Close the toilet seat- Your guide to successfully marketing your rental property

A picture is worth a thousand words, and when marketing a rental property, pictures bring in prospects. If you start your search on the Internet, where over 82% of potential home buyers and renters begin their search, you will find plenty of stagnant listings. Lets face it, some properties are not renting because the pictures of original shag carpet from 1970 and the dusty fake plants are not appealing to any potential renter. Others have been photographed so poorly, that they are completely bypassed by prospects that could be a great fit. Here are a few, simple tips to getting the visual appeal that brings prospects through the door.

Properly Photographed Toilet

Properly Photographed Toilet

1) Turn on the lights

I am amazed at how many property owners and management companies don’t turn the lights on for marketing pictures. The first thing you should do when you go into a property for pictures is turn on every single light. If light bulbs are out or missing, bring a couple extras to put in for picture time. Having the lights on makes the pictures much warmer, more inviting, and give the hardwood floors a nice shine. Try it; the difference is night and day.

2) Get the Angles!

Take pictures from corners of rooms or in the doorway. This gives the viewer a much better idea of room sizes and makes a small bedroom much more appealing.

3)Don’t post pictures that are sideways or upside down

It really throws people off when they see a toilet coming out of the wall.

4) Clean up the space.

You don’t need to break out the Clorox, but move trash and clutter to a corner of the room and take the picture from that corner. Mildly deceiving but so is dousing the home in Febreze before the prospects arrive.

5) Keep Em’ Even

Keep all the blinds at the same length and openness. When they are all at different lengths, it looks bad and creates strange light patterns on the floor.

6) Take A Lot of Photos

If you are not great at photography, take a lot of pictures. Chances are you will have a couple keepers in the mix.

7) Use A Camera

Your flip phone camera isn’t cutting it anymore. If you don’t have a digital camera, go to Rite-Aid and buy a $5 disposable digital camera. Renting the property and not leaving it vacant for another month will offset the cost of the digital camera.

8) Close the Toilet.

No matter if it is squeaky clean or not (usually not in most cases), no prospective tenant is interested in seeing what the inside of the toilet looks like when they are reviewing pictures of a potential rental property.



Written by :


Tripp Cox



Can’t Sell Your Home, Should You Rent It?

Kids are out of the house and now it’s time to cash in on the equity in your home by downsizing.  The only problem is where did the equity go?  With a 30% average market decline many people feel like they lost money.  Even thought the gains were not real but just paper gains.

There is a possible answer to this and a solution that many have been turning to.  It may be time to put your house up for rent.  Sounds simple right?  Cover your mortgage and expenses with rental income and wait for the market to return to its peak then sell.

Well I’m writing to put out a word of caution.

Well in theory it is easy.  However not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.  This could be an exciting time, you are not just a landlord but now you are also a real estate investor.   Just think about all the people whom have amassed their fortunes in real estate.  You are probably thinking; easy clean the house, place an ad on craigslist and in no time you will be collecting rent.  If only it was that easy.

  1. Market the property.  Yes, it is easy to place an ad on craigslist but that will not compete well with professional ads and against your competition.
  2. Now you need to show the property.  Might get lucky, however often that takes many appointments.  If you were to ask a leasing agent you would likely hear that appointments are often missed and their time was wasted.
  3. So you have a potential tenant.  You created or obtained a leasing application.  Do you know how to check their credit and their background, and legally?
  4. You have now selected a tenant, so you send them a lease to sign. Where did you get the lease?  Is it written for your protection?  Leases are many pages for a reason, things happen and they will protect you if you have a problem with a tenant.
  5. Made it this far, great!  Did you consider how you will handle tenant requests and repairs?  Are you familiar with tenant rights?  What will you do if a tenant stops paying rent?  Where do you go for legal advice?  Agreed, problem tenants are rare, but when it occurs it can be awfully damaging for an unprepared landlord or real estate investor.

If this sounds like too much responsibility, consider a hiring a professional property management company.  Like many other professional services out there you could do it on your own.  For instance you could produce you own real estate closing documents or complete your own tax returns but often those tasks are best left for the professional.  True, not one aspect of property management and renting a home is extremely difficult however organizing and putting it all together takes skill

If you go the direction of a property management company how do you choose? A skilled real estate professional will start with a financial analysis to make sure renting your home is the correct decision.  This should include a determination of achievable rental terms.  Then it’s time to market the property and agree to lease terms with the best possible tenant.   An amateur could overlook this most important step.  They see a deposit and the first month’s rent but often forget to look at the next eleven months.  One way to make sure your real estate professional doesn’t overlook the tenant evaluation process is to have them continue managing the property.

Something to consider: If the lease agent and the property manager are the same they will be motivated to lease to the best long term tenant.  This proactive and longer term approach will pay off for both sides.

Consider some of the problems a bad tenant can will cause the property manager; persistent calls and complaints, late rental payments, and damage to the property.  Now if your Property Manager is responsible for this well then they will be motivated to rent to the best possible tenant.

Those are still minor issues compared to how a bad tenant will affect the home owner.  The home owner gets to deal with the significant issues like loss of rent, property damage, and even eviction fees if things get really bad.

Renting your home could be great option.  Just don’t underestimate the amount of work and knowledge needed.

Arthur Thomas Properties can help with home to rent in Dover NH, home to rent in Durham NH, and home to rent in Portsmouth NH.

Single Family Homes For Rent

house for rent sign

house for rent sign

This has become a growing segment of the Real Estate market.  The two reasons supply and demand.  Let’s discuss eachSupply

There are two driving forces when it comes to supply.  First are the home owners that remember the peak of the real estate market and do not want to suffer those 30 – 40 percent market declines.  The other factor contributing to supply are the people that don’t want to sell because they owe more than they could sell the home for.  Both explanations why the supply is greater than normal are similar in the respect that for one reason or another, people are not ready to sell.  So a logical solutions is to rent the home and sell later.


For the sellers turn landlord it’s a good thing that the demand is also greater than normal.  Why is this? Well ten years ago if you were ready for a single family home you stopped by the bank or called a mortgage broker and bought the home.  Remember all those fancy mortgage options with no money down even some where people walked away from the closing with cash.  Well they don’t exist any longer.  So it’s much more difficult for the same family to buy so many have turned to renting a home.   Another group of people contributing to the demand are individuals whom could no longer afford their home.  They are victims of the great recession and more specifically had income changes or adjustable rate mortgages that became unaffordable.

As of this writing (April 2012) there is a nice balance of supply and demand in the Dover, Durham, Newmarket, and Portsmouth NH homes for rent market.

Interested in free professional market analysis of your home and where it stands in the rental market contact Arthur Thomas Properties.