Pictures = Results.
Is that not the goal of a rental advertisement, to get results? In my experience, I receive 10x more responses when I use high-quality pictures of my rental property on my Craigslist ads.
You NEED to use pictures in your advertisement. To a potential tenant, a well-taken photo of your rental is like honey to a bee; completely irresistible. To take it a step further, I believe it is a complete waste of time to post an ad without pictures.
Top Reasons why you Need to Use Quality Pictures
- People LOVE Images. We gravitate to pretty pictures – and we especially like to live in pretty homes. Pinterest has become one of the most popular websites in the world because it completely revolves about sharing pictures. Pictures of rental properties tell us far more than a thousand words (tweetable?). Which leads me to my next point…
- Pictures Rarely Lie. By using a clear and detailed picture, it communicates that you are being open and honest about the property in question. Potential tenants will know what they are coming to see before they arrive for the showing, and you won’t waste anyone’s time with unclear advertising.
- Higher Open Rates. Images cause your posts to stand-out from other listings. If your listing stands out, more people will read it and hopefully respond to it. I usually never click on a post that doesn’t have [img] or [pic] next to the title – and neither to most people. In an endless list of available rentals, potential tenants need some basic way to narrow down the search. Wouldn’t you do the same?
- It Builds Trust. A tenant will see that you took the time to take and post quality pictures. Nice photos will legitimize your ad and you as a landlord. Without pictures, tenants will naturally think that you cut corners as a landlord – or have something to hide (can you really blame them?). No one likes a slumlord and it’s not worth the risk.
Remember your Ad’s Purpose
Remember, you only have two simple goals for a Craigslist ad:
- Get the Click: Get the reader to open your ad in the midst of hundreds of competing ads.
- Get an Inquiry: Get the reader to respond, typically by phone, email, or sending them to a website.
Pictures increase the chances for getting the click, and a response. Once you get a response from a potential tenant, it’s up to you to seal the deal. If you are posting pictures, but still not getting any responses, you probably need to write a better description, lower your price, or take better photographs.
Just as a great photo can attract tenants, one of poor quality will scare them away.
To Get Results, Take Irresistible Pictures
Spend the extra time to clean up your property before taking photographs. It may seem like common sense, but I believe over half of the rental photos on Craigslist are disgusting and discourage interest. If you take pride in your property, so will your tenants.
Not only do you want to increase the chances of getting responses from your advertisement, you want those responses to be from people who value and care for their home (aka quality tenants). Those types of tenants gravitate towards properties that look clean and maintained.
So, make the bed and put the toilet seat down before you take photos. Also, open all the blinds, and turn on all the lights – which will give the property an airy and spacious look.
Examples of Great Photos:
Examples of Horrible Photos:
How to Upload Pictures in Craigslist:
Assuming you already know how to create a new Craigslist ad, you will find the pictures section at the bottom of the edit post screen.
- Click the “Add/Edit images” button below the main section of your post. This reveals a place where you can upload pictures.
- Click the “Browse” button. Find a picture(s) on your computer/drive to upload. Select the picture, then click “Open.” Repeat the process to add additional images. When you are finished uploading images, click “Continue.”
Use the Craiglist Photo Gallery:
After you upload your photos to your rental ad, your pictures will appear in a nice gallery as such:
Other Craigslist Guides
- Joshua Dorkin from BiggerPockets includes some nice tips on creating a fantastic ad in their article: How to Post Your Property for Rent on Craigslist.
- If you’ve never used Craigslist before, eHow provides very basic step-by-step instructions on how to post an ad.