Please share some test Craigslist advertisements!

Anyone have a test ad template for a new TRUmh CASH program home?

So do I. Running ads in both locations makes sense.

Also, try running your ad in another metro if there is another one close by. You’d be really surprised that sometimes you get the best response from a metro you wouldn’t expect.

My park is in Cocoa, FL but I get just as many, if not more calls from my ad in Orlando. People HATE living in Orlando so they’re willing to drive the extra 45 minutes to an hour just to get away from the traffic congestion.

Someone decided to jump start this thread again! I like it!

Anyways, one thing that we have found is that bandit signs actually pull the best. I say this with the caveat that we own most of our parks in areas that are on the fringe of major metros. (Craigslist doesn’t work well in these areas) Anyways, if you are having trouble renting/selling, I suggest that you put out some of these bandit signs to help with your effort. Another idea maybe to have a silent auction for your homes that are advertised through the use of bandit signs. When you market, you need to be creative. Think outside of the box a little and get the inventory off you books. Facebook is another great media if you use it properly.

Charles, where do you place these bandit signs? Just out front or around town?

All over town. The best strategy is to make up about 100 of them or so and give them to your manager to put out around town. We generally put out about 10-20 each time. Obviously pick high traffic areas and maybe set a few near the entrances/exits of Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Lastly, Friday evenings are usually the best time to have them put out.

Have you ever been cited from the city for doing this? I know in the town that I live in, they’ll fine you for doing that without a permit.

Nope. Sometimes the city takes them down on Monday morning, but it’s not been a problem otherwise.

Hey CharlesD, could you elaborate on how you use Facebook?

Facebook has yardsale or buy and sell pages. These are private pages that people have set up. I simply go on Facebook and search for these pages in my park’s town (and also nearby towns.) Then, I usually just link my craigslist ads on there.

We also run referral programs on there from time to time.

Thanks for the info CharlesD.
How many calls are you getting from Facebook ads? How are the quality of calls?

Most of the responses come in from private message. I usually just arrange for the perspective tenant to meet the manager at a specific day/time to look at the unit. Once they have looked at one, I send them an application through email. The quality is really no different than what you would find on Craigslist. In all of our ads, we put the following to help with quality control:

  1. We do a criminal background check and we do not accept felons or sex offenders.
  2. Our program requires that we do a credit check. On this, we are mainly concerned with judgements and evictions from previous landlords and we also look for recent bad credit tendencies.
  3. We do an employment/income verification. Our current monthly income requirement per household is $1,650 before taxes.

Our grasshopper line also goes strait to a recording where we give a general overview of the area/park and we also list these three requirements. A person has to listen to the whole thing before they are told what extension to press to talk to a leasing agent. Pressing 0 sends them directly to voice mail.

Our bandit signs will usually get about 40-50 calls in a day, but only about 10%-15% of those will listen to the whole recording and press the right extension to speak with a real person.

Coach, I retract my previous statement about being cited. Apparently, last year we paid a $150 fine in Atalanta for this. Not bad considering we leased 29 homes last year in that park with about 90% of the traffic being driven by bandit signs.

Anyways, we generally just put them out and see what happens. You’ll quickly learn where and when you can put them out without getting into trouble. If you are really concerned about it, you can have them put up on Friday at 5pm and taken down on Sunday evening.

Yeah, that’s a return that I’d take.

What exactly does your bandit signs say? I’m going to order some, I was thinking about something along the line of “Rent To Own Mobile Homes from $XXX per month”, then the phone number.

I know many say you can’t say “rent to own” as it’s illegal. It’s my opinion that the term rent to own is not illegal, just the old business model. As long as it’s a legal rent credit I just can’t see that getting me in trouble. If anyone disagrees I’d like to hear the reasoning please.

Ours usually say rent to own, price, and phone number. I understand the argument against using “rent to own,” but I don’t see any reason to confuse a customer with fancy jargon. They are also hand written by the manager. It’s not a highly sophisticated operation, but it’s cheap and effective.

Great posts everyone! A quick thing to mention. We get a lot of calls from the ads that we place in neighboring cities on Craigslist. Out of towners don’t have the best conversion rate, but even one home can make it worth the time.