As renters continue to turn to social media networks at every step of the rental process, it's essential for landlords to use top online rental marketplaces. Learn how to craft an irresistible rental ad that gets your property rented fast. Make sure to screen all rental applicants with online tenant background checks from a reputable service like SmartMove.
Like all business trends, rental advertising evolves. As an independent landlord, you need to move with the times - or else risk getting left behind. Pew Research reports that 85% of Americans owned smartphones in 2021. With immediate information, online reviews, and rental search tools that update in real time, it’s no wonder tenants are abandoning traditional rental marketing tactics like real estate signage and newspaper ads.
As renters continue to turn to their social networks at every step of the rental process, it’s essential to find the top online rental marketplaces and best rental listing websites to advertise your property.
A listing is only as good as its ability to spark interest in your property. Once you choose one or more listing sites from the roundup below, learn how to craft an irresistible rental ad that gets your property rented fast. Professional-quality photos or 360° virtual walkthroughs will also help increase interest and save time by giving renters the chance to window-shop before requesting a walk-through.
However, even if your prospective renter likes the property (and you like the renter), don’t be too hasty to turn over the keys. Evicting an ill-fitting tenant easily costs landlords thousands of dollars and often drags on for several stressful weeks—or even months. Reduce the risk of legal trouble, financial duress, and endless headache. Make sure to screen all rental applicants with online tenant background checks from a reputable service like SmartMove. You’ll get helpful reports that show you your applicant’s past and their likelihood of paying on time—crucial information that helps prevent your real estate business from becoming obsolete.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first step to attract great tenants is a great listing. Once you have a sparkling rental ad, here’s where you can post it:
Top Sites to List Your Rental Property
The internet offers several inexpensive and easy websites for you to list your rental property. However, not all are created equally. SmartMove did the research and determined that the six sites below are the most popular, effective, and user-friendly for listing rental property.
- Apartments.com - With 13 million unique visitors and exposure on Apartment Finder and Apartment Home Living, the chances are good you'll receive a response to your listing.
- Zillow - Ideal for landlords with less than 50 units, Zillow Rental Manager is a favorite because you can create detailed listings and distribute them to 26 partner sites, including Trulia, HotPads and MSN Real Estate.
- Trulia - If applicants are registered with Zillow and Trulia, you'll see useful renter contact details, such as personal income, right from the start.
- HotPads - HotPads created the first-ever map-based search tool and is popular among the corporate set when looking to relocate to high-end digs.
- Craigslist - It's hard to beat an online marketplace with 50 billion pageviews each month. Be aware that scammers may use this site to post fake ads, and renters will have to sort through fake listings to find your real one. Despite a utilitarian design and possibility of fraud, the traffic alone makes Craigslist a great option.
- Facebook - Marketplace has become a major player for rental ads. You can add 360-degree photos and, in some cases, show your listing on Oodle. You can also connect with your neighborhood through Facebook groups or through your own social media pages.
Other Helpful Rental Property Listing Sites:
Listing your rental property online is a great way to attract high-quality renters. The more websites you use to list your property, the larger pool of renters you have to choose from. Here are 20 other sites to know about:
- Apartment List - With five million monthly visits, Apartment List powers the rental section of realtor.com. It operates on a month-to-month contract. You pay an additional fee when a renter signs a lease.
- Apartment Finder - Featuring map-based search tools and an integrated customer portal, this site can be a helpful place to find renters.
- Apartment Home Living - The lifestyle match search and local living guides are unique tools that may help you find the perfect tenant for your rental.
- Oodle - Similar to Craigslist, Oodle offers a whole array of classified ad listings including rentals. You can also publish listings directly to your Facebook and Twitter pages.
- Rentals.com - This site focuses on rentals for families, such as single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses.
- RentDigs.com - This free listing service allows you to post multiple pictures and receive stats on how often your ad is viewed. It also automatically pushes your listing out to Oodle and Trovit.
- Rent.com - This site targets first-time renters and is focused at the 18-25 crowd. It's ideal if your rental is in a college town or an area with a high percentage of young adults.
- Nextdoor.com - This popular social networking site connects you with your neighbors and neighborhood of your rental property. Nextdoor also has a local real estate section currently available in select markets.
- ByOwner.com - You can include up to 30 photos, create printable brochures and receive unlimited tenant leads with this site.
- RealRentals.com - Listings are seen by thousands of visitors and are syndicated to sites like Apartments.com, Oodle, Rent Jungle and Trovit.
- RentalAds.com - This site is part of a network of rental property websites, so your listing will receive exposure to over seven million people.
- Sublet.com - If you have a furnished rental that you need to fill on a short-term basis or want to help your tenant find a subletter, you can list it here for free.
- Airbnb - This behemoth focuses on short-term rentals, which you may consider as an option if you need to fill a vacancy while searching for a long-term renter.
- Walk Score - Walkability is listed among the top features important to both millennials and baby boomers. Over 30,000 sites use Walk Score services. They are now a part of Redfin.
- Apartment Guide - Geared specifically toward apartments, although you can list single-family homes, Apartment Guide lets you renew your listing with just one click, so you don't have to re-enter your information even if your ad has expired.
- My New Place - This site has a great design and features trending cities and pet-friendly apartments.
- People with Pets - If you welcome tenants who want to move in with their furry friends, you can market directly to them for a yearly fee.
- RentCafe - This site only allows listings directly from property managers. Renters can continue to use RentCafe throughout their lease to manage their space, including scheduling maintenance, and renewing a lease.
- RentHop - Their 'HopScore' assesses the quality of each rental unit based on its listing quality, manager reputation, and location.
- Zumper - This site, and its accompanying apps, target people looking to simplify the rental process. They match renters with local 'rental experts' who will schedule and confirm tours.
List, Screen with SmartMove, and Lease-It's That Simple
Times are changing. Just as renters are taking their apartment searches online, scammers are becoming more digitally sophisticated, too. Your strategically placed rental ad may bring in a pile of great-looking applicants, but it could also mean letting potential fraudsters slip through the cracks and into your unit.
Whether you attract two applicants or 200, help identify great tenants with fast and reliable online tenant screening through SmartMove. Backed by trustworthy data from TransUnion, millions of landlords use SmartMove to get a better understanding of a rental applicant's eviction risk-a critical consideration when it comes to protecting your livelihood.
Follow online advertising with online screening. Get lightning-fast, on-demand FCRA compliant eviction history reports, criminal background checks, and even proprietary tenant credit reports that are proven to better predict the applicant's ability to pay the rent better than a traditional credit report. Quick, easy, online reports provide greater insight into your renter's past behavior and financial habits, which can help protect your investment from potentially devastating outcomes.
Don't let your rental business stagnate due to iffy renters. Bring your rental screening game up to speed with SmartMove.
Great Reports. Great Convenience. Great Tenants.
*Comscore Media Metrix, May 2021