S/W/F Seeking Apartment Near Sea Lions

Flipping through the Personals in today’s newspaper, you’re likely to see phrases such as “S/W/F seeks non-smoker” or “Enjoys long walks on the beach”.  It’s like an advertisement and Twitter combined when you have to describe yourself and convince someone else to date you in 140 characters or less.  When writing a personal ad, this isn’t the time to admit to your “secret single behavior” or specify that you are looking for someone else who will only eat one color of Skittles at a time – in rainbow order, of course.   But even with those basic rules, it can be hard to choose which of your best characteristics you should highlight when there isn’t enough room to write it all down.

Apartment managers face the same problem when advertising on Craigslist.  As Craigslist becomes the prime site for people to visit when they are looking for a place to rent, those who are posting ads need to develop the best headline they can to attract prospective residents.  Of course, the most common features to include are price, location, and number of bedrooms, but as a renter I need something more enticing!  Tell me about your marble counters, mountain views, and remodeled bathroom!  What is that one thing your apartment has that I can’t get anywhere else?

sea lions

(As seen on Craigslist – Santa Cruz.  Who needs a rooster for your morning wake-up call?)

Huh.  Well, I suppose that might be an attractive feature to some apartment-seekers.  Marine biologists.  Former SeaWorld trainers.  Poachers…? 

Maybe the building’s proximity to wildlife isn’t the best feature to advertise.  How about we stick to some of the physical attractions of the apartment, like the beautiful crown molding or the in-unit washer and dryer!

exposed piping

Am I missing something?  Are these features that people are actually looking for when searching for apartments?  Would I be allowed to put down carpet?  I mean, I know Houston is warm most of the year, but I can’t imagine walking around on cold concrete floors is something that would make me feel right at home.  It makes it sound more like I am living in Home Depot.  Maybe this apartment manager is in cahoots with the owner of the rug store in the retail space downstairs. 

Ok, well, let’s try one more tip for making your Craigslist headline stand out.  One thing that always seems to work is to offer a little something extra, a perk like free rent for a month.  Something to show residents that you’re flexible and are willing to work with them to make living here financially feasible.

tenant pays utilities

I suppose that is close to what I was talking about…but, no, actually it completely misses the mark.  Sorry, Minneapolis, the utilities are on you.

Have you seen any marketing headlines that make you think twice?  Send them to blog@beyondwineandcheese.com.

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