What makes your house “home?” Is it the memories you’ve made in the surrounding neighborhood or city? Are you still enamored by a favorite feature? Do you find yourself daydreaming in a particularly comfortable spot? For many homeowners, the answers to these questions come naturally. And yet, it can be difficult to communicate those answers in a way that will turn a potential housemate’s head.
The description you choose for your Silvernest listing is a chance to sell potential renters on the opportunity to share your home. It’s a crucial first impression we recommend you spend some time on, and we’re here to help. Here are five steps to make your homeshare listing stand out from the crowd.
Step 1: Write a basic summary
Whether you're listing space for rent on Silvernest or another site, your listing description should cover the following at minimum:
- The size of the space for rent
- A description of the space you’re offering
- For example: “one bedroom and private bathroom with covered parking”
- The common areas you’re offering to share
- For example: “kitchen, living room, back patio”
Here are some solid examples from Silvernest listings:
- Lighthearted and welcoming: “You’ll have the whole house shared with you, except for the rooms of the other roomies of course, as well as a backyard of vegetables to eat from and three funny chihuahuas to play with.”
- Descriptive and detailed: “The furnished room being offered has its own private entrance and deck, located in a doublewide manufactured home on a large corner lot. There is a washer/dryer in the garage area and we can carve out some storage space for you if you need some.”
Step 2: Take great pictures
Photos can truly make or break a listing. Take a cue from any real estate website—tidiness and good lighting make the difference between so-so and desirable. Here are some quick tips for taking photos that make your space as rent-able as possible:
- Tidy up. Help prospective renters envision themselves making your space home by removing any unsightly messes from the shot. We’ve written about the positive effects of decluttering ahead of a new housemate – why not get a head start?
- Use natural lighting. Take your photos at a time of day when the rooms receive the most natural light. Turn on lamps and overhead lights (but don’t point your camera right at them).
- Angles are everything. Try taking photos from different places and angles to get the best view of each room. Don’t be afraid to take multiple photos and delete the ones that don’t make the cut.
- Cover the whole space. In addition to the bedroom, show the entryway, common areas and even the home’s exterior.
- Let the personality shine through. If you’ve got unique features like a funky staircase leading to the room or a private balcony, don’t be afraid to show them off!
Step 3: Highlight the positive
To make your listing friendly and welcoming, focus on the positive wherever possible.
3 bedroom floorplan. My room is upstairs and the room I'm renting is downstairs. Very private and quiet.
I’m offering one of three bedrooms, located downstairs from my own for maximum privacy and quietness.
Large bedroom, possibly furnished with large storage area.
You’ll have plenty of room for storage in this large bedroom. I’m open to discuss furnished options as well.
Brand new floors, kitchen and living conditions. All areas of the house are shared (besides bedrooms).
All parts of our home (besides bedrooms) are available as common areas, including a recently renovated kitchen with brand new floors.
To help get you started, here are a few prompts to consider using while writing your description:
- This listing is for a private room in a _-bedroom home, featuring _____ and _____.
- I’d describe the house as _____. When I moved in, what stood out to me was _____.
- Your room will include _____ and be directly accessible from _____.
- The home is located in walking distance of ______ and in driving distance of _____.
- This space is perfect for _____. I’d prefer no _____.
Step 4: Make it stand out
Add some spice to your listing. What is unique about your home and the neighborhood? What flexibility can you offer? For example, if there’s an option for the renter’s bedroom to come furnished, put that here!
We’ve seen homeowners include several amenities that caught our eyes and the eyes of their future roommates. Here are a few examples that were especially successful:
- Reduced rent for help around the house
- Bills or utilities included
- Private entrance included
- Covered parking available
- Accessible entryway (no stairs or steps)
Taking these steps will help you put your best foot forward to attract the interest of renters and find the best possible housemate match. After all, sharing your home is a very personal thing to do. Compatibility helps ensure that your home can become theirs, too. For more tips and resources for finding a compatible housemate, visit www.silvernest.com or check out our blog post on the topic: Finding A Compatible Housemate: The First 10 Things to Consider.