Let’s Write an Ad…

Hello landlords of Craigslist-

First off, you’re probably not a landlord. I just have broke-ass renting friends who have all found their apartments on Craigslist and I feel this post is a way for us to connect about the ridiculousness of apartment postings. Also, I think my mom is the only one who reads my blog. So, hi Mom!

Though, if you are a landlord, I have some advice. Now, you may be thinking, this young gal doesn’t need to be giving me advice.


I’ve seen your ads online. I am on C.L. every GD day looking at the available rentals in our community. Guess why your property hasn’t been rented yet? It’s because your ad sucks. Like, big time. *obviously if you have good ads, this rant-y post isn’t directed at YOU, you gem of a landlord. 

You will get nowhere with this style of ad:


Because it looks like your renter is signing up for literally anything. There is so much missing! Like a photo for one. Also what is $5001000?! Duluth and Hermantown are two very different places. But, hey, at least the apartments are BEAUTIFUL.

Landlords, I’m saying this out of the bottom of my heart (and the necessity of renting from you because I can’t afford a downpayment on a house) please make your ads better. It’s 2017. Your grandchildren can code. Ask them for help.

Here’s the stuff I want to see in an ad:

  • Price (mention if utilities are included or not in the headline because your $1000/mo seems doable until you throw in *all utilities not included* later in the description)
  • Your name and contact information and the best time to connect with you
  • Location (like the literal address. I want to know where I’m going to live)
  • Any landmarks/shops/major roads near by
  • What type of building is it (complex, duplex, single family home, co-op, etc.)
  • PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES! If you don’t post pictures, then I’m not interested. You have a camera on your phone. Use it. If you’re ashamed to post pictures, fix up your property. And don’t just give me one exterior shot. I want a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom(s), and living space picture. Personally, I’ll call for a showing for the higher-rent place if it looks nice online. Or, if I don’t see wood panelling.

This seems like not much to ask. Honestly, it’s a very basic list but you’d be SHOCKED to see many of these elements missing from posts. As a young woman, I would barely apply for ads that seemed like I was walking into a situation that may end up unsafe (full discloser, my current apartment’s ad had no pictures, just a rent price that I liked and I took a shot.)

And, if you think your ad is the bee’s knees, take a step back. Look to see if you have words like “cute” or “cozy” to try and trick us renters into equating small with something comforting. Also, it annoys the shit out of me when landlords list their rental as “per room.” Just say $1000/mo instead of $500 per room. We can divide. It’s not that hard.

This may seem a bit rant-y because it is. Finding an apartment is a full-time job in this city and I hate wasting my time pouring over C.L. just to feel frustrated by a lack of information or decent options. The great places get snatched up quickly because we all want to live in a nice, affordable home. And maybe you have a great place and no one is biting. Spruce up your ad. Make us want to see this apartment. We’re desperate for a place but not so desperate that we’ll respond to an ad that looks like we are going to be in a sketchy situation.

Hopefully this helps you help me find an apartment. Though, I did just re-sign my lease for the year meaning I don’t have to move until 2018 (praise Dolly Parton!) I did consider while writing this post to create a database of all the rentals in town with pictures and prices but then I realized I had just invented Craigslist. So on that note, I’ll bid you good bye.


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