How to Find New Tenants for Your Rentals on Craigslist
Filling vacancies is one of the most important aspects of property management because it directly impacts the financial success of the property. When a property is vacant, it is not generating any income for the landlord or property owner. Additionally, the longer a property remains vacant, the more it can cost in terms of advertising, maintenance, and lost potential income.
Moreover, property managers have a fiduciary duty to their clients, which is maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of the property. A property that is not generating rental income is not meeting this duty. By filling vacancies as quickly as possible, property managers can ensure that their clients are receiving the highest possible return on their investment.
On top of that, Keeping the property occupied also ensures that the property is well-maintained and safe for the residents. Vacant properties are often targets for vandalism and crime, which can lead to costly repairs and insurance claims.
In summary, filling vacancies is crucial for property managers because it directly impacts the financial success of the property, helps to meet the fiduciary duty to the clients and keeps the property safe and well-maintained for the residents
What is a Rental Listing Site?
A listing website is a platform that allows individuals or businesses to post ads for properties or products that are available for rent, sale, or purchase. These websites are designed to be easily searchable and accessible, making it easy for potential renters, buyers, or sellers to find the information they need.
Craigslist is a listing website that has become a popular choice for landlords and property managers looking to fill vacancies. The benefits of using a website like Craigslist include:
- Reach: Craigslist is a widely-used platform with a large audience, which means that your listing has the potential to reach a large number of potential renters.
- Cost-effectiveness: Posting a rental listing on Craigslist is generally free or low-cost, which can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.
- Convenience: Craigslist is easy to use and navigate, which makes it simple for landlords and property managers to post listings and respond to inquiries.
- Targeting: Craigslist allows you to target specific geographic areas, which can be useful for reaching potential renters in a specific location.
- Variety: Craigslist allows you to post a variety of listings, which can be useful for landlords and property managers who have multiple properties available for rent.
- Feedback: Craigslist allows you to get feedback from the potential renters, which can be valuable for understanding what renters are looking for and what might be missing from your listing.
Creating a Rental Posting on Craigslist
This guide assumes that you have already made a Craigslist account. If you haven't already made an account, you can do so by visiting this page.
Step-by-step guide to posting rentals on Craigslist to find new tenants & renters
Step 1: Go to Craigslist.org and select the location where you want to post your rental listing.
- When posting a rental listing on Craigslist, it's important to select the correct location where the property is located. This is because Craigslist is organized by geographic location, and users will typically only search for rentals in their desired area. By selecting the correct location, you will ensure that your listing is visible to users searching for rentals in that area.
- If you post your listing in the wrong location, it may not be seen by potential renters who are looking for rentals in the area where your property is actually located. Additionally, if you post your listing in multiple locations, it may be flagged as spam and removed from the platform.
- When selecting the location for your rental listing, it's important to be as specific as possible. For example, if your property is located in a specific neighborhood or city, select that location rather than a broader area. This will help to ensure that your listing is seen by the right audience and increase the chances of finding a suitable tenant.
Step 2: Select "Housing" from the category list and then choose "apts / housing for rent" as the subcategory.
Step 3: Click on the "Post" button in the top right corner of the page.
Step 4: Fill out the form with the relevant information about your rental property, including the location, price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any additional features or amenities.
Step 5: Add high-quality photos of your property to your listing.
- Take clear, well-lit photos: Make sure the space is well-lit and the photos are in focus. This will make the property look more attractive and inviting to potential renters.
- Use a wide-angle lens: This will help to capture the entire space and give renters a better sense of the layout and size of the property.
- Take photos of key features: This could include the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and any unique features of the property. Make sure to show off any upgrades or renovations that have been done.
- Include a mix of photos: Include a mix of wide-angle shots and close-ups to give renters a good sense of the property and its features.
- Edit the photos: Crop and adjust the brightness, contrast and color balance as necessary to make the photos look as good as possible.
- Use a professional photographer: If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your property. They will have the skills and equipment to take high-quality photos that will help your property stand out.
Step 6: Write an engaging and informative description that highlights the unique features of your property and the surrounding area.
- It's important to use relevant keywords in your listing title and description. This will help your listing to appear in search results when users search for rentals in that area.
- Including a map or an address in your listing can also help renters to find your listing and help them to understand the location and the accessibility of the property
Step 7: Be sure to include your contact information, such as your email address and phone number, in the listing so that interested renters can contact you.
Step 8: Preview your listing to make sure that all the information is correct and that the photos are clear and well-lit.
Previewing your rental listing is an important step in the process of filling vacancies. It allows you to review the listing and ensure that all of the information is accurate and attractive to potential renters.
Step 9: Once you are satisfied with the listing, submit it by clicking on the "Continue" button.
Step 10: Promote your listing on social media and other platforms to attract even more potential renters.
- Share your listing on your personal or business social media accounts. This can help to reach a wider audience and increase the chances of finding a suitable tenant.
- Post your listing in local classifieds such as newspapers, community bulletins, and neighborhood websites. This can help to reach renters who may not be actively searching for rentals online.
- Put up a for rent sign on the property and include your contact information. This will help to attract drive-by traffic and reach renters who may not be actively searching for rentals online.
Step 11: Respond quickly to inquiries and be prepared to answer any questions that potential renters may have.
Response time is an important aspect of property management and filling vacancies. It refers to the amount of time it takes for a property manager or landlord to respond to an inquiry or request from a potential tenant. A quick response time can help to increase the chances of filling a vacancy, while a slow response time can lead to lost opportunities and longer vacancy periods.
Here are a few ways to improve response times:
- Monitor your email and phone regularly: Make sure to check your email and voicemail frequently so that you can respond to inquiries and requests in a timely manner.
- Use automated responses: Use automated responses to acknowledge receipt of an inquiry and let the potential tenant know when they can expect a response.
- Set up a schedule: Set a schedule for checking and responding to inquiries so that you can stay on top of them and respond in a timely manner.
- Prioritize inquiries: Prioritize inquiries from potential renters who are interested in viewing the property as soon as possible, as they are more likely to move forward with the rental process.
- Have a designated point of contact: Have a designated point of contact for rental inquiries and make sure that they are able to respond quickly and efficiently.
- Follow up: Follow up with potential renters who have inquired about the property to ensure that they have all the information they need and to answer any questions they may have.
- Be available: Be available to show the property and answer questions from potential renters. This can help to increase the chances of filling a vacancy.
Response time is an important aspect of property management and filling vacancies. A quick response time can help to increase the chances of filling a vacancy, while a slow response time can lead to lost opportunities and longer vacancy periods. By monitoring inquiries and responding in a timely manner, prioritizing inquiries, having a designated point of contact, and being available to show the property, you can improve your response times and increase the chances of filling vacancies.
Step 12: Be sure to screen potential tenants carefully to ensure that they are a good fit for your property.
You can use a property management software like Rentroom to help you with this process.
Step 13: Once you have found a suitable tenant, work with them to complete the necessary paperwork and move-in process.
In conclusion, Craigslist is a popular listing website that can be an effective tool for landlords and property managers looking to fill vacancies. Now that you know everything there is to know about publishing a Craigslist listing, you will be able to access its reach, cost-effectiveness, convenience, targeting, variety, and feedback features. This is what makes it a great choice for landlords and property managers looking to reach potential renters.
My name is Nick Caucci and I help run the Rentroom blog. Over the years, I have seen and helped many different property managers and owner-operators streamline their daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly workflows.