How to Place a Classified Ad for Your Rental in the Newspaper

Learn the Steps for Advertising Your Rental

Young couple browsing real estate listings at storefront
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One way to find tenants for your rental is by placing an ad in the classified section of the newspaper. This can be a great resource to target prospective tenants who do not have ready access to a computer or to simply broaden your search.

1. Understand the Cost Involved

Running a rental ad in a newspaper is not free. Newspapers will charge by the line or by the number of characters. In addition, some will charge by the day, others will offer discounts if you run an ad for an entire weekend or in consecutive weeks. You must factor in the cost of running a newspaper ad compared to the potential benefit of being able to find quality tenants, and find them quickly.

2. Formulate the Ad

In newspapers, you will be very limited in the amount of space you have to make an impact. You will want to include the most important features of your property to make your ad stand out. Abbreviations are your best friend when running newspaper ads. For example, instead of writing heat and hot water included, to save space, you should put H/HW. In most papers, you will not have the ability to include a picture and even if you were, it would most likely be so small that including one would be a waste of your money.

3. Pick a Newspaper to Place the Ad in

Do your research. You are paying for this ad, so you want it to reach the largest audience possible. Make a list of the newspapers that are in circulation in your target community. Try to find out their average readership. Choose the newspaper with the largest following to get the most bang for your buck. Make sure you are choosing the paper with the largest following in your target community. For example, the LA Times may have the largest readership in the greater Los Angeles area, but if your property is in Burbank, there may be another paper that people in your community would be more likely to read, so advertising in a local paper may be more advantageous for you.

4. Determine Which Days You Want the Ad to Run

You will have many different options for running an ad. For example, you can run the ad for one day, for the whole weekend, only on Sundays, for a whole week, or even for a whole month. Keep in mind, the more days you run the ad, the more expensive it will be. Many people only get the Sunday paper, so you may want to try only running the ad on Sunday at first to see what type of response you get.

5. Place the Ad

Some newspapers will give you the option of placing the ad using their online system, while others will have a phone number you must call. If you are able to place the ad using their online system, you must simply type out your ad, check it twice and then follow the on-screen instructions for payment. If you must call the newspaper directly, you will have to dictate your ad over the phone and then provide payment information.

6. Be Prepared to Answer Your Phone When Potential Tenants Call

Many newspapers now offer the ability to place an online rental ad. These ads are usually cheaper than placing an ad in the actual print newspaper. In addition, you have more allowable characters and you can often include a picture. On average, the ad will run for 30 days for a set fee which will vary by newspaper. Keep in mind this will only target those with online access and will still not reach those who do not have computer access or who do not look at the online versions of newspapers.