This last month I found myself in the interesting position of having SEVEN vacant rental properties (ouch!). The typical newspaper ads were not pulling enough calls, any many of the callers were Section 8 tenants (barf!).
Nauseous at the though of forking out another $4,500 on vacant properties next month, I decided to pull out an old, but under-utilized technique. . . the paper flyer. I made hundreds of flyers on my computer in various colors. I included a map with directions on the flyer (thanks to www.mapquest.com). I had them distributed on car windshields in every shopping mall, supermarket and church parking lot within a mile radius of the rentals.
Did I get some nasty calls from people who didn’t appreciate the flyer on their windshield? Sure, but who gives a hoot? The United States Supreme Court says it’s free speech protected by the First Amendment! Bottom line: every tenant to whom I ended up renting came from a flyer!
Here’s another bonus about flyers: you can legally discriminate using them. We all know that you cannot advertise for families, because it is discriminatory against single people. We also know that a family with kids is less likely to break a lease early than a single person (I don’t need statistics to tell me this, for I know that the though of packing up my kids’ crap is enough to make me want to NEVER move!).
HERE’S THE POINT: If you place your flyers in places that families visit, your chances of finding a family to rent are increased. Rather than a blind ad in the newspaper, put flyers on windshields of cars parked at Bennigan’s & Chili’s Restaurants (who else would eat at such horrid places?). Place flyers in church parking lots, schools and Toys ‘R Us. The law says you can’t STATE who you want as a tenant in your flyer, but it doesn’t prohibit where you distribute the flyers!
by Attorney William Bronchick