How to Write an Effective For Rent Ad

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on May 26, 2009 under Landlord Tips, Marketing for Landlords, Screening and Background Checks, Tenant Credit Checks, Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment


pencil-and-paper on tenant screening blog

When it comes to written communication, the “Two Cs” should be top-of-mind: Clear and Concise. This is particularly important when composing an ad for a rental unit. Follow these steps to an easy, effective ad:

1. Attract attention. Make your newspaper ad stand out by adding a border or bold headline. On Craigslist, the descriptor is short, so use creative language: “Amazing house in Oak Tree neighborhood,” “Best $500 apartment in town,” or “Hardwood floors, 3BR, super-quiet” are all ways to capture attention quickly.

2. Be clear.  At a minimum, list the number of bedrooms and baths, the neighborhood, parking information, and the monthly rent. State that you check previous landlords, criminal background, and credit history. You can eliminate unqualified tenants easily with a well-worded ad. 

3. Use photos. A picture is truly worth a thousand words. A photo can instantly tell a prospective tenant whether your rental property is the right place for them. 

4. Don’t skip the details. Do you include utilities with the rent? Say so! Are you okay with pets? Put it in the ad. Are you completely against smoking in your rental home? Tell us! Tell readers about the schools, whether a grocery store is close by, and all about the beautiful landscaping. Brag about your place, and you’ll get enthusiastic responses. You want the most qualified tenants to act upon finding your ad. 

5. Make it easy to respond. Put your primary phone number in the ad, as well as an email address. For Craigslist ads, all responses will be through the site’s secure email unless you add a telephone number in the ad. 

6. State a good time to call. You can certainly list what time you will accept telephone calls from prospective tenants. And if a call is made outside that time, the caller either didn’t notice, or didn’t care that you requested otherwise. It’s a good screening mechanism to find the tenants you’ll get along with best.

An effective ad is the first step in prescreening tenants. You can eliminate the ones you don’t want and attract the ones you do by being clear, descriptive, and detailed in your newspaper or online For Rent ad.

For more landlord resources, including everything you need to know about tenant screening, turn to You’ll know that you have the best possible tenants when you prescreen tenants.

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