Craigslist ad for potential tenant/buyer list?

I’m about to have my first (few) houses under contract for lease options, was wondering the best way to qualified qualified tenant buyers?

I was thinking about placing an ad to craigslist for the general area, get some responses and weed out a few who many have prospect

Does anyone have a template I can use that attracts solid T/Bs?

Go to and create a flyer for each house. It’ll give you a gorgeous flyer and also provide you the html code to paste into Craigslist. Vflyer is free up to 5 flyers, I think.

Ugly, handwritten bandit signs work wonderfully well to pull rent to own buyers:

Something like this with your phone number on it would be wonderful. Uglier is better, but still legible of course.

Put as much information in the ad as possible. This will weed out all the questions. Don’t put it all in a single paragraph though. Use HTML bullet lists. They are easier to read than paragraphs.

Property Details:
<li>3/2/2 Block</li>
<li>1,000 sqsft</li>
<li>more details....</li>

Upload images of the property to the internet somewhere and reference them with the code below. Make sure they are re-sized not too small and not too big. 600 pixels wide is perfect. You can put the same ad up 3 days later, so when you go to re list you won’t have to upload the photos again (just re-copy the old ad and paste in the new ad). Do it every 3 days until the property is either sold/rented. It works wonders!!

<img src="">

<img src="">

<img src="">

<img src="">

code means line break. It’s basic HTML that says go to the next line. Make sure to use
when you make your ad or the whole ad will be a single paragraph!

Make sure to put a link to your website. Here’s how to do that:

<a href=""></a>

Do not put your ad to the general area. You must place it to its proper category.

Which category on craigslist would be recommended to post? Thank you.

You want to put your house under the correct category when selling/renting/lease-optioning, so that buyers can find them easily. However, craigslist has a notorious bunch of craigslist nannies that flag for the stupidist things (evidently). So, just post very precisely when selling/renting for YOUR benefit.

As an aside, when buying, we’ve had better responses putting our ads in the “For Sale” by both owner/broker columns. People with houses to sell will often look under the Houses For Sale column to see what other people are selling for, and to see their own ads, too …and see our ads …and call us.


I have seen and even work on Craigslist and Gumtree sites. These are the best sites for posting the ads and different deals on property and houses.

I will just echo what was said and say that Craigslist works great but post in the “for rent” not “for sale”. Just think about it, people who need a Rent2Own are not looking in to buy a house because very few houses on the for sale section are advertised with these terms. These are people that are looking to rent until your ad comes along and they are astounded that they can own in the near future . Trust me , this is how it should work in most areas.

Bandit sings work great also , like it was said handwritten. I stick by the “keep it simple” principle and suggest you put as little text as possible so you get people to notice what you are selling. Once you get the calls , you can explan what you have .

I agree…less is more. Someone suggested to put as much info about the house as possible in the ad…I tend to disagree. Put enough info in the ad to intrigue them, not every single detail of the house. The goal of the ad is to get them to call, not sell the house. I put my ads in both the “for rent” and “for sale” sections of CL…heck it’s free, may as well do both. Just change up the ad a bit so CL won’t see it as a duplicate ad.

CL is great but I can’t overstate the effectiveness of handwritten bandit signs. 25 signs at high-traffic intersections and around the neighborhood should be enough to get a flood of calls. You’ll probably get 10 calls from a good bandit sign for every 1 you get from an online ad.

Place the ad to a proper area and make sure to mention the features that can attract people. I am sure it will work!

Man, I’m on a mission to get everyone who will listen that online anything in this business is way way overstated. The time it takes to put an ad on CL, I could have completed the more effective by far ugly handwritten signs. I mean, I can’t even think of a time EVER I got a quality tenant/buyer lead that I placed in a home of mine. EVER. Just think about the number of minutes, hours, days, months someone spends on the computer doing up the ad. Ridiculous. Do what the old timers did before all this internet crap, pound the pavement, shake hands, get face to face. Time is precious in this business. Do what is most effective and get away from the computer. That is, if you want to use your time wisely. My opinion.

Once again utter crap from someone who doesn’t know how to effectively market online :rolleyes

Do me a favor STFU just because you never had success online doesn’t mean no one else hasn’t. In fact some have found more success online then offline marketing.

