Advertising rental on craigslist, vs. newspaper

I’ve been advertising on craigslist, through a sign on the front lawn, and a bandit sign on the median of a major street.

I was told that advertising in a major newspaper was “old school” and that I should do it all online.

However, I’ve been getting so many flakes and mediocre applicants, I’m wondering if that was wrong.

Does anyone have an opinion? I’m wondering if I should just spend the $160 to advertise it in the paper.


I’ve had my best luck with craigslist, lawn signs, and directional signs on the main streets (bandit signs). In my experience, the newspaper gives you more of the same granola (mix of nuts and flakes) you get from craigslist; so why put out the extra cash?



Four decent seeming groups came by today (from Craig’s). I think adjusting the rent down has helped.

I’m sure you must have some type of free classified circular in your area (Thrifty Nickel, Little Nickel, etc). Check the prices on those papers. Our local one cost us $17 for a week. For whatever reason, NO ONE but us was advertising rental houses in there at the time. I’m not talking just that one week either. Seems most people didn’t want to spend the money and just put a sign in the yard. We literally had about 100 calls for our house. My theory is that most people don’t subscribe to the paper anymore. So if someone is looking to find “for rent” ads, they’ll probably grab the free paper first.

Test your markets, and put your advertising dollars where they work.

A low cost way is an “Info Tube” on your FOR RENT sign. Just fill it daily as people will take all the flyers quickly. That way they don’t have to call you, and they pass the flyers around.

Be sure to put on the bottom of the flyer–WE HAVE OTHER HOUSES-- CALL US!


I use Greensheet, which is a free local paper. It is about $15/week. I also use Craigslist and a yard sign.

One thing I do is put in the advertisements the phone number to an outgoing message that describes the property, how much it costs and gives directions. When they get to the house they have flyers in the tube and my phone number. That way I don’t get calls asking me what color is the house and is it close to the airport. They have been there they know how much it is and they pretty much want the house.

I only hear from a small percentage of the people that would normally call but the ones I get are first ½ qualified. The first ½ is do they like the house the second ½ is do I like them.

I use Craigslist with great success. On the top of being free I’m able to provide much more information, pictures, links to more pictures videos and don’t have to give away my contact info. I usually get 10 to 20 emails and I don’t even bother replying to some of them that are not polite/eloquent. I usually end up with tenants that have more class than me so it must be working.
I also use Craigslist to get rid of junk, buy all rental and building supplies and even bough two houses and working on a third one… What a great thing that Craigslist is. I really should this guy Craig some money or a thank you card or something.

I think Craigslist,, a sign in the yard, and one bandit sign on median finally got me a group of qualified applicants, so I’ve decided to drop the major newspaper idea in the future, although I’ll look into the pennysavers. I found that my problem was the price point for my market. I kept dropping it over the weeks and when I finally got to $100 less than my original rent price I got a slew of qualified people. When it was priced higher, I was attracting people who weren’t that serious, plus a lot of total losers.

Wow. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.

I use Craigslist with great success. I usually end up with tenants that have more class than me so it must be working.

Wow. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.[/i]

I’m not. One is a worship leader in a church, speaks Chinese and goes to China for to teach small kids English. Another ones dad is a nuclear physicist that currently builds new sarcofagus around blown up Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine. Another one just informed me she’s moving out because her sick mom needs her and she (tenant) just finished painting and decorating the apartment including tile in the kitchen…

I had few bums too but I’d say 8 out of 10 are great.

When it was priced higher, I was attracting people who weren't that serious, plus a lot of total losers.


I would think you would have gotten a better class of tenenat with the higher price point rather than lower.

So what ended up working the best out of all your marketing?