61 Replies Latest reply: Jan 4, 2014 9:47 PM by twobitrentals RSS

    Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?

    Contributor

      I have heard of owners that are successful in renting their vacation home through Craigslist and even though I post often in addition to VRBO, HomeAway, etc., I have only received one last minute rental. Seems like I get a lot of junk inquiries and am wondering if it's worth the time and effort. Does anyone have any positive experience to share?

        • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
          barkal New Member

          I tried them once and got nothing but junk replies.  A larger issue is scammers advertising your property on Craigslist, taking deposits and disappearing.  I am thinking of putting a heading on VRBO and my website specifying that we do not advertise on Craigslist and that any ad for my property found there is a scam.

          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
            kathy.stesney New Member

            I always use Craigslist, never had a problem -just ignore stuff that you'll find in your spam- it really is spam, not from Craigslist. There will be scammers, but it's so obvious! Just delete.

              • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                sophie Senior Contributor

                I used to list on it but quit after I was finding my exact property pictures and descriptions posted by some one else saying they were the owner.    You have to be vigilant by checking your area's vacation rental ads daily, if not 2 times per day.  I see other properties routinely that are being scammed.  I do have a personal website and when I did list I would say they had to go through my website to contact me because if they didn't it could be scam.

                  • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                    Contributor

                    Thanks, Sophie. That's a very useful suggestion about having responders go through my website. I will also benefit by having more hits to the website. However,

                     

                    I still would like to hear from more VR owners about their success with Craigslist and if their marketing strategy is different than what they do an ad on VRBO or HomeAway. Anyone?

                  • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                    New Member

                    When I list on Craigslist I get immediate responses but don't know if they are real. I hate to delete what might be a serious inquiry. If I open it to see the message before deleting it, does that give them any information that can harm me?

                      • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                        Contributor

                        As a number of postings here suggest, it is best to hit "hide" selection for receiving responses so you don't receive any email through your Craig'slist posting directly to your email account. That way you will avoid a lot of the junk email that could make you vulnerable.

                         

                        If you do hit the "hide" button when you creat the Craiglist positn, you will need to put either your phone number or indicate that you can be contacted through your HomeAway or VRBO web listing and include the link. Othewise people won't know how to get ahold of you.

                         

                        However, if you prefer to allow people to reply directly to your email address which they will be able to do if you don't select "hide", then I would suggest screening those emails you receive carefully before you respond. I wouldn't even open anything that looks suspicious. Use your gut intuition. If they seem at all wierd or if the written in poor English, DON'T OPEN OR RESPOND.

                    • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                      New Member

                      I tried using  Craigslist and wanted to cancel my advertisement asap.  I did not receive anything except weird stuff.  I would never do that again...

                      • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                        Contributor

                        I often put an add on Craigs List for  a last minute special price. A week that just hasn't rented and I've reduced the price. I put an add on earlier this evening and have already had one call- and I hadn't even reduced the rate.  I have two homes and one time I had a reservation for the first home, before I even finished posting the second home. I have had some reservations.Often (not always) these people are looking for a big discount. And often they are the ones who cause the most problems and have the most complaints.

                         

                        I have had lots of spammers. Several cheating scammers who wanted to send me thousands of dollars over my rate, just send back the extra- ha ha.  I try to encourage possible renters to contact me through homeaway.com.  I have also had a lot of interest from posting on Kijiji.ca  a Canadian alternative to craigslist.

                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                          New Member

                          Stay away from it!

                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                            New Member

                            I agree!  Stay away from Craigslist... I received so many 'scam' emails from there!!!

                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                              Contributor

                              Thanks for all of the responses. The question has been answered for me. I think I will only use it for last minute specials in the future as was suggested. Requiring a contact through my website also seems to get rid of lots of the spam. Thanks again.

                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                Contributor

                                I use Craigslist as a complement to Homeaway and VRBO. I get some rental from Craigslist but it seems like most of the rentals that I get on Craigslist are last minute one.

                                 

                                But it's free which is great. I would definitely not use Craigslist are your #1 rental source.

                                • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                  New Member

                                  Hi,

                                   

                                  We are renting our house for 2 months in the summer (not our regular vrbo rental) and have tried craiglist without any luck.

                                   

                                  I did get a couple of emails and a call but it didn't go anywhere ... I was much more sucessful sending an email to my colleagues at work!! 

                                   

                                  Having said that, we rented before long term and craiglist was perfect, in fact we stopped using paid services after a couple of times renting via craiglist. But it did not work at all with the vacation rental, I'm not sure why there is such a difference between long term and vacation rentals.

                                   

                                  ~Eva

                                  • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                    Contributor

                                    As others have pointed out here, listing a rental on Craigslist yields a mixed bag of results.

                                     

                                    A couple of things to remember when listing there:

                                     

                                    1. ALWAYS have a link to an alternate website, such as your own, or your listing on VRBO/Hidewawy.

                                    2. NEVER accept credit cards or wire transfers for rentals sourced from this site, ESPECIALLY for last-minute rentