There are many free ways to advertise a vacancy at your rental property. While some sites will charge you to post a for rent ad, other sites, like Craigslist will allow you to post an ad for free. By following a few easy steps, you can have your ad posted in minutes and can begin interviewing and screening prospective tenants for your property.
1: Go to the Site
Go to www.craigslist.org on your web browser. Either URL will take you to the site.
2: Choose Your Location
Click on the state or location where your property is located. You can find this on the right side of the page.
3: Create an Account
If you do not already have a Craigslist account, it is easy to create one. You'll have to provide a valid email address and create a password. In addition, Craigslist will often require that you validate your account by linking it to a phone number to limit people posting spam on their site.
4: New Posting
There should be a tab on the top of the page that says "new posting." Click on this link. You will now be given the opportunity to choose the location you'd like to post your new ad in. Click on the appropriate location and click "go."
5: Choose Type of Ad
You will now have to choose the type of classified ad that you are posting. Click on "housing offered" and hit continue.
You will then choose a sub-category for your housing on the next screen. Craigslist offers several options, including:
- Apartments for rent
- Rooms and shares
- Temporary and vacation rentals
Assuming this is a traditional rental, you would select “apartments for rent” and hit continue.
6: City-Specific Steps
Some areas, such as New York City and Chicago, require a couple of extra steps. Assuming you own the property you're hoping to rent out, you would next click on “apartments by owner” when prompted and click continue.
The next screen gives you the option of an area of your city to post the ad to. Select the area that best describes the location of your property. For example, some choices in the New York City area are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Long Island, and New Jersey. If your property is located in Brooklyn, click Brooklyn and continue.
You can skip these steps in most locations. After choosing the category for your property, you'll be taken directly to the page where you can create your ad. Otherwise, you'll move on after selecting your location.
7: Create Your Ad
There will be required blank fields you will need to fill out when creating your ad, including the rent amount, street address, and property description. Uploading pictures of the property is a must because many people won't reach out about an apartment if they can't see pictures of it first. Some important information to include in your ad:
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Monthly Rent
- Security Deposit
- Length of Lease
- If You Accept Section 8 or Other Rental Assistance
- Pet Policy
Craigslist will automatically anonymize your email address. You can change it to show your actual email address if you like, but there's always the possibility of having your email address picked up by spammers.
Click "next" when you've finished writing your ad. You'll have one more opportunity to review it before it goes live. Hit "continue" when you're satisfied with it.
8: Is Your Ad Live?
It can take to up to two hours before your ad is live on the site. You can go back to Craigslist to check. Click on the area where your property is located on the right. Under housing, click on “apartments/housing." Type the address of your property in the search bar at the top and if your ad comes up, it is active on the site.
9: Some Tips
- On Craigslist, you will have to wait 48 hours if you want to post another ad.
- Your ad will remain live on the site for 45 days. Craigslist offers you an opportunity to re-post the ad when it expires. You can see the ads you've posted by going to the "Your Postings" tab after you've logged in. You can go to the expired ad and simply hit "re-post" to post the same ad again.
- Don't forget to take down all ads for the property after your vacancy has been filled. Go to the "Your Postings" tab after logging in, find the ad, and click remove.