Tim Collins from Student Rental Investing explains the art of writing a good ad to attract great student tenants.
We are getting to that time of year where students are beginning to think about where they are going to live in September, especially if they haven’t already got accommodation organized for the upcoming year. So you may be thinking:
-How do I stand out from all the other ads on Kijiji?
-What should I write to get the most attention for my ads on the off-campus housing web site?
-What resonates with the millennial generation?
Whichever type of website you’re going to advertise on, I suggest doing some research to see what your competition is like. On many sites you can see the date the advertisement was published and how many views it receives. This will help you in understanding what people are clicking on.
Great ads will typically contain the following information:
1. An interesting and catchy title.
If you use titles similar to everyone else’s you’ll blend in with the other ads. Stand out and be creative “This house includes free Kraft dinner on move in day” or “So close to college you can wake up late and still be first to class” – You get the idea, make it amusing and different to get more attention.
2. Key info on Location/ Availability/ House/ Transit
A short intro is fine “This Student Rental is located just a few hundred metres from the University. Less than a five minute walk and you're sat in your class starting your day!” After that, get to the point. Gen Y wants information clearly laid out which can be easily consumed. They don’t want be trudging through a romanticized description while trying to figure out if unlimited Internet is included. Use bullet points and be concise.
3. Take great pictures
As the famous quote goes “A picture speaks a thousand words” so this is a key component of your ad. If you see an ad with no pictures or ones of messy rooms, it’s sending a message to your potential tenants. It’s not easy to take new photographs when the rooms are occupied. At change over time, when the rooms have just been cleaned, take your pictures and then save them in a folder so they’re accessible for future use. If you really want to stand out shoot a video walkthrough. This can also allow for students to get a feel for the place prior to a showing.
Finally, make sure you are clear with your instructions of how to be contacted and the best way for people to engage with you. Not surprisingly, gen Y likes to text so if you are open to this write it on your ad. Set up a separate email and text number (they are available free online) so that you can batch your times to respond for maximum efficiency.
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