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by Ben Luxon June 19, 2019 5 min read

There are many ways to advertise your properties vacancy.

Read: The Top 11 Websites to List your Properties on 

Many of these methods are free, whilst others come with small associated costs.

One of the top and longest-running free ad sites is Craigslist. Everyone knows about craigslist, millions of people visit the site every month and hundreds of people create new property listings every day.

So, it makes sense to create your craigslist listing, but If you want to attract the best tenants you will want to create the best ad.

What makes the best ad?

  • The best ad is short, sweet and above all informative.
  • Make sure it’s grammatically correct and double-check your spelling.
  • Bullet points are your friend

Related: Top 11 Websites to list your Property on

Creating a great craigslist account

A step by step guide to creating your listing

Step 1. Go to Craigslist


Step 2. Log in or create an account

On the left-hand side, there is a link that reads ‘my account’.

From here you can either login using your account details or you can create a new account using a verifiable email address.

Craigslist will often require that you validate your account by linking it to a phone number to limit people posting spam on their site.

You must also agree to the Craigslist terms of use in order to enable your account. Once your account is enabled, you can log in with your email and password.

Step 3. Create New Posting

Once you’re logged in there should be a tap at the top on the right-hand side which says ‘New Posting’. Select this and begin by setting the location of your new ad.

Step 4.Choose Ad Type

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
  • Sublets
  • Temporary and vacation rentals

Assuming this is a traditional rental, you would select “apartments for rent” and hit continue.

Step 5.Create Your Ad

When creating your ad you will need to fill out all the required blank fields which will include: rent amount, street address, and property description.

Upload a few photos as well at this time - though this isn’t required, your listing will perform much better with some good photography.

Check your ad is live

It may take a little while for your ad to go live. You can go back and check for it to make sure it is live - we advise you to wait two hours.

Simply, select the location of the listing, click on ‘apartments/housing’. Then type in the address of your property in the search bar.

If your ad comes up you know it is live and you should start expecting inquiry!

Writing your Craigslist Ad

Writing a good ad is important if you want anyone to actually enquire. It’s not enough to just type up a paragraph detailing a few of the properties features.

When it comes to writing your ad you want to, first of all, make the property sound good, but you also want to make sure the information is as accessible as possible.

This means short paragraphs, grammatically correct sentences, and lists of features. Plus you want to make sure that

People will likely scan your advertisement for all its important information, and then move onto the next. If you present them with a massive block of text, you could scare them off before they even have a chance to see if the property is right for them.

Important information to include in your ad:

  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Number of Bathrooms
  • Monthly Rent
  • Security Deposit
  • Length of Lease
  • Amenities
  • Pet Policy

When you’ve finished writing your ad hit ‘continue’.

Craigslist will automatically make your email anonymous so you don't have to worry about people finding it and spamming you.

Related: How to Write the Perfect Rental Listing 

creating a great craigslist apartment listing

Making your property stand out on Craigslist

High Quality Pictures

Quite possibly the most important part of a craigslist ad - especially when it comes to p[property rentals. Many people won’t even consider a property if it doesn't have pictures (would you?). In fact, they may well filter out any that don’t have pictures entirely.

Pictures are easier to understand than words and people will often look at the pictures before even reading the ad! A selection of good pictures will quickly catch any interested parties who will then go on to spend a bit more time reviewing the details of the ad before enquiring.

Read: 11 Tips for Getting Perfect Photography for your Rental 

Create an Interesting Headline

So you’ve got the right details in your ad, and you’ve attached some gorgeous pictures. You will also need a catchy, descriptive and informative headline.

The best practice is to at least include the price and number of bedrooms of your rental.

Here are two example headlines for the same property;

  1. $1500/1BR Lovely Unit with Amenities Close by
  2. $1500/1BR Gorgeous Unit in Luxury Building. Close to Schools, Gym and Bus Stop.

Which piques your interest more? The first one is a little vague. The second details a few catchy specifics.

Your headline will attract prospective tenants to click and learn more so pick one or two standout features of your property and include them.

Some other examples of great headlines include:

  • Charming 2 BR that Backs onto the Park
  • Newly renovated 1 BR with all Utilities Included

Tell the Truth!

Whilst you want to make your apartment sound nice, you don’t want to mislead your prospective tenants. Misled tenants will learn the truth eventually when they visit your apartment. You want to be as honest with them as possible so that you don’t end wasting their time and your own 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 look at your apartment believing that you’ve got all brand new stainless steel appliances but they turn up and your appliances rusting white appliances from 20 years ago then they may well just run for the door.

So tell the truth. Some people may not care about old appliances, or need that parking space. They are the ones you want viewing your apartment.

creating a great craigslist apartment listing

Bonus Tips

On craigslist, you can repost your ad every 48 hours. The reason you may want to consider doing this is that ads are organized by date posted. Meaning if you were to post and then leave it for a week, at the end of the week your ad would be behind 7 days worth of other people's advertisements.

One trick you may want to consider is creating multiple as for the same property. Post the second 24 hours after the first and then renew them each after 48 hours. This will allow you to have an ad at the top every 24 hours instead of 48.

Your ad will remain live on the site for 45 days and after that period you can repost it or delete by going to ‘your postings’ after you’ve logged in.

Don’t forget to take down the posting for the ad after you’ve filled the vacancy.

A lot of people use Craigslist so it is definitely worth listing your property on there. Make sure you detail all the attractive properties of your rental in the ad and use a selection of good photos.

If you do this you should get a lot of enquiry pretty quickly.

Related: How to Create the Perfect Zillow Listing and Attract the Best Tenants

Ben Luxon

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