Okay, you’ve got 20 words or less to get your phone to ring without lying about your luxurious beachside estate and its marble foyer that is only $750 per month. The tricky part of classified advertising is to have the reader become excited about the property by painting a picture of its virtues through the use of rich colorful language – but without telling a tall tale. An ad sets up expectations – and you can pretty much write off most of your prospects if your representation of the property doesn’t match the actual digs.
So before you place an ad, take a look at the most recent classifieds published in your local newspaper. Although many of these ads change weekly, you should at least take a look to see how many ads are running and what other landlords have written, so you can do your best to present something a little different – especially if you discover vacancies are more plentiful than you expected. You then need to ask yourself: “What does my property have to offer that’s unique and desirable enough to set it apart from the rest?” The most common amenities mentioned are usually central heat and air, washer and dryer, fenced-in yard, pool, garage, pet friendliness and a newly remodeled kitchen… but you should answer this question by making a list of every amenity you can think of – and then sit back and pick the ones you feel are most likely to tempt readers in 20 words or less.
To better illustrate the effectiveness of a carefully worded classified ad, here are two samples both written for the same property. The first is a very simple, honest approach, the second is sweetened with a little more dynamic enthusiasm. You can decide for yourself which one is likely to be more effective: