House hunting season: A guide to writing the perfect apartment ad

Photo of Craigslist ad
Ryder Mawby/Staff

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It’s officially May, which means the hunt for summer and fall housing has been in full swing for about three months now. Facebook housing groups seem to be the go-to spot for advertising your summer sublet or finding a new roommate for your apartment. With new ads showing up every hour, it’s hard to find a way to stand out from the crowd and find your housing fix. But don’t worry, we at the Clog decided to put together some pointers to help you write the perfect housing ad. 

Bold, underline and italicize the most important information

If you want your ad to stand out from the crowd, the actual text you write needs to do the same! Good things to bold would be the rent price, the dates it’s available, if it’s a single, double, triple and the location. Don’t bold every word, or else there’s no point in bolding anything. If you want to get fancy, you could also use a different font for the most important information and use emojis as bullet points when listing quick facts about your situation. 

Don’t make it too long

With so many ads per day that users can go through, it’s best to keep it short but informative in order to keep potential roommates or subletters engaged. I suggest listing the most important information in bullets and adding a little blurb about your living habits if you’re looking for a new roommate. Make sure to list the rent, the number of people in the apartment, if there are any pets, if the room is a single, double, or triple, the location, if there’s parking and if pets are allowed. Any other information will probably be messaged to you by people who are seriously interested. 

List deal breakers at the top of your post

If you put your deal breakers first, you make it easier for any potential roommates who don’t meet those requirements to keep scrolling so they can find a place suited for them. Some people have strict requirements for a roommate, and others don’t. Some good deal breakers to include would be gender, substance use, pets or serious food allergies. 

To reveal the rent or not to reveal the rent

I’ve noticed a new trend where people list a room that looks really nice and then at the bottom of the post they say “message me for the rent price.” I think this is problematic because not only does that person have to receive a lot of messages asking for the rent, but they have to waste their time responding to all those messages. Often, a majority of those people will not be interested after they hear what the rent is. Also, it can come off as sketchy or scamming to not openly list the rent price. Housing is expensive in Berkeley, and time is also valuable. People who are searching for housing should know what the rent is right away so they can know their options. I don’t think this is a good tactic for gaining a lot of interest, it’s just an extra hassle. So yes, list the rent at the top of your ad. 

Include some pictures, but leave the rest to the imagination

It is a bit unsettling to post pictures of your personal room to strangers on the internet. Make sure any personal information or pictures are not in your picture of your room. Make sure you get all the angles of the room, and include dimensions of the room in the post if you know them. Seriously interested people will probably ask you to tour depending on how good your pictures are. So have good pictures of the room and maybe a video, too! 

There you go! Now you have everything you need to create the perfect ad for your housing situation. Happy house hunting, Bears! 

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].