Once upon a time, investment property owners could place a listing in their local newspaper and a For Rent sign in the yard and be inundated with applications. Unfortunately, those days ended with the internet. But even landlords who believe they’re digitally savvy may need to do more to market their rentals. Running a digital listing on sites like CraigsList or Zillow alone won’t do the job. That’s because tenants want access to technology to help them make decisions before renting. Consequently, self-managing owners need to use a suite of digital property management marketing tools to advertise their properties thoroughly.

Why Aren’t Traditional Listings Enough?

In America, young people are more likely to live in rental accommodations than older people. In fact, 71% of renters in this country are younger than 44. This group grew up with technology, particularly the internet, and now use these tools in every part of their life. As a result, potential renters may want to use digital property management marketing tools to research and make decisions before renting a new home. Here are a few reasons why:


Digital tools allow renters to search for and compare different rental properties from the comfort of their own homes at any time of day or night. This is much more convenient than physically visiting each property, which can be time-consuming and requires coordinating with the landlord or property manager.

Information Availability

Digital tools often provide a wealth of information about rental properties that may not be readily available elsewhere. For example, a listing on a rental website may include photos, floor plans, and detailed descriptions of the property’s features and amenities. These features can help renters get a better sense of the property before they decide to visit in person.

Comparison Shopping

Digital tools make it easy for renters to compare different properties side-by-side, which can be helpful in deciding which one is the best fit. Renters can compare things like location, size, price, and amenities to help narrow down their options.


Using digital tools to research and make decisions about a rental property can be much more efficient than relying on traditional methods. Renters can quickly and easily eliminate properties that don’t meet their needs or budget, saving them time and effort in the long run.


Renters may feel more secure using digital tools to research and make decisions about a rental property, as they can do so without having to physically visit the property and potentially expose themselves to any potential dangers.

Three Digital Property Management Marketing Tools Self-Managing Owners Should Use

Self-managing rental owners should consider these reasons when creating their marketing plan and use digital tools that provide the information potential renters are looking for.

Matterport Videos

Potential renters want more than just pictures of your listing. Instead, they want to be able to take 3D tours of available homes so they can envision themselves living there. Tools like Matterport allow property owners to share 3D models of their rental units online. Potential tenants can use these models to take virtual walkthroughs and even measure whether their couch will fit in the living room. According to Matterport’s statistics, 95% of people are more likely to call about a property that includes 3D virtual tools.


How often have you had a qualified tenant decide not to rent a home after seeing it in person? It often happens because the actual experience didn’t match what the tenant had in their mind. YouTube is a powerful video-sharing tool that every property owner should use to solve this problem. Self-managing owners can post guided tours to their YouTube pages with a running narration of the property’s key features. Potential tenants can then view that virtual walkthrough and make an informed decision before deciding to schedule an in-person showing. Ultimately, virtual walkthroughs posted to YouTube can become tremendous time savers for landlords and potential tenants alike.

Social Media

Social media is such a powerful platform because almost everyone in the country uses it in one way or another. That’s why self-managing owners should use these tools for marketing their available units. By posting their listings on social media, owners can widen the reach of their marketing. They can also be proactive by actively responding to comments and questions about the property. If you spend time creating virtual walkthroughs, be sure to post this content on social media to further its reach. Self-managing owners who want to take an additional step can also begin experimenting with social media advertising. These tools enable users to create ads and serve them to highly targeted audiences, which can exponentially expand their marketing’s reach.

Choose to Partner With Experts

In summary, digital tools offer convenience, information availability, comparison shopping, efficiency, and security for renters looking to research and make decisions about a new rental property. As a result, it is no surprise that they are becoming increasingly popular in the rental market. That’s why self-managing investment owners should use these digital tools whenever possible.

If this all sounds too complicated or time-consuming, that’s understandable. Most people want to own rental properties for passive income. However, constantly managing your property’s marketing can quickly become a full-time job. If that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, a professional property management company like Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew can help. Full-service property management companies will handle every detail of managing your property, from screening and placing tenants to rent collection to inspection and maintenance. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, call or text us today at 503.515.3170 or fill out the contact form on our website. We can’t wait to explain how we’ll use digital tools to place great tenants in your rental.