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How to Get Started with Digital Rental Advertising

Without effective advertising, you won’t be able to find great tenants to fill your units. 

Traditionally, landlords advertised their properties with newspaper ads, flyers, and yard signs. In the 2020s, however, these are no longer the best methods of property management marketing. The vast majority of renters these days search for properties online.

With that being said, here’s everything you should know when getting started with digital rental advertising.

Create Your Listing

Before you advertise your property listing, you need to make sure that the listing itself is appealing. Every listing is comprised of three components: the headline, photos, and the description.

The headline is the first thing renters will see. As such, it should contain the most important information about your property in a single line. A good headline will include the price, number of beds/baths, the type of building, the neighborhood, and the best feature. 

Here’s an example: “$1,000 — 1 Bed/1Bath Apartment in Downtown Cincinnati with Beautiful Skyline View.”

After a renter sees a headline that catches their eye, the next thing they’ll look at is photos. For most renters, pictures are the deciding factor when it comes to choosing properties to move forward with.  For this reason, you need to make sure you include good photos of your property. Here are some tips:

  • Use natural lighting
  • Upload high-quality files
  • List important rooms first
  • Include floor plans

You don’t need the highest quality equipment. Smartphones these days take great photos. The main thing is to make your property look good yet authentic.

Finally, your listing’s description is where you can include more detailed information about your property. This includes layout, the unit’s condition, a list of rooms, exact dimensions, amenities, exact location, lease terms, pet policy, and your contact information. Your description should be concise and easy to follow.

Where to List Your Property

Once you’ve created your property listing, you need to know where to market it. The most popular way that tenants look for rental properties these days is through listing sites online. While some listing sites require you to pay, many offer listing rental property for free.

Here are some of the most popular listing sites available to you:

  • Apartments.com – The number one listing site in the country. They offer free listings for all property types (not just apartments), and they syndicate to eight other sites in their network.
  • Zillow Property Manager – Perhaps the simplest site for landlords to use. Zillow reaches over one million renters per day and syndicates with Trulia and HotPads.com. After one free listing, Zillow charges $9.99 per listing per week.
  • Zumper – Another popular platform that’s free to use and syndicates to Facebook Marketplace, Walkscore, and PadMapper.
  • Craigslist – Though not originally intended for rental properties, Craigslist is a popular advertising site that many renters use, and it’s totally free.
  • Trulia – Best known for its mobile app, Trulia includes a breakdown of monthly costs and neighborhood crime mapping.
  • Airbnb – One of the best sites for short-term and vacation rentals. Posting listings is free.

While these are some of the most popular listing sites on the internet, there are a number of other sites out there where you can advertise your properties.

Use Listing Syndication

Although understanding where to advertise a rental property is important, you can save yourself a lot of time by using listing syndication. Listing syndication is a feature offered through most property management software platforms. 

Because listing syndication allows you to create a single listing that goes out to multiple sites, it makes managing the listings easier on you by consolidating everything to one location. This way, the odds are better you’ll find a renter from a larger pool of applicants.

Most importantly, listing syndication allows you to reach a wide pool of renters as fast as possible, which increases your chances of filling your vacancy quickly with a high-quality tenant. 


Trying to fill your units may at first seem like a daunting task. The good news is, with digital rental advertising, it’s easier and more convenient than ever before. By knowing how to create an appealing listing and where to market it, you’ll be filling your units with the tenants you want in no time.