I use Craigslist for Property Rental


craigslist_722_406As some of you might have already known, I have 7 units.  And recently, I’ve helped my sister and my brother with listing their 4 properties for rent. Yes, I use Craigslist for listing for two reasons: 1. It is free. 2. Security, Craigslist has somehow made it so that my email is never revealed unless I want to. Yes, security can also backfire as there are numerous Craigslist related crimes. So, please be extra careful.

A little background why my brother and sister asked me for my help.

My sister is super shy with English and writing in general. Craigslist as a whole can be a bit intimidating for beginners. So, she asked me to listed it.

Then, I would select out some candidates that deems to be “authentic” people. I would email her the number so she could contact them for appointments. She rented her houses out within a couple of weeks.

My brother, he has been using Craigslist for awhile, but he hasn’t had much luck finding good candidates for his house. He called me at 11am, and by 5:30pm, both of his houses already have people deposited the money. He was excited that people were “fighting” to get the house with the attached garage. When that was gone, that immediately placed the deposit on the house with detached garage.

I think I might have some skills at Craigslisting?!!??!! I’m not so sure, it could be luck, but I’m willing to share how I do it.

  1. Security. I never put down my phone number, or my siblings number. Because I don’t want spammers to know my phone number and spamming me all the time. I don’t want strangers to call me. I want to know their names, and make the call when I have the time. And with multiples listing, I want to know which one they are interested in, so I can prepare for the Q&A.
  2. My ads are authentic. Humm!!??  It’s hard to imagine, with all of those Craigslist ads, somebody has to post them right? No, some crazy spammers develope programs to spot phone number, post multiple ads in multiple cities. If you search for an iphone 6s on craigslist, you’d see they’d sell for “$250” when it retails at $650. It’s ridiculous, but people still falls for them. Eventurely, people  will see some “red flags” in the ads as spammers, regardless you are genuine or not. So it’s important your ads would look authentic. Here is one of my Ads.

I have a newly remodeled house available for rent with detached garage. 3 beds, 2 baths, and a fully finish basement for as workroom, man cave or children playing area.

It has a full kitchen with dishwasher
Pet is welcome with a one-time pet fee
There is off street parking beside the 2-car detached garage

$1100 per month. $1100 deposit and first month rent is required.

If you are interested please leave your email and phone number so we can schedule a time to show the house.

Thank you for looking.

“Authenticity” –

  • I make some grammar errors.
  • I’m up front about the cost.
  • I list just slightly below the market to attract more people, but not too too low (too little rent people would think it’s not real, and if it’s real, the house probably is totally trash).
  • I’m being personable. I post in the form that I’m talking to them in a conversation, rather than someone with perfect English, listing things about the house.
  • I mention pets. Pets friendly makes people think you’re a nice person.

3.  Find the right rental fee to list. My brother wanted $1050. I listed $1100. Because I think $1050 wasn’t not a good number (on top of not being high enough). People wants a nice round number so they can budget. As long as it’s below the market, I’m all for listing a little bit higher.

In conclusion, 3 simple things I want you to pay attention to when listing a rental property on craigslist are security, authenticity, and fee (price). 

With a full time job, seven units to manage, a blogs to keep up, a U12 Basketball team, taking up on French lesson. Why do I even bother helping my siblings? 😛 It’s simply that it made me very happy that I was able to help them out.

A little fun fact about me, I am the youngest of 10. When time was tough, my siblings were really stepping up.

A little background about my sister. She has done many wonderful things for me and for the family.

She had to quit school when was was 13 years old, so she can help my Mom. Then, she had a chance to go back to school to finish high school. I  remembered the days where she’d walk in the cold to work at the hospital, making minimum wage washing dishes. Her very first paycheck was to use the money to buy me an electronic dictionary. It was like $150, a BIG fortune back then. Imagine a 19 years old kid who make minimum wage, and all she could think to do was to create the optimum learning opportunity possible for me, her little sister.

I was so happy that she finished college. It lifted a huge weight off my shoulders (even I’m the younger sister). She now has a great job, and she has 3 wonderful children. She is well-to-do, so I have very little chance of helping her out with anything. That is why I’m super happy that I’m able to help her placing ads on Craigslist, and get her house rented.

Little background about my brother. He made a lot of sacrifices for me, for the family. He’s probably the most generous out of all the siblings.

He was 11 years old when my Mom had me. She had to work 14 hours a day. He was my main babysitter. I was no joke – I was a little sickily kid, crying all the time, at the time the condition wasn’t very good, so I had these eczema, or infected rash on my hands. It wasn’t until I was 5 years old, when it finally went away as I was able to keep myself clean. So I would have imagine that it wasn’t a pleasant childhood for my brother either.

I won’t say anything about our siblings rivalry, but when I was 10, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, he became the main income earner for the family. We converted a tractor into a “truck”. So he worked as a truck driver. To earn extra money, he also worked as a package handler. His body was the forklift, he carried 100 kg at a time, loading and unload the truck. He relentlessly did it days after days! My poor brother! I am forever be grateful for his generosity and the scarified he made.

Nowadays, as a millionaire himself, I find very little area that I could help him with. He bought many properties during this economic downturn. Instead of flipping them, he turns them into rental. I am so happy for him and for his success.

Have you buy and sell anything off of craigslist? What are your experience? What are you secrets?



  1. Hi Vivianne

    Hahaha, it’s unique there on your ads. Over here, we do the same but usually leave our contact number behind and keep the prices disclosed unless there are serious buyers. Otherwise, other competitors might know the price and lower it even further, resulting in price war.

    You really have some unique talent there to attract crowds to you 😉

    • Thanks for the compliment!
      Over here, people likes the price to be disclosed. They want to know the cost upfront. People don’t like to haggle. So, if they think something they like they’d go for it.

      Large apartment complexes are manage by hourly employees. Where they don’t get to set the price. They don’t get paid by commission. They literally have no motivation to star any sort of price war. Nobody is going to do the necessary market research to adjust the rent price to complete with a little private business owners like us. So, we fully disclose our prices.

      Also, large apartment complexes, also have bigger overhead cost because they place their ads in magazines or apartment book, which no one are using anymore. They are way behind in technology.

  2. Vivianne,
    I am nothing but sort of impressed with your family’s cohesiveness growing up!! Its not often that people get lucky with their family as you don’t get to choose them but, I’m glad you have them all!!

    Looks like you are off to a great start this year already!!

    • Thank you! It’s a blessing to have the older siblings and the things they do. We had our moments. Hihi, our family gatherings are always scaring Mr. WRI away, we “talk”, but according to him we were yelling to each other. Hehe.

      I must tell you, my childhood was definitely not rosy. That’s why I’m living a “frugal” life now according to the majority of American standard, but compare to my childhood, I’m living the dream, I hit the jackpot. I’m so thankful for what I have today.

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting. I’d love to hear from your point of view.

      Like I said, I wouldn’t be anywhere near today without my family’s support. Paying back, or helping them out is the right thing to do.

  3. Nice tips on craigslist Vivianne!

    For some reason I’ve always stayed away from craigslist because I just don’t like to the web design and had a few bad experiences.

    I use Kijiji instead now. I’ll give craigslist another try when I purchase a property and want to start renting it out.

    • Just be extra selective. When I buy or sell stuff from Craigslist, I always meet people inside a business. People won’t act up as much when there are cameras. 🙂

      Best of luck to you on the rental property hunting.

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