As a property manager or a landlord, you have an immeasurable amount of things on your plate.
From making sure that your properties are kept up to shape, to making sure that rent is being collected, there's always an incredible amount of things to deal with.
One of the most important things that property managers have to deal with is making sure that their properties are never vacant.
This is an essential aspect of property management because it is the main way that landlords make their money.
For example, when a landlord has a property that is vacant, no one is there to pay rent. That means that it is the responsibility of the landlord to continue paying the rent.
And what happens when a landlord pays their own rent? They begin to lose money.
No landlord wants that. So it is important to completely avoid that by always having rental listings of your rental properties live.
In this guide, we will be going over how to advertise a rental property on the listing site Craigslist.
So, to get this started, let's go over what a rental listing site is and how it can benefit you.
What is a Rental Listing Site?
A rental listing site is any website that allows a property owner to list their rental property in order to advertise or market it to other people. These properties are almost always vacant properties but can sometimes be properties whose lease is soon to expire.
Most of these sites offer clear instructions on how to use the site, but some are not very clear. The site that we will be discussing in this guide, Craigslist, has a relatively straightforward process for posting rentals.
Regardless of the listing site, some of the most important information that prospective tenants look for in a listing includes:
- Photos and videos of the apartment
- Basic rental unit details
- And any special features
After creating this listing, the Craigslist ad is posted to the website for thousands of potential renters to view.
So, let's get started with the process of creating a Craigslist post and getting your units occupied.
Creating a Craigslist Rental Post
Since Craigslist is one of the only platforms that are completely free and allow you to make as many posts as you'd like, it is an extremely useful site to use. This is especially useful considering how many other sites charge you once you exceed a certain number of listings.
However, Craigslist is not always the safest platform to browse rental listings. One of the biggest problems with browsing Craigslist apartments is that there is a chance for renters to run into rental scams. Some of the most common scams include when a user copies the ad of a different rental property and posts it as their own to collect some sort of security deposit or fee. This is known as a hijacked ad, and it is important to look out and be careful.
So, if you are aware of how your rental listings could be used on Craigslist, it is time to continue on to learn how to list your apartments in just a few simple steps.
Step 1: Setting your location
The very first step when it comes to creating a rental listing on Craigslist is to determine your location. It is important to note that you must set the location of the property and not your actual location. This is because the location you set is going to be the area under which the property will be posted.
So, if you set the wrong location for the property, a prospective tenant could get misinformed, potentially leading to a dispute. The option to choose the location is provided in the form of a large list, shown below.
Step 2: Creating a Craigslist Account
This is probably one of the easier steps, but it is also a very important one. By creating a Craigslist account, you are going to be able to list all of your rentals with no limit. Also, by creating this account, you are going to be able to have all of your listings in one place.
This means that you will have all of your rental listings in one centralized location. This makes it very easy to track which ones have been occupied or which ones need more attention.
Step 3: Create the Posting
After you create an account, you're going to click where it says to create a posting. After you click here, you will be asked a few general questions to place your listing in the correct category.
The first question will be "What type of posting is this?" Since we are going over rental listings, we will choose the option that says "housing offered". After that, the site will ask you a more specific question about your property, prompting you to choose a category. These categories include property types such as apartments for rent, commercial properties, parking, vacation, and many more.
After answering these two questions, you will be prompted with the listing page where you will fill out all of your property's information.
Step 4: Filling out Rental Property Details
This is the most important step to pay special attention to because it is the one that is going to be selling your property to the prospective renter. The first thing you see at the top is a warning about the fair housing law. It is advised that you read through these precautions to make sure that your posting follows all guidelines.
In this step, you will be filling out important details about the property. In the first posting box, you have three fields which are the posting title, the city, the postal code, and the posting body (description). It is important that all of these fields are filled out to the best of your ability and reflect only accurate and true information.
For example, when posting apartments, you may want to have a title like "$2000 - Spacious Studio Apartment in Miami, FL with Ocean Views". This title gives information about the price, the size, and the location of the Craigslist posting, making it easier for users to know if they are interested or not.
Then, in the description box, you want to add as many details as possible about your property. This could include the specific square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, any special policies, or any other amenities. Some of these will be answered again in the next step but it is still good to include them in the description as that is what potential tenants will read first.
Step 5: Filling out Remaining Details
This step is where you will be filling out some of the most important details of the rental property. In these boxes, you will be filling out specific details including special features, fees, and contact information.
The first box, the posting details, includes information like the rent, the square footage, the housing type, and other specific questions. These questions include things like questions about pets, furniture, smoking, and air conditioning.
There are also questions like the housing type, the laundry, the parking, the bedrooms and bathrooms, the flooring, and the rent period. Then, you are presented with questions about the availability of the property showing. This is where you put the dates that you are available to hold an open house for the property.
The next section is where you include any information about any fees and payments that are included in the rental process. This could include things like broker fees, application fees, and any other deposits.
The next box includes fields where you can fill out the information about how to contact the property owner or the user creating the listing. This is obviously a very important section where you must include accurate information because it is what leads potential renters to you. In this section, Craigslist gives you the choice of whether or not to show your phone number. However, it is recommended that you keep it hidden in order to mitigate the risk of spam calls and messages.
The rest of the form is just confirming the location info of the property and assigning copyright to the property. The copyright assignment just confirms that the listing is solely your original content and others can be punished for using it.
Step 6: Adding Images
Now that we are finished with all of the property information, it is time to add some images of the property. This is also an extremely important step because it is the only way that potential renters can actually see what the property looks like.
You should always try to add only high-quality images that highlight some of the important features of the property, like the bedrooms, the bathrooms, etc. After you are done adding images, you are presented with a draft of the posting and you are finally ready to publish it.
Now that you know everything about Craigslist postings, you are ready to publish some of your own! Remember that you should always include only accurate and relevant information in your posting and be sure to have caution regarding scams and malfeasance. Happy listing!