Whether you have 1 or 100 rental properties, you will need to market them if you expect to find tenants. I think one of the marketing strategies is to create a website for your rental. I’m going to show you how.
For most landlords and managers, that simply means posting an ad on Craigslist and a few dozen other listing sites. For many, this is their entire marketing strategy. And if they get desperate, they might put up a “for rent” yard sign.
The Hard Way
Previously, I built websites from scratch. I have a small background in web design, and I’ve always enjoyed using the internet to market my rentals, but didn’t enjoy the time that it took to produce a polished site.
Previously, I would create a unique website for each of my rental units. I even designed a logo for some of them, just for the fun of it. That was before I was married, and had a 4-year-old daughter to which I gladly divert my time.
The websites were expensive to upkeep (starting at $19/month each for hosting), and was just another thing that I had to maintain as part of my rental business. I spent about 30 hours getting each of these sites up and running … it was expensive and exhausting.
It was expensive and exhausting!
My New and Improved Marketing Strategy
My marketing strategy is now much simpler.
If you’re already using Cozy to market your available rentals, you know that each one already has its own beautifully designed listings ad with photos, amenities, and all the other essential information for that specific unit. Now they all have a home, on your new listings gallery. Best of all, each listing has a built-in rental application – making it easy for renters to apply.
Without a doubt, using a beautiful website is the best way to market your rentals.
As such, my marketing efforts follow a simple strategy, and it’s based around setting up a simple website. This is what I do:
- Create a listing in Cozy (with a detailed description and great photos)
- Syndicate by listing to Realtor.com and Doorsteps.com via Cozy to get a flood of interest.
- Buy a domain for each unit/property
- Advertise on Craigslist, and paste my custom domain in the ad
- The listing has a built-in rental applications, so I just sit back, relax and let the inquiries roll in!
How to Create a Website for your Rental Property (for Free)
1. Create a Free Property Listing
To get started:
- Sign up for a free account at cozy.co/signup
- Add a Property to your account
- Create a new listing for that property
- “Activate” the listing (making it public) and it will get published on Realtor.com and Doorsteps.com
- You’ll also receive a free URL that you can use in all your advertisement, which looks like “home.cozy.co/apply/XXX”
Alternatively, you could create a website with sites like SquareSpace, LightCMS, or Wix, or Weeby, but you still may have to hire a designer/developer to edit images and customize it.
2. Buy a Domain
Tips for picking a domain name for your property:
- Use the property address
If the address is 1450 N. Nash St, then consider registering 1450Nash.com.
- Use the property name
If the building is named Glenwood Apartments and your unit is 201, consider registering “GlenwoodApt.com” or “Glenwood201.com”
- Use alternate top-level domains
If your desired .com is taken, consider using .net, .co or .us – all of which are short enough to put on a business card or communicate audibly.
3. Forward the Domain to your Cozy URL
Login to your domain registrar and look for a “301 redirect” or “domain forwarding” setting. Most registrars have this feature, and they make it easy to find.
You could forward the root domain to the Cozy Listing URL (home.cozy.co/apply/….), or you could send it to your gallery listings and create subdomains for each property.
Top-level Property Domains for Each Property
- Your unit at 1450 N. Nash St could have the domain 1450Nash.com and get forwarded to home.cozy.co/apply/XXX
- Your unit at 230 11th St could have the domain Houseon11th.com and forward to home.cozy.co/apply/YYY
OR, you can create a single Domain and forward the subdomains (which is less expensive). Your business/company could forward its main URL to the Cozy Gallery Listings URL, and then forward subdomains to the property pages.
Creating Subdomains for Properties
- Your business/company domain, let’s say YourDomain.com could forward to https://home.cozy.co/profile/YOURNAME, which would show a list of all your available listings
- Then, your individual properties could live at subdomains such as
- 1450.YOURDOMAIN.com and forward to home.cozy.co/apply/XXX, and
- 230.YOURDOMAIN.com and forward to home.cozy.co/apply/YYY
4. Share Your New Custom Domain and Website
Now, you can put your new custom domain (or subdomains) on business cards, yard signs, text messages, emails, Craigslist ads, and anywhere else you need to. Best of all, your custom domain will be easier to remember than https://home.cozy.co/profile/YOURNAME.
So sit back, relax, and let the inquiries roll in!
If you’re already a Cozy landlord, don’t forget to claim your vanity URL in Cozy Listings Gallery (before someone else does!)
A Real Life Example
The Scot Rife Group is a great example of how managers and realtors around the country are using advanced technology, like Cozy, to fill their vacancies.
Scot Rife and his team have forwarded one of their company domains to their Cozy Listings Gallery: http://www.937Rent.com, and are promoting the branded URL on their marketing collateral.
To take it a step further, Scot and his team modify the listing titles regularly to communicate availability of the property – smart, very smart.
How Do You Market your Rentals?
What steps are you going to take to build websites for your properties? Will you build it yourself, or use Cozy’s listings to save dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars?
I’m curious to hear what other tools you might be using to market your listings. If you’ve read all 1000 words of this article, leave me a comment, answering the following questions:
- What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? and
- What’s your favorite marketing technique for your rentals.