Author’s Note: I put together this resource hoping it would help after seeing many questions on Postlets.com. I am not affiliated with the company nor is this legal advice. All information within this post is my own based on my personal experiences and what I have seen over the years belonging to various forums. As always, my goal is for you to have the most successful landlording experience as possible.
One of my absolutely favorite places to list my houses for rent is Postlets.com. It’s free, it’s easy to use, and did I mention it’s easy to use? For those who are listing a house for rent or for sale, this is a great website. Of course, if it is your first time using the site, it might take some getting used to. That’s why I’ve created a beginner’s guide to postlet.com. You can read the beginner’s guide Part 1 here.
Now, let’s move forward in this beginner’s guide.
Beginner’s Guide Part 2
1. Lease Terms
This is where you are going to input your rent price and how long of a lease you are looking for. You will also input any extra information that you wish to be advertised.
I have always found deciding how much rent you should charge is a trial and error as it really depends on so many factors. Here are a few posts that I wrote to help you determine your rent:
I personally have always required one month’s rent as the security deposit.
I have always advertised a one-year lease on the ad unless I had special circumstances. At the time of lease signing, I have discussed with my tenants the possibilities of a slightly shorter (say 10 months) or longer (say 15 months) lease if it brings me into moving season of my area.
I input the date the house is available.
While this might deter some people, I have found many people ignore the date available. I have had many people over the years call and want the house weeks before the house was available.
2. Additional Lease Terms
This is where I address my pet policy with the simple words, “Pets Welcomed with Landlord’s Permission.” If you are still on the fence about whether or not to allow pets, check out this post, Why I allow Pets in My Rentals where I discussed my pet policy in depth and why I am a huge advocate of allowing pets.
For Reference Purposes Below is my Completed Lease Terms:
Note – As you can see my ad is renting for $1,300 and the Zillow estimate states $1,350. While I absolutely LOVE Postlets and Zillow, I am not a believer in their estimator. I have found that there is little accuracy in my market. For a more in-depth review check out this post, Do’s and Don’ts of Using Zillow.
3. Rent Details
While the system has already filled out many of the details for you, this is your opportunity to change any of the details if they did not auto-populate correctly.
There are five choices — Apartment, Condo, Single Family House, Townhouse, and Manufactured (a fancy name for single or double wide trailer). There is a sixth choice when you include the box to the right that allows you to choose room for rent.
This is where you include all the legal bedrooms by zoning and fire regulations. Personally, I would never include a room that was not legally allowed as a bedroom because it could be it can be a fire hazard. If someone ever died because they were trapped, I would never want that on my conscious.
Zillow breaks it up into half (toilet and sink) and Full (toilet, sink, and shower or tub). They do not have the 3/4 option of only shower and no bathtub. Therefore if you have a shower or tub, consider it a whole bathroom.
I personally include the amount that was listed on the house when we bought the house, as we have not made any updates.
This is for apartments.
This allows you to check if the units are furnished or not.
As someone who owns in predominately suburbia this has never been an issue. I just filled out two parking spaces and a garage.
I always check Dogs OK (and then big and small) and Cats OK. As discussed both above and in my why I allow pets post, I have found that allowing animals is a huge asset.
Is laundry in the unit or not in the unit? In my interpretation, “in the unit” means hook ups, not washer and dryer included.
As always hit SAVE and CONTINUE.
4. Photos & Media
This is where you input all your pictures, videos, and any other media that have to promote your house.
When you first click on the page, it will look like the photo below.
In this section, I will only be discussing photos. Everyone has their own opinion about videos and virtual tours. Personally, I paid someone to create a virtual tour/video for me a couple of years ago. I found very few people viewed it when looking at the Youtube numbers, so I discontinued it. While I might try it again eventually, right now I focus on photos.
Here are my photos of my current house up for rent once inputted in the system. Please note, it is a small snippet because my screen did not fit all 24 pictures.
- Use the Best Pictures – Always use the very best pictures you can of your house. You want your house to have its best foot forward. Still, I put even a semi-lousy picture of one of the rooms rather than no picture of the room.
- Make Your House Live Up to the Pictures’ Expectations – In my opinion, the last thing you want is people to fall in love with the house and then feel let down with the pictures. Therefore, I never do any tricks with the photos. If anything, I strive for, “WOW, this house is even better than the pictures.”
- Lable the Pictures – I always label the rooms. This allows people to get a clear understanding of what each picture represents.
- One Picture Per Area – I personally only include one picture of each area/room. If I cannot get a picture of everything in the room I will take multiple pictures of a new area such as the walk-in closet and the vanity in the bathroom. I do not take multiple pictures of the same room in different views. It always drives me crazy when I see five pictures of the bedroom.
- Put the Pictures in Order As You Walk Through the House – My goal is to give people a tour through pictures as they walk through the house.
- Start with the Front of the House and End with the Backyard – While some people may put their best feature on the first picture (say the kitchen), I personally always put the front of the house. Otherwise, I feel like it is awkward.
As always, hit SAVE and Continue.
5. Property Description
This is where you will input not only the ad information but the nitty gritty about what your house includes. I focus on the property description, but filling out the unit features is also helpful.
I am by no means an expert on either the property title or description. I have personally found that something short, sweet, and catchy is important for the property title. For the description, I try to describe the house in seven sentences or less. I do not go into all of my screening requirements or get overly involved. My personal goal is to get as many people to call me who are interested. Therefore, I do not want to turn anyone off. In areas where you have TONS of applicants and you want to reduce the number of inquiries, being overly detailed could be an asset. This is one of those areas where trial and error is the only test.
6. Review and Listing Status
You are ALMOST done! This is where Zillow summarizes everything you have inputted and you check to make sure you didn’t make any typos.
Now is when you can hit PROMOTE for the first time!
7. Listing Status
This page gives you a summary of everywhere that your post is active and allows you to share it further.
The one place that Postlets does not post to is Craigslist due to its unique requirements. Postlets is still awesome and gives you some cheats to copying all that hard work over.
It’s official. You are DONE with creating your first Postlets ad. I hope this beginner’s guide helped you. If you are interested in learning more about postlets.com, check out the next article in the series.
P.S. Now that you have an ad up and running, you are going to start getting inquiries and requests to apply. Is your lease up and ready for the challenge? My lease has been a huge key to my success.
Read my post on How to Create a Rock Solid Lease in ONE Evening.
Wishing there was a resource that had explanations and addendum with the lease language already written for you? Check out my book, The Everything Lease Addendum How-To For Landlords. This is where I share all 37 of my lease addendum wording and explanations that I have put together over the years of ulcer-inducing moments, learning the hard way, and participating in forums. I create this with the hope this saves you a few of the challenges I have experienced along the way.
Did I miss anything in the tutorial? Do you have any other tips and tricks that you have learned the hard way? Share them in the comments!