As a landlord, I use MilitaryByOwner.com (MBO) and AHRN to advertise my properties for rent. One of my tenants has just received orders, and I relisted the house today. My husband, who is clever, did a few searches to figure out how it would show up on the various listings in MBO. When he didn’t see our advertisement in some places we expected to find it, I contacted MBO to get some answers. What I learned surprised me.
If you’ve not listed with MBO, you need to understand that the system allows you to designated up to three installations. The way it is worded, you are being asked to list the three installations closest to your home. However, the installations that you choose have a big impact on how your advertisement ranks within certain customer searches. Your advertisement shows up higher based upon the installations you’ve identified, regardless of other factors.
Therefore, it is in your benefit to chose which installations you list based upon their size, not their proximity to your property. For example, the closest installation to my house is Naval Support Activity Annapolis (called Annapolis Naval Station in MBO). However, NSA Annapolis is a teensy command that supports several other installations. Honestly, selecting NSA Annapolis would be dumb, because it would take one of my three slots and provide almost no potential tenants. On the other hand, Fort Meade is not technically one of the three closest installations to my house. However, it is MUCH larger than the closest three. Therefore, it makes sense to list Fort Meade, and I’ve even chosen to list it first.
Besides the installations list, there are a couple of other things you can do to improve your MBO listing. First, there is an option to upload floor plans. They’re pretty easy to make, using Microsoft Excel (surprised me, too.) You can find YouTube videos that explain the process. Also, you can upload maps to the floorplans section.
Lastly, be sure to fill out every available field in the listing. This will make the renting process so much easier, because it will make your home more attractive while also screening out people for whom it is not suitable. Lots of phone calls is good, but wouldn’t you rather have fewer calls but have them all be suitable? Showing lots of picture, room dimensions, and features will help weed out the people who aren’t going to rent your home BEFORE you’ve spent time calling, emailing, and showing the house. Might as well make it easier on yourself.
MilitaryByOwner.com is a great website and I gladly pay the $79.95 for the best advertising package. However, there are definitely ways to maximize its usage. Happy Renting!