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Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students

Potential Reasons Why Landlords May Not Be Getting Rental Inquiries From Students

First thing’s first, don’t panic! Often the reasons for a lack of rental inquiries are easily diagnosed and can be remedied without much difficulty. This blog post will highlight some of the key reasons why a rental advertisement may not be performing well and how it can be tweaked, with the specific goal to increase call volumes and tenant inquiries.


Before placing a rental advertisement, the first step every landlord and property manager should take is to do some basic research into the rental market. It’s important to understand what the competition is offering. To accomplish this, simply look at other properties advertised online and compare them to your rental. The important things to review are what the average rental rate is, what utilities and amenities are included, the standard lease term, what information is detailed in the description, type of pictures showcased, and so forth.

Often the biggest deterrent and reason why potential tenants don’t respond to a listing is that the rental rate is too high. In the student housing market, pricing a rental unit competitively is incredibly important, as students are often on a relatively tight budget. If other property owners are renting out rooms between $500 to $600/month, it’s important to try and stay within this range as well. On occasion, exceeding this average range is acceptable, but the property must have great selling points that justify the higher price. Pricing may vary greatly in different rental markets, but that is not generally the norm.


Another cause for lack of inquiries is due to some landlords being unwilling to use email or other forms of communications like texting, to communicate with potential renters. They tend to prefer phone calls as the means to speak with students. Some landlords and property managers find it easier or more practical to take phone calls instead, but a lot of students prefer the other forms of communication; especially if they have a question(s) that may not warrant a time consuming or long distance phone call. By using multiple communication channels, it helps to ensure a higher volume of inquiries are received. Consider using phone calls, emails and text messages as ways to speak with prospective renters.


The next thing to consider is the actual composition of the advertisement. If an advertisement is extremely generic and doesn’t offer much information or any pictures, there’s a good chance not many rental inquiries will be received. Property listings should include the following: a creative title, a variety of pictures, a detailed (but concise) description and contain all pertinent information about the rental and its neighborhood. It’s been our experience that listings which include photos and a detailed description generate more views online and subsequent inquiries.


In order to streamline prospective tenants, many landlords and property managers will indicate the preferred type of tenant within the rental description. It’s important to prescreen, but not wise to be extremely restrictive with the type of tenant that will be considered. For example, an advertisement that says, “Ideal tenant will be a female (can only be stated when ‘preferred due to shared accommodations’) graduate student who is in the nursing program. This person cannot have pets, does not party or drink, and is very serious about their studies”. Over-targeted ads will eliminate large pools of prospective tenants, which can greatly limit the amount of inquiries an advertisement generates.


Another important aspect to consider is the timing of advertisements. If a landlord wishes to secure tenants for a September start date, it’s advisable to start advertising a few months in advance (and not wait until mid-August). Some highly competitive rental markets will actually require landlords to advertise several months in advance. Waiting until the last minute to advertise is not suggested, as many students will secure accommodations months in advance.


A less noted, but equally important factor to consider is rules and regulations. On-campus accommodations often come with a great deal of rules and restrictions, which is why some students opt to live off-campus. If an off-campus rental has even more rules than on-campus housing tends to, there’s a good chance many students will pass on it. Landlords should also research and be aware of rules that are not legally enforceable.


Last but not least, it’s important to know what other landlords are offering with the rental. If one property includes cable, Internet and all utilities for $500/month, and another rental isn’t offering any of those features for the same price, there’s a good chance the latter landlord will not receive as many inquiries.


While there are other factors to consider as well, these points tend to be the most common reasons why rental advertisements do not receive many inquiries from students. By following these recommendations, it will greatly improve the probability of receiving more rental inquiries and renting your units. 

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Great blog, and agree 100% on assessing your own ad relative to peers. Many communities operate in a bubble of sorts, just focusing on their own service, when in reality, everything is relative to the market around them.

  Brent Williams

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