a good fit. Ask tenants about their space requirements, the number of people who will be moving in, and any special requirements or preferences they may have. Based on this information, you may mutually decide that the unit listed is not the right fit.

If this is the case, don’t get discouraged. Keep their information and build up a lead file that you can follow up on if a new property becomes available. If the prescreening seems positive, schedule a showing as soon as possible and then follow up with a reminder of the appointment.

Track Advertising Conversion Rates

As you try different combinations of free and paid marketing approaches, the most important thing is to track your results. Include all the standard useful details in your listings such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the leasing term and cost, square footage, pet policy, and any amenities. Other than this basic information, experiment with creating descriptions and headlines and see which ones get better response rates. And don’t forget to include multiple high-quality photos of the interior and exterior.

Customer Service Follow Through

From the first phone call or email query to your follow-up contact after a viewing appointment, you have multiple chances to make a good impression and attract the best potential renters.

If the lead seems solid based on your prequalifying discussion, set up a showing during the call to get the ball rolling. Always show up to the meeting with an application and extra pens in hand, ready to move the process forward. The goal is not to be high pressure, but to be organized and prepared to act quickly when the situation is right.

This makes you look professional and instill confidence in your leads.