Three “Must-Haves” for Marketing Property Online

Tips for crafting an effectively ad that demands reader attention

I’ve marketed my rental properties online for the past 8-years. My advertisements have featured a variety of property-related needs—to find buyers, sellers, and tenants for my rental properties. However, over time, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to crafting an effectively ad that grabs the customer’s attention.
For my primary property investment marketing, I use free advertising sites like Craigslist. The following tips are what I consider “must haves” when it comes to crafting eye-catching ads for property investment purposes…

1. Set your ad apart with unique content
“For immediate rental, 2-bedroom condo, 950-square feet, en-suite laundry, utilities included, $800 per month, contact blah, blah, blah…” Sounds like every other property rental ad—doesn’t it? All of my ads used to sound something like this. They included just the basic information about the property, the price, and a phone number. However, I soon learned that this basic ad doesn’t catch as much attention as I’d like. After a weeknight seminar with a very successful property investor, I learned that taking the time to write an eye-catching, descriptive title (i.e., “Stylish, Modern Condo for Rent in the Heart of the City”) was enough to grab the reader’s attention long enough that they would read the rest of the practical information about my listing and actually call me for a viewing.

2. Provide a clear call-to-action
A real call to action is vital when writing a rental ad yet so many posters forget a contact number, an email contact form, a website that asks the user to sign-up, or some clear call-to-action that gets the user to leave their information in your lead system. This method not only provides one clear way for the reader to contact you, it also organizes or directs potential renters in one clear direction (your email, cell phone number, website, etc.) keeping those who’ve called organized and easy to follow up with on your end as well.

3. It’s all in the timing…
Did you know that free online classified sites, like Craigslist, automatically post new ads at the very top of the page? That means the older posts get pushed towards the bottom. What this says to me is that I want to ensure I post my ad when the majority of my target audience is look—otherwise they’ll never see my ad. For instance, I used to post my ads late at night when I got back to my office. That means I was posting at 10 or 11pm. However, once I did a little online survey, I discovered that most people were surfing Craigslist to find a rental either over their lunch hours or right after dinner. You better bet I reorganized my schedule so I posted my ads just before noon and just after 6PM at night, which increased my chances of my ads being seen by my target audience. I’m happy to report that my responses from interested renters have greatly increased as a result.


  1. That’s a very helpful tip about the ad timing on Craigslist. Time to change strategy! Thanks!

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