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Effective Listings: Show, Don’t Tell

So, you’ve decided to invest in a San Antonio property. Great! You’ve found an excellent property within your budget, fixed it up, and now you’re ready to tell the world (or the surrounding area at least) how amazing it will be to rent with you.

An effective listing is your first crucial step toward a successful property investment.  But what makes one listing stand out over another?  It all boils down to “show, don’t tell.”  Showing means not just pictures, but descriptive language set into an easy to follow flow that guides your potential renter through their new home and highlights of the neighborhood.

Following these tips can help you create a dynamic listing on your own or direct you toward your best partner to assist with your property such as a property management team.

Show Pictures That Engage and Guide

A woman in front of a chalkboard with "property listing" written on it Property Investment

Pictures are a necessity to when it comes to renting your space because most rental hunting starts online.  No quality renter is going to want to visit your property if there aren’t any photos.   However, the pictures you take shouldn’t just cover the basics; they should walk you through the property in an ideal setting.

To engage a renter, you want them to see the space as comfortable, inviting, and clean so they can imagine what it would be like to live there.  The best way to do this is to have professional-grade photos that show off the home in the best light.  Think of these as a pictorial guide through the property.

Depending on the layout of your rental you want to try to gather photos of the main features and place them in the order someone would encounter them when they tour the property in person.  The images you should include are:

  • Outside Shots of the front of the property
  • Entryway
  • Kitchen
  • Dining room
  • Living room
  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Closets
  • Any additional amenities
  • Backyard or outdoor space

You’ll want to make sure that the pictures are from at least two angles per room to show the size or highlight amenities such as a dishwasher or washer and dryer units.

It’s also easier sometimes for a renter to imagine what the home will look like if the property can be “staged” or furnished to show the property.  Now the tenant can see what it would look like to be at home in your rental.

Professional photography for your listing as well as staging is encouraged, but it can cost you a lot of time and money to find the right person for your budget.  As you continue renting your property, the photos should be updated to include any new features or renovations.  Partnering with a property management team can ensure that pictures and staging are done within your budget and continue to be professionally updated as you continue to grow your investment.

Show The Story of Your Property

illustration of a map showing a new listing location Property Listing

Now that you’ve engaged your potential tenant with pictures that guide them through your home you want to repeat that process and widen the scope with the description of your listing.  Your description doesn’t need to be overly wordy or filled with hyperbole—that’s the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.

Instead, you should be describing what it’s like to live in this property.  Here are two examples of the same home:

One bedroom one bath rental house with washer and dryer in basement, living room with adjoining dining room, kitchen complete with a dishwasher, oven/stove-top, fridge/freezer, hardwood floors in main space and linoleum in the kitchen, backyard, separate garage with storage. City neighborhood near the train line.


Cozy one-bedroom home for rent in a quiet city neighborhood minutes from downtown! Hardwood floors as you enter the living room and adjoining dining room with lots of natural light, and a master bedroom suite complete with full bath.  The kitchen is covered with easy to wash linoleum and contains a dishwasher, full range stove/oven, and refrigerator/freezer.  The kitchen leads down to the basement where you’ll have access to a washer and dryer and plenty of storage space.  Also off of the kitchen is the back entrance to your gated backyard and a detached 2-car garage – great for your vehicle(s) and additional storage!  Your house is in walking distance of the train line giving you easy access to downtown nightlife or easy commuting to work each day. 

The second example doesn’t just tell you a list of amenities but shows you those amenities in the context of a tour.  Create a wordscape for your new renter, so they can see why your property is their best choice:

Want to get away from the city but not so far you can’t enjoy all it has to offer? Wake up each morning in this pleasant neighborhood just minutes from the train line.

Natural light from windows that wrap the front of the house makes the caramel-colored hardwood floors glow as you enjoy your morning coffee.

Both of these examples are imbued with a lifestyle while informing the renter at the same time.  If you’re unsure of what to write, finding examples of other properties can be useful, but some of us don’t have that creative flair.

If you don’t feel up to the task, it may be best to consider professional help.  Property management companies are able to tell the story of your property to attract the best renters because renting properties is their sole focus.

Show Tenants How to Make This Their Home

As you tell your home’s story, you’ll want to highlight those attractions adjacent to your property as well.  The previous examples mentioned the train line and access to downtown.  Your property isn’t just a place to rest your head, but also a point of access to the rest of the world.

Knowing the area is essential when it comes to this aspect of the listing so you can lease to tenants who will thrive in this environment.  Is your property near schools? Close to freeways or public transportation? What kind of activities and entertainment are in your neighborhood or what city is nearby?

A property management team can assist with this as well. We pride ourself on staffing our teams with local experts at Real Property Management Campanas.  Based on our knowledge, we can tailor your property listing for the ideal tenant.

Creating and maintaining listings for your San Antonio property doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should ultimately show a potential tenant what their life would look like when renting with you.  Writing effective listings and taking photos that highlight the best aspects of the property isn’t easy for everyone especially as renters come and go.

Partnering with a property management team like Real Property Management can be a significant investment in effective listings and overall marketing, followed up with consistently excellent service for your renters.

If you are interested in having your property managed by Real Property Management Campanas, have more questions, or just want to speak to one of our team members, then contact us online or call us directly at (210) 314-1039 today!

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