Tips to Make Your Craigslist Apartment Ad Stand Out

Living room
•••

Jacek Kadaj/Moment/Getty Images

 

There are hundreds of ads for apartment rentals on Craigslist, so how do you make yours stand out? A catchy headline, great pictures and an easy to read ad are all essential to get eyes on your rental. Learn five things that will help get prospective tenants interested in your property.

Include High Quality Pictures

Pictures may be the single most important part of an ad on Craigslist. Many people look at the pictures and barely read the text.

Often, when prospective tenants search Craigslist.org for apartments, they will filter the results to only show properties that have images. If you do not include pictures, you are greatly limiting the number of potential applicants who will view your property.

People are visual. They want to get an idea of what the property looks like before they commit the time to go and physically look at it.

You do not need an expensive camera to take pictures of your property. Most phones have built-in cameras which produce high quality images which will be perfect for your rental ad.

Create an Interesting Headline

Now that your ad has some great images, you need to add a catchy, descriptive headline to set your apartment apart from the dozens or even hundreds of other listings in your area. Your headline should be attention grabbing. Your headline will include the price of your rental and the number of bedrooms.

Other than that you have a little wiggle room to be creative.

Look at these two headlines for example:

  1. $1500/1BR Beautiful Units with Great Amenities
  2. $1500/1BR Gorgeous Units in Luxury Building. Washer/Dryer in Units.

The first headline is a little vague. The second headline adds the location (luxury building) and a specific amenity (Washer/dryer), so it is more appealing.

Your headline is what will attract prospective tenants to click and learn more. Pick one or two standout features of your property and include them in the headline.

Some other examples of great headlines are:

  • Charming 2 BR on Lovely Tree Lined Street
  • Renovated 1 BR with Utilities Included
  • Must See! Updated Kitchen and Parking Included!
  • Spacious Condo. 5 Minute Walk to the Metro

Make It Easy to Read

Don’t include all information in one long paragraph. People will lose interest. Make it easy to read. Bullet points are your best friend.

You can include a brief description, but after that, you should break up the information into sections with bullet points. This will make the ad easy to scan through quickly.

For example:

Description:

This gorgeous two bedroom, one bathroom apartment is located in Phoenix, AZ. It is centrally located near shopping and dining. This apartment is over 1000 square feet and offers a newly renovated kitchen and bathroom.

Apartment Features:
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • Rent: $1000
  • Deposit: $1500
  • Square Footage: 1000
  • Pets Allowed: Yes
  • Lease Term: 1 year
Interior Amenities:
  • Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Marble Floors
  • Central Air Conditioning
  • Lots of Closet Space
  • Open Floor Plan
Building Amenities
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Spacious Backyard
  • Garage Parking
  • Close to Public Transportation

As you can see, it will be much easier for people to skim through these bullet points to obtain the information about your property.

Tell the Truth About the Apartment 

You need to be honest about your apartment. Trying to lure in tenants with false amenities will only be a waste of your time. If your property doesn’t have parking, don’t say it does. If your kitchen isn’t renovated, don’t say it is. 

If a prospective tenant comes to looks at your property believing that you have all new stainless steel appliances and when they get there, you have 40-year-old avocado-colored appliances, your reply of, "at least they match" will do little to please the prospects as they head out the door. Even if the prospective tenants could live with the avocado colored appliances, you have broken their trust and most people will not rent from someone they do not trust.

Be honest with the amenities your property has. There will be someone who is interested in what your property has to offer.

Follow Fair Housing Laws

You must follow the Federal Fair Housing Law, as well as Craigslist’s own non-discrimination policy. You must not discriminate against the seven protected classes, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability and familial status. There may also be additional classes that are protected in your state or city. Examples of discriminatory statements are:

  • No Blacks Allowed.
  • Hispanic Area.
  • No Children Allowed.
  • Heavily Jewish Area.
  • Must Be Able to Live Independently (No Wheelchairs, Service Dogs etc).
  • Men Preferred.

Your rental ad should describe your property, not who you want to live in the property. You can screen tenants based on criteria such as a credit check, but your decision to select a tenant must be based on legal criteria, such as ability to pay rent on time, not on discrimination, such as not wanting to rent to someone with children.