As you know, my friend – Jeffery Taylor – writes fantastic landlord tips each month. Here is what he has to say this month…
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RENTAL FLYERS
With the growing popularity and effectiveness of online advertising, some of the “old school” methods of advertising are being underutilized. In a time when vacancies are harder to fill, don’t forget about RENTAL FLYERS, which is one more tool in the landlord’s tool-box to fill a vacancy.
Here are some of the places that have been suggested by other landlords on where to consider posting rental flyers to advertise a “nearby” rental. However, please read the notes following the list, on what you need to know so that posting rental flyers will produce results and not be a big waste of time.
*hair and nail salons
*college bulletin boards
*nearby public or private schools
*veterinarian offices (if you accept pets)
*gyms and recreation centers
A couple of very important points regarding posting flyers. In many cases you have to have permission to post flyers at the suggested location. The bigger point however is that whether you need permission or not, you should only want to post where you have permission AND the SUPPORT of a key contact at that location. Posting flyers effectively is NOT about running around town looking for any empty board you can stick a flyer when no one is looking.
The trick is that in all the places where you seek to post flyers, is to develop a great working relationship with someone at that location who will not only allow you to post flyers but will point others at the location to your flyer and refer them to your properties. The emphasis here is on the RELATIONSHIPS WITH KEY CONTACTS. The flyer is just an off-shoot of that. Over the years I can’t tell you the number of rentals I have filled simply because of the relationships I’ve had with key contacts at schools and the like who have referred residents to me.
For all landlords with just one or two rentals or several, I want to suggest that they leverage the relationships they have already developed within their neighborhoods and encourage referrals from those sources. Again, the flyer is just one tool in the referral mix. The emphasis is not the flyer in the teacher’s lounge for example, that only serves as a small reminder and credibility to the relationship developed. Because the first contact of the prospect is usually not with the flyer, but from a referral with the key contact at a particular location, who you, the landlord, have established a relationship with.
Take time to create a well-designed flyer and print your rental flyers ON A GOOD COLOR PRINTER. One of the reasons many landlords should NOT use a flyer is because their flyers look cheap and not professional. Using a black and white flyer is too old school. And combine the old-school advertising method of rental flyers with new-school online advertising. Always include your website address on your rental flyer. And YES, all landlords should have a website that they use in their rental business.
HOW TO AVOID NO-SHOWS
1) Ask any prospective resident to give you a call one hour ahead of time to confirm that they are still coming and so that you can make sure that you have a manager there to meet them… The “manager” in the above script is “you”, but I found it comes off much more professional to say it that way. If you don’t get a call a hour ahead of time, you don’t go to show.
2) When someone gives me a time, even it’s a time that will work for me, I still like responding back by saying that we have a appointment opening at ____________ (time which is perhaps 15 minutes from the time they suggested), will that work for you? This gives more of the impression that your time and the appointment is important and their opportunity to see it should not be missed.
ALL PHONE NUMBERS ARE NOT AS THEY APPEAR
A landlord recently shared on the MrLandlord.com Q&A forum how a prospective resident was receiving financial assistance for rent and deposit from two local agencies in the area. In tough times, this type of thing will be happening more and more often. The landlord read the official-looking documents and even called the phone numbers provided and everything was indeed verified. The problem came when after the residents moved in and the landlord called back to the agencies, no one at the actual agencies had ever heard of the resident. The landlord is now in the process of evicting the resident.
Here was the problem and the scam. The phone numbers provided on the official looking documents were merely a friend of the resident. Therefore a tip to all landlords: When verifying information on a rental application regarding landlords, employers or even a government agency, it is wise NOT to assume that the number listed on the application or paperwork provided by the applicant is correct.
Look up the phone numbers yourself in the phone book or with one of the free internet phone listing services. For example, if the employer of a rental applicant is a local business. I use the internet (or the phone book if it happens to be nearby) to get the employer’s number and I call the number listed. They can then put me in contact with the supervisor or whomever is needed (or even the right branch or department) for verification.
Likewise with any agency offering assistance to prospective residents, you, the landlord, look up the number to call and verify. Do not go by any number on paperwork given you. Though what occurred to the landlord in this story was not a good thing, we are so thankful to her for sharing the story with the rest of us so we can learn from that experience.
These tips are shared on MrLandlord.com website and in the Mr. Landlord newsletter from website contributors and real estate authors featured on the site. To receive a free sample of the Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative website at MrLandlord.com, and learn how you can receive a free landlording book.
Hope this helps all the landlords who read this blog. I have used many of the tips Jeffery has given over the years and he has saved me thousands…thanks Jeffery!
Have a Great Day,
BTW – order a copy of my best seller – SHORT SALE PRE-FORECLOSURE INVESTING – today at www.amazon.com