Hands down, there is no better way to advertise your vacancy than a simple sign stuck in the middle of your yard (not to mention it’ll cost you all of $2). That is, of course, unless your property is located on the edge of town next to the landfill – then you’re gonna need a bigger sign! Joking aside, it’s a given truism that a clear, uncomplicated sign prominently placed in your yard will usually do just fine in most areas. Just be sure you splurge and actually buy the sign from your local office supply store or retail giant – Don’t bother trying to make your own unless you can spell, have weather-resistant materials and can draw a straight line (this has the makings of a great redneck joke, Mr. Foxworthy!). In all seriousness, buy a sign (or even two!) and position it in your yard wherever the passing foot and street traffic have the best chance of seeing it (e.g., front, back, corner, side, etc.).
In addition to the yard sign(s), here are some other options that may make the whole vacancy experience much easier to endure, by reducing the amount of time you’d normally end up spending on the phone, either taking or returning calls…
1. Detailed Information Sheets: Be sure to include removable single-sheet brochures, which can easily be affixed to your sign in a tubular dispenser or any other type of standard vending device commonly used in the real estate industry. This detailed information sheet can immediately answer many of those basic questions that prospects often have about a rental, all the while saving you time on the phone repeating yourself over and over. Information sheets often include the rent amount and terms, square footage and dimensions of the unit, included (or not included) appliances, etc.
2. Answering Machine (or voicemail): This option – which could be used to replace the aforementioned information sheet – involves creating an equally detailed outgoing message on your telephone answering machine (or voicemail), highlighting some of the same property characteristics. Here is a sample script:
“You have reached John Doe at 555-5555. If you are calling about the property available for rent at 1234 Make Believe Street, it’s a fully carpeted 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house, with approximately 1,300 square feet under central heat and air. The unit comes well equipped with a washer and dryer, ceiling fans, fireplace and a newly remodeled kitchen, complete with garbage disposal, dishwasher, electric stove and refrigerator. The area schools are Huntington Elementary, Hathaway Middle School and Harrison High School. There is a non-refundable $25 application fee, which will be credited towards the first month’s rent upon approval. If you would like to schedule an appointment to see the unit or have any additional questions, please leave your name and telephone number after the beep. Thank you for your interest in this rental.”