Need help with RTO ad

I have been running a rent to own ad in my local thrift paper that reads as follows:

Three BR, 1BA North Zanesville
Down payment assistance
Cell 740-xxx-xxxx

I am not worried about getting calls as I have logged over 100 different callers for this ad over a 4 week period. The problem is that I seem to only get people that live in a $300 apartment and seem to want a 3 or 4 bedroom home for the same price. They first don’t seem to understand a home rents for more than an apartment usually and rent to own also commands a higher rent. My rent for the home is $650 per month with a $2000 option payment. Rents in the area are actually higher than what I am charging, averaging $700-$800 per month(I also rent a 3BR home on the same street for $700)

Does anyone have any suggestions to focus my advertising to people more geared and prepared to buy a home on a l/o? The people I talk to seem to want something for nothing, so obviously I am not connecting with the right crowd. Thanks in advance for your help.


my suggestion to you would be contact your local bank that get ahold of a loan officer better yet find a bank in area that you see trying to advertise towards 100% financing now they are going to have come people that are not going to qualify for whatever reason give them the info on your house and let the loan officer know you will give him say 500.00 if he sends someone your way that takes the house rent to own with your option …he should already know who has how much to put down so he should know if they will qualify for your rent to own home

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually do have one mortgage broker that I do business with I asked him to send me folks that don’t quite qualify yet. He sends me quite a few leads for my home inspection business, so I know he hasn’t forgotten about me, but no leads yet for RTO folks.

Someone sent me an email offline about using the regular newspaper classifieds rather than a thrifty paper, so I may try that towards the end of this ad to gauge the response there.


I agree with whomever sent you the offline email. By advertising in the thrifty paper or penny saver, the clientele you are attracting for your RTO will be the same folks that read it.

By advertising in your county paper, you’ll get a higher paying tenant. Depending on where you live, I would shy away from the big metro papers. They aren’t usually worth what you pay for the ad. But I live in Atlanta and that’s just my experience.

Big Cheese

Thanks for the feedback guys. I just sold the property to a new investor, so the property is handled. But I will definitely modify my marketing strategy on the next one and let you know how it turns out. We have a moderate size paper covering the entire county so that’s where I will run the next series of ads.


You could run your ad more generically but also put a price range to weed out the undesireable calls. Plus, I don’t think you need to talk about DPA in your ad; just wasting space, IMO. Suggestion:

2 - 3 BR homes, nice areas
$700 - $850 + opt fee
Bruised credit OK
Cell 740-xxx-xxxx

Obviously, adjust to what fits your needs. Even though you may have only one house when running the ad, and the reader/caller may be thinking you have more than one, that is OK. Just take their info and their needs, and start building a database of renters. Who knows, you may run into another deal tomorrow where you will have a need for a RTOer.

That’s a good idea thanks. Yeah I definitely keep info on every call. I put them in my contact database in Outlook and qualify as buyer, motivated buyer, desparate buyer, seller, motivated seller, and desparate seller so i can sort later. I still have a couple weeks left on the ad even though the property is filled, so I will play with the wording and see if that brings more qualified leads.

Sorry this response is late but I only run one ad and my phone does not stop ringing. I get ALOT of tire kickers and people wanting a great home for 400 bucks, but this ad works.

Owner Desperate, Must Sell
Rent to Own*Possible Owner
Financing with $0 Down
Everyone Qualifies!



So how do you handle the $0 down? Do you do a L/O with no option fee? Or do you count first, last, and deposit as the option payment? Sounds like a good ad though. I bet your buyer’s list is quite nice.


Zero down can be had by carrying back a seller second. Bank finances 80-85-90% and then I carry back the rest. Or they can get 100% financing and have me pay for the closing costs or roll them into their loan. I NEVER do a zero down L/O. I get that deposit up front before they move in.