There are some simple, basic principles for marketing a lease option home that if you consistently apply, will work wonders and help you find a well qualified tenant-buyer faster than all your competition.

But…. you have to keep this incredibly simple, and often overlooked, principle in mind:  You can only sell homes that people want to buy!  That is the most important, fundamental part of the business.  No matter how well you market a house, if it's a 2 bedroom dump in a war zone and there are no toilets in the house, you are not going to find a good tenant-buyer for that house!

So make sure you start off on the right foot.  If you are selling houses on lease options, only buy nice homes in nice neighborhoods!  Otherwise, nothing here will matter to you.  Nothing.

So let's assume you are a smart investor and you have listened to everything they taught you in that last seminar you went to, and you already have a nice house in a nice neighborhood – you done good!  You probably have a nice looking, 3-4 bedroom house in a good school district.  RIGHT?!?!?!?  Now how do you effectively market it?  Ready?  Here we go…

  1. Offer generous rent credits! If you are a tenant-buyer looking at two similar homes, would you want the one that is offering $100/mo rent credits, or the one who is offering 50% rent credits of $500/mo?!  I mean come on… $100/mo rent credits?  What's that?  Stop being so stingy!  Bump up the option price a little bit if you have to.  Generous rent credits sell homes.
  2. Do some light staging to the home – simple stuff like towels in the bathroom, a welcome mat at the door, a few decorations on the walls, plants in the living room, fruit bowls in the kitchen, scented plug-ins, etc.  This doesn't have to be expensive and you don't have to hire a professional staging company to make your house look nice.  Make sure the house is clean and presents itself well.
  3. Have lots of pictures of the property.  When you take your pictures, make sure the lighting is good and the house is bright.  Then upload your pictures to an on-line website like Flikr or Google's Picasa.  That way you can send people to an on-line slide show of the property.
  4. Have a video of the property in your ads. You don't need a professional video done.  Just something simple.  You can walk through the property and talk about what you are looking at.  Again, make sure you have lots of light.  Put the video on YouTube so you can provide a link to the it in your ads and on your website.  Keep the video under 3-4 minutes.
  5. Have a BIG FAT UGLY SIGN in the yard. Get the biggest sign you're allowed to have by city ordinace.  It should say something like “Rent To Own, No Bank Qualifying, Your Credit is Approved, Voice Mail Phone Number, Website”.  You should also have fliers next to your sign that give information on the property.  I like simple, non-professional looking, average joe blow signs.  They will grab someone's attention much faster than a professional, stodgy looking sign.  I promise.
  6. Put 10-20 smaller “bandit signs” in the neighborhood every weekend. This is very important!  The two best sources of leads will be Craigslist and neighborhood “bandit signs”.  You will get tons of calls from your bandit signs.  All they need to say is something like, “Rent To Own, Beautiful House, Voice Mail Phone Number”.  You can leave some room if you want to write in the number of bedrooms and the address.  Don't put your website on these signs.  You don't have enough room for that.  You just want people to call.
  7. Advertise on Craigslist EVERYDAY! Yes, everyday.  There are ways to do it if you are smart, creative, and sneaky.  Try creating multiple Postlets & vFlyers for your houses.  Create “For Rent” and “For Sale” ads.  Do regular ads with no HTML.  Change your ads around.  Adjust the content.  Post from different email accounts and from different computers.
  8. Advertise on all the other websites regularly – REIBlackBook, backpage, kijiji, oodle, google base,, zillow, trulia, rentdigs, hotpads, etc…
  9. Send the house out to your Tenant-Buyer's List. What?  You don't have one?  Well that's okay if you are just getting started in the business.  But you better start building one ASAP!  This is super duper important.  Start collecting the emails and phone numbers of everyone who contacts you looking for a property.  Have an opt-in form on your website.  I use Constant Contact all the time.
  10. Finally, hire a Virtual Assistant to do all this for you! This part of the business could possibly be the easiest part to outsource.  It is very to systematize and create a checklist for.  You don't have to do it all yourself.  You should find someone else to do it for you so you can chase more deals and start making more money!

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