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How to Write a Newspaper Ad for Your Rental

Make Your Classified Ad Stand Out


When you have a vacancy at your property, you can place a 'For Rent' Ad. One of the most common places to do so is in the classified section of the newspaper. When writing a newspaper ad for your rental, you want to accomplish a couple of goals:

  • To find tenants.
  • To find quality tenants.
  • To find tenants who are actually interested in your property and not wasting your time.
  • To fill your vacancy quickly.
  • To have a larger prospective tenant pool to choose from.

To be able to accomplish all of these goals, you will have to write an ad that is both compelling and informative. You need to include the apartment basics so people understand what you have to offer, but you also need to include some amenities or desirable features that will set your property apart from the dozens of others on the page.

Since the space you have to “sell” your property is very limited in a newspaper ad, you have to maximize the space you do have.

Include the Basics

Start by including the basics. The rent, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, your name and contact number and if pets are allowed. If you are advertising in a paper that covers multiples towns or counties, you will also want to include the town your property is located in. Other basics, depending on the amount of space you have, can include if heat and hot water are included, the amount of security deposit required and the move-in date available.

To save space, you can abbreviate certain words that are well known. These are the words that people will quickly understand the meaning of. For instance, 2 bedroom written as 2 BR is commonly known and accepted. Avoid making up abbreviations, such as instead of saying garden view, you write GRDN VW. Few people will understand what you are implying and may not want to waste any more time looking at your confusing ad.

Here are Some Common Abbreviations:

  • Available March 20: Avail 3/20
  • Apartment: APT
  • Bathroom: BA
  • Bedroom: BR
  • Cats Allowed: Cats OK
  • Dogs Allowed: Dogs OK
  • Eat-in-Kitchen: E.I.K.
  • Heat: H
  • Hot Water: HW
  • Included: Incl
  • Stainless Steel appliances: SS
  • Section 8: Sect 8
  • Pets Allowed: Pets OK
  • Washer/Dryer: W/D

While abbreviations will help you save space and money, if you use too many and do not include descriptive adjectives, your ad will not stand out and you may get fewer calls regarding your rental. You want to balance the abbreviations with descriptions. For example, you can say “Stunning 2 BR” instead of just “2BR.”

Include Two or Three Amenities

Once you have included the basics, you can move on to include some desirable features of your property such as stainless steel appliances, quiet neighborhood, balcony or walk-in closet. You want to include one or two things that will set you apart from the competition and make your property seem more appealing.

Analyze the Competition

Make sure your rental price is on par with your competition. If every other two bedroom listed is going for between $900 and $1000 a month and your two bedroom is listed at $1600, either your pricing is ridiculous, or you must have some amenity that would justify the higher price such as a city view, outdoor space or completely renovated apartment. In addition, if everyone lists their property using adjectives such as “sunny and spacious,” you will want to look for other ways to describe your space so your property will stand out.

Sample Rental Ads:

Here are some examples of rental ads.

Large apartment. Has a lot of good features. Come take a look and see for yourself. 555-1234

This ad is bad for many reasons. It doesn’t even include the basics such as number of bedrooms or bathrooms or even the rent per month. It is very vague and will generate little or no interest. People do not want to hear an apartment has “good features.” They want to know exactly what features it has. The one bright spot is they remembered to include a contact number. However, there is no name to call, which makes the ad seem less personal. You always want to include a name with the contact number so people know who they are asking for.

Raleigh, N.C. 3 BR, 1 BA. $1200/mo. 1 month Security Deposit. H/HW incl. Avail 6/20. Pets OK. Call John 555-1234

This ad is good in that it includes all the essential information. However, it does not have anything that will excite people or entice them to want to come and see the apartment.

EAST ORANGE/ Essex. $950/mo. Beautiful 2 BR/1BA. Newly renov. All new S.S. Appliances. EIK. Walk-in pantry. Hot watr incl. Sect 8 welc. No Fee. View pics at www.”yourwebsitehere”.com. Call John 555-1234

This ad is better because it includes all the essentials. It includes specific features and balances out abbreviations and longer words, so it is easy to read.

Next: How to Place a Classified Ad for Your Rental in the Newspaper
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