How to Create the Perfect Property Listing

We help hundreds of landlords to find new tenants every month. This starts with making sure the property ad attracts the maximum amount of interest from the right kind of people.

It’s easy to forget that the renter’s mind-set can be very different to that of the buyer. The renter is on Rightmove or Zoopla looking for a place to live; a home they can imagine moving in to tomorrow and getting on with their lives. The more your advertising answers that requirement for the type of people you’re looking for, the greater the number of quality enquiries you will get.

There are four key elements in a great property ad.

1. The Photos

When a renter is looking through their search results on Rightmove or Zoopla, the photos of your property allows them to visualise living there.

  • Do your photos let them to do that? If not, they’re unlikely to want to see any more
  • Is the lead photo of the room the tenant will spend the most time in (i.e. the kitchen or the living room)?

Once they’ve clicked through, the photos need to complete the picture.

  • Does the property have a “show home” look, allowing the renter to imagine living there?
  • Are there enough photos to allow the tenant to complete the picture?
  • Have you got photos of all of the rooms (rather than 6 of the new kitchen)?
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2. The Price

Know Your Market

Before deciding on a price the key is to know your market. Rightmove and Zoopla can provide you with all the information you need:

  • Look at how long properties have been advertised; which type of properties let the fastest and at what price?
  • Set up property alerts to keep abreast of other properties similar to yours coming onto the market
  • On Zoopla, look at the number of views similar properties are getting; which ones have performed well and why?

Know Your Price Bands

The way portals place property into price bands is an often overlooked issue. When tenants search for property on Rightmove, they choose a price range to search in.

On Rightmove the results from this search will be priced from the most expensive to the least (as a default). If your property is at the top of this price band it will be at the top of the list. If its 'on' the price where two price bands meet it will also appear in searches for both. Just like a Google search, many tenants won’t get the past the first page of results.

Don't Be Greedy

  • You may feel your pride and joy is worth £100 a week more than the average 2 bed flat in your postcode, but remember that is the market price. If you decide on a premium price be prepared for fewer enquiries and to wait longer for the right tenant. If it takes a month longer how long will it take you to recoup that month’s lost income?
  • Also, be careful with tenants prepared to pay the premium. Do they really appreciate the period features or do they have something to hide?
  • If you find enquiries are slower than expected, act fast. The longer your property is on at the higher price, the more money you may lose

3. The Summary

This is the description the renter sees in their search results. Therefore, its only job is to get their attention and make sure they click through to the full ad.

When you are writing the summary, the key questions to think about are:

  • What kind of tenants do you want and what they will be looking for? For example, if you are looking for families, focus on local schools and parks, if it’s a great commuter property then focus on the transport links. You may even want to say what type of tenant it would suit
  • What makes your property stand out from the crowd? Does it have generous sized rooms? Has it been recently been redecorated? Are you avoiding the standard letting agent clichés?
  • Are you trying to cram too much in? Remember every interested tenant will click through to the full description where you’ll have plenty of space to get all those details in

4. The Full Description

Once a tenant clicks through, you have the opportunity to wax lyrical about your rental.

  • Include everything that you feel may be relevant. Remember the type of tenants you’d prefer and prioritise the information most relevant to them
  • Don’t forget about the smaller details a tenant may really value. i.e. is it connected for satellite, cable and fibre broadband? Does it have a power shower? Does it have friendly neighbours?
  • Use the Key Features section. Don’t just highlight the property’s features, but key points about the local area and amenities. We also recommend you highlight that the landlord is dealing directly with enquiries. When we asked tenant this was an advantage for over 70% of them
  • People find bullet points easier to read. People reading on their mobile or tablet mobile on a train are likely only to read bullet points before requesting details or moving on. This makes the key features section critical, but also means you consider using bullet points in the full description
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