Online marketing is utter crap! I have yet to hear ANYONE with experience tout the effectiveness of it. ANYONE! And by effective, I’m talking about signed deals. You dig? Because in this business, signed deals are how you make money. Mr Investor…would you like to share how effective you’re online marketing strategy has been in terms of signed deals, costs etc when COMPARED to the other strategy I’ve mentioned? We’re dying to hear it…lol


Please be civil with one another…



Craigslist is very important resource for getting the leads and I have seen some people who are running their real estate business through this and they are finding it very good and beneficial.

Savana, can you tell us why CL is important for getting leads? I guess one would have to determine if they are using other methods to get leads. If there are only using CL for example, then they have no way of knowing if its a waste of time or not. Whenever I get a deal, I post on CL. Not as a primary, but more as a complimentary marketing tool. And you know what? I’ve been doing it for years. Spoken to thousands and thousands from CL and other online places. NOT ONE single inquiry was placed in my property. So when you say it’s “very important resource”, I’m going with my experience and saying you’re wrong. I also am a member of 3 networking meeting where I live, and I always ask other experienced investors this question just to get some sort of concensus on the issue of online anything. It was actually a topic of discussion too on several occasions at those meeting over the years. And guess what? They agree it’s crap. Trust me, I wish it wasn’t. But I could care less about ‘inquiries’. I care only about consumated deals. That’s how you make money, right? Not a single person was placed on in a home from CL or online. So while I use it and I answer ‘inquiries’, I don’t count on it, and I certainly don’t consider it “very good and beneficial”.

Yeah, just put the important one. More calls more possibilities.

I’ve been using Craigslist for about three years or more. it is poorly presented, often dysfunctional, inhabited by “trolls” who like to flag stuff, is operated by nitwits who have an odd perception of what marketing means. and represents a dangerous place to put personal information of any kind.

That all said, it’s free, and anything you get for free is…(fill in the blank).

To be fair, we don’t really find CL useful for finding deals, as much as we find it useful for selling.

Advertising fundamental don’t change just because it doesn’t cost anything. We still have to have what people want. We still have to write ad copy that will get people to call. Also, there are some assumptions to consider using craigslist.

People were first attracted to cl, because it was like a giant, free garage sale where everybody listed their crap. The entire thing was organic. There were no slick html coded formats, just lines of texts and a place for pictures of whatever was for sale at the bottom.

People still expect this. They want to see low-budget, organic presentations.

My partner writes four or five lines of text into a CL ad and won’t even make the link to our website work. He leaves off the http:// or www so the link is dead. People have to copy and paste the link into their browser. How stupid, I told him. You’ve got to make it “easy” for people to get to our website.

I put a beautiful html coded page into CL, with live links and pictures.

Guess who gets more hits? Guess which ads, people call the most on?

If you said the “four or five lines of text and a dead link” you win the prize.

If we really need to sift out the curious, and the disqualify the not-so-serious, then we should add more information to our ads to keep the time wasters at bay. After all, we really don’t get paid to answer the phone, we get paid to close on deals. So, it makes sense to focus our time on the best prospects.

BTW, I think this is why using an outgoing message with lots of additional details about our property is a fairly good way to sift out the curious and not serious and discourage them from pushing “zero” and getting us to pick up the phone.

Anyway, we have to have what people want and expect. Craigslist users don’t go there to find slick ads. They go to find low-budget, poorly written ads by regular people that don’t represent a threat.

Try this for giggles:

Putting three or four short lines about your property along with a non-hyper-linked web page url that you maintain for you property on craigslist.

At the same time, put your beautiful html coded ad,, or or whatever, for a different, but similar property on CL and see which ad draws better responses the fastest.

Here’s a sample ad my partner uses all the time that gets calls…

any coundtion or situation
call Jim 951 XXX 0109

Notice the misspelling! It’s on purpose. He even misspells the name of the area we’re advertising in.

We learned to misspell words and/or include off the wall marks like these in our headlines #,@,#,$,%,^ because it catches reader’s eyes and doesn’t detract from our message.

& We Buy Houses Cash (Sacrmento, CA)

Anyway, hope this stirs your imagination and reminds that it’s not just the medium, it’s also the message.

^^^ Fascinating read and case studies Javipa…my favorite guru Ron Legrand always says “ugly outpulls pretty” but somehow I never thought to apply it to CL. Your partner is on to something. I will most certainly try your suggestions. Thanks!

thinking to self, THIS is why I love this place lol