How to Rent a House Cheaply Online
Need to rent a house without the high costs of an Estate Agent?
If you’re looking for cheaper online alternatives to try and rent your house, here’s my own case study that might give you a few ideas.
Rather than pay £400 plus for a local estate agent (that’s what it’s cost me in the past), albeit that they’ve been very good, I decided to try and rent a house myself online as cheaply and quickly as possible.
The house was given a lick of paint, and scrubbed up and in better condition than it had been in a few years, so it was a matter of getting people to view it, and setting a decent rental price.
First thing to do was get the pictures taken of all the rooms & garden. Took 10 mins and some Photoshop cropping.
Working with client accounts for Google Adwords everyday I kinda know my way around Adwords. The wife set up an Adwords account, got a free £75 Adwords voucher and we began advertising on Adwords.
I didn’t spend alot of time creating the campaign. The keywords were pretty obvious and mostly broad match with a few negatives thrown in. I went for as many eyeballs as possible.
The Ad was pretty specific and included the Area, the amount of bedrooms, the price and a view pics online message.
The Adwords campaign took the visitors to a free Wordpress site that I created http://westondrive.wordpress.com/. It took about an hour or two to set up.
First call was within 3 hours of the Adwords account going live. The caller said she would get back to me after she spoke with her husband, though never did.
Within the first week we had 3 viewings. All liked the property, and the second viewer wanted it. They texted me the next day saying that they wanted to rent the house, though it was a case of whoever got the holding deposit down first of all got it. Rather than wait for them to get back to me, I decided to press on.
With the free Adwords burnt out and a few extra quid spent, not much though, I decided to change tact and see how Gumtree compared to Adwords.
To set up a Gumtree account and add the photos I had didn’t take long, an hour tops.
Straightaway I got a viewing, again they were interested but didn’t commit. On Gumtree there are quite a few listings added daily, with Estate Agents even listing their properties in bulk, so your listing falls quite quickly down the pecking order. After a day or so I quickly decided to go for a featured ad that stayed on the front page for a week above the normal listings. For £27 this worked a treat.
The house was rented through Gumtree within a few days of the featured ad going live and within 2 weeks of the first Adwords campaign going live. The day after a couple had put a holding deposit down, one of the viewers that had seen the house through Adwords phoned and wanted to pay the deposit, too late
Total cost to rent online was Adwords activation fee of £5, and an additional spend of £5 (this obviously doesn’t include the free £75 voucher) and £27 on Gumtree.
So in total £37 to rent online, compared to hundreds for an estate agent.