Seeking Renters: How to Craft the Perfect Craigslist Ad

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Say what you will about Craigslist, even if it’s convoluted with spam at times, there are still 60 million visitors on that site. That’s quite a few potential renters in there. And for most renters, Craigslist is the first stop when looking for a new home since it is a free service. Below are some tips for landlords when creating that perfect ad:

  1. Photos: Obviously renters want to see what their getting themselves into. Don’t just post a couple of pictures. Save yourself a lot of looky loos and post pictures of ever room AND the backyard/garage/driveway. That way, the contact you get will be serious inquiries only.
  2. Keywords: Make sure your description is thorough. But, also create a small section at the bottom of your ad titled, “keywords.” After that write all additional descriptions potential renters will be searching for. E.g. three bedroom, yard, pet friendly, Washington School District, etc. Newer rental postings will push yours to the bottom of the pile, so you want to make sure renters typing in keywords pertaining to your rental will see your ad.
  3. Location: This can be a testy subject, but unless there are security issues, the renters should know the location. Then they can take a drive by before committing. However, if the photos show it as a vacant rental, this might not be the best idea unless frequently secured.
  4. Updates: Did you do work to the house? When? What? Renters love new. Especially for higher price tags.
  5. Explain the price: This can go both ways. If your rental is above the average market price for a rental, make sure you state what made you come up with this number. Why is it better than the rest? If it is less, make sure renters know what it is lacking to get that number. Again, save yourself pointless viewings.
  6. Get their attention. Use your best photo in the featured image. Create a headline that you would want to click on if you were a renter. Take your time. This could be the difference between hours of wasted time and money and having a lengthy, reliable tenant.