Advertising vacant units or paying a leasing agent to assist you has increasingly become more expensive. Many landlords have been able to save money by utilizing social media to advertise their vacant spaces. Some social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, can serve as a great resource for you as a landlord. These sites, not only provide a free space to advertise, but can also provide a free screening tool.
If you as a landlord have a company name or an LLC, it is a great idea to make a Facebook account for your company. You can advertise your units, show pictures and videos of your units, and you can include testimonials from current or previous tenants who have had a successful experience working with you. By doing this, you will be able to build your brand as well as a positive reputation, attracting quality tenants. If you don’t have an LLC name as a landlord, you can still advertise your vacant units on your personal social media accounts. Advertising your unit in Facebook’s “Marketplace” section is another free and effective way to market your vacant unit.
In addition to advertising your rental properties on social media, you can also use these sites as an effective screening tool. You will be surprised by the amount of information you can gather about a potential tenant by simply scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter account. I recently worked with an investor who has a strict “no pets” policy at her properties. Her relatively new tenants signed off on a lease that specified this policy, in fact, they initialed next to the clause. After a few signs that something was not quite right with these particular tenants, the owner came across some pictures on Facebook of her tenants and their dogs. Of course, this was in violation of the lease, and the owner took necessary action. This was a valuable lesson to us. As a few quick clicks through social media prior to accepting their application would have verified they were not the tenants this owner desired.
Locating and screening your tenants is as useful as it is a cost-effective method of using social media. Social media can also add value in other areas for you as an investor. Social media websites are a great way of connecting and networking with other landlords. These platforms are helpful in learning from the experiences of other landlords. As well as an effective way of staying current on laws, rules and regulations for your particular state, city, or county where your properties are located.