Series: Getting started with Chicago Investment Property. Part 2

Part 2: Marketing

These steps might be a bit simplistic for a larger property owner, but using these tools and implementing this plan has served property owners with as many as 20 units in their portfolio.

If you own several multi-unit buildings with several dozen or more apartments, you’ll probably want to simply hire an apartment finding service to handle your marketing.

Get a Gmail email account

For marketing, you probably don’t want to expose your personal, or your business email address to the public. Also, after you have a tenant, you might simply decide to only give them your Gmail address, but have a system in place that either (a) forwards it to your regular email or (b) you diligently check it.

Get a Postlets account

Go to http://www.postlets.com/. Here you can generate an attractive web page for your rental with a thorough description and photographs. You’ll be given the HTML code you can drop into other websites you choose to advertise on.

Get a Craigslist account

You can easily market your apartments yourself using Craigslist and not have to spend a penny on advertising. Seriously – nothing else.

Go to http://www.chicago.craigslist.org/ and set up an account. Having an account makes it easier to review ads you have already posted, delete them, and update them.

Showings

When you’re fielding phone calls, the volume of requests can be overwhelming at times. It’s perfectly acceptable to encourage prospective renters to come to view the property when you intend to hang out for a couple of hours. For example, Friday evening for 1 hour, Saturday morning from 10 to Noon, or a similar schedule for the afternoon or on Sunday. Don’t worry if a prospect complains that they can’t make your showings. You’re simply interested in moving as many people through the apartment as possible in the most convenient period of time.

If you are not going to take pets, feel free to be firm when turning down prospects on the phone. Say “Sorry, no thanks.” Or even better “Sorry. This building doesn’t allow pets.” And if they persist, you can be slightly less friendly while pointing out that your ad clearly indicated No Pets and that you resent having your time wasted.

Guide to articles

Part 1: Identifying potential property
Part 2: Marketing
Part 3: Taking an application and lease
Part 4: Move in day