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.

13-weston-drive

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.

Pictures

First thing to do was get the pictures taken of all the rooms & garden. Took 10 mins and some Photoshop cropping.

gumtree-living-room

Adwords

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.

WordPress

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.

Results

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.

Gumtree

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.



4 Responses to “How to Rent a House Cheaply Online”

  1. Ray HeskethNo Gravatar Says:

    Nice….Guerilla Marketing… I like it

  2. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Ray it was worth a punt. Fortunately it worked better than expected 🙂
    Hope things are good. Maybe catch up soon.

  3. George BennettNo Gravatar Says:

    Ive just rented a new place through an estate agent. unfortunately mine did you have a marketing expert behind it, just slow estate agents with a ridiculous fee structure. I like what you’ve done here. I believe the trend in business online will be to do away with intermediaries such as estate agents, stock brokers and recruitment consultants. The intermediate is not needed anymore!!! I have been arguing this point for a while! Good Job 🙂

  4. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Just for an update, it took 1 week to rent this house this year.. A featured 3 day listing for about £17 on Gumtree got the job done.

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced web developer based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own web design company.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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