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Rental Report: Make Your Property Stand Out

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Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

With over 600 new multi-family units coming on the market in Arlington during the first two quarters of this year, and several hundred more under construction, individual landlords may be having trouble stacking up against the competition.

These new managed properties are offering things such as free rent, an iPad, or a 42-inch TV to draw people in to their new apartments. These are all great offers, and they do appeal to some renters, but others are still looking for that privately owned condo in a great building. So how can independent landlords standout in this new market with so many competitive options?

  1. Price – Make sure your unit is priced for the current market. With so much new inventory, you may not be able to command the same price you did two years ago. Be sure to check out these new buildings and know their pricing. When a renter comes to you to negotiate, you can bet they have checked out all the new buildings as well and they know exactly what they can get elsewhere.
  2. Amenities – Does your building have great amenities? Be sure to highlight them in your marketing and show them off during a visit to your property. That new building down the road might have a party room and business center, but maybe your building has a 24-hour concierge, a pool, or a convenience store.
  3. Neighborhood and Charm – Tell them what makes the area great. Is there a dog park across the street? A grocery store two blocks away? A bus stop right out front? These are all great things to tell prospective renters either in person or through your marketing highlights.
  4. Give them what they want – There are some things an independent landlord can include that their competition may not. Top suggestions: free parking, utilities included, no pet rent or lower pet fee.

There are other more obvious things as well. Keep the property well maintained and its appliances updated. Even if you can’t renovate a kitchen or bathroom, a fresh coat of neutral — but modern — paint can do wonders to spruce the place up.

Keep it simple when advertising. Emphasize the stand-out attributes, but don’t write a novel. And most of all: be responsive. If you take too long to respond to a prospective renter, they will look elsewhere. Of course, you can always get the help of a qualified real estate agent to help you get your property rented quicker.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Community discussion guidelines: Our sponsored columns are written by members of the local business community. While we encourage a robust and open discussion, we ask that all reviews of the businesses — good or bad — be directed to another venue, like Yelp. The comments section is intended for a conversation about the topic of the article.

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