Craigslist is one of the most effective places to advertise apartments online, and it’s a leading source of leases for many properties. Get the most from the time you invest posting to Craigslist by following these tips.
Post daily, if possible: Over 1,000 apartment ads are posted to Craigslist each day in major markets. Most apartment hunters browse the first few pages of listings rather than using the search function. You’ll see a lot of activity on a newly posted ad, but less and less as newer ads are published. Post daily, but don’t post an identical ad and be sure to delete the previous day’s ad to minimize over posting. Traffic’s highest during lunch, so try to post near lunchtime.
Make sure your posts go live: Your ad may seem to have published, but that doesn’t always mean it has. Craigslist will “ghost” (or suppress) ads it thinks are spam and ads that have been flagged. Unfortunately, competitors often flag ads. Make sure your ad’s online by searching for it 10-15 minutes after publishing the post.
Consider posting on the weekend: While there’s half the traffic, there’s also far less competition on weekends. Going to be in the leasing office on Saturday or Sunday? Show up five minutes early and post to Craigslist before you put on the phones.
Don’t sound like a property manager: Apartment hunters read Craigslist for deals, not to rent from a commercial property manager. Avoid industry jargon, and position the ad like you’re posting your own single unit.
Optimize the title: Good titles move people to click, and might even appear in Google search results. Add compelling details to the title, like location (“Willow Grove Apartments”), rent specials (“$500 off first month!”) or pet info (“Dogs welcome!”)
Keep it short and sweet: Aim for simplicity rather than complexity. Use bullet points and a minimum amount of block text. Put the most desirable amenities near the top, where they’re more likely to be seen.
Pictures matter: Post as many good photos of the apartment as you can. Don’t bother with property sign pictures.
Enter the address: Renters can now see Craigslist apartment ads plotted on a map. Be sure to enter your address manually so prospectives can find your community!
Add nearby locations and other search terms: Some apartment hunters do use the search function, looking for ads that match things like “bryn mawr college student housing.” To help them find your ad, include descriptive key phrases to anticipate their search terms. Even if your property’s in an adjacent town or neighborhood, you use keywords to say that the community is near employers and schools in X, Y and Z town.
If you’re looking for help with Craigslist ads, or any other kind of digital marketing, contact us today! We’re happy to help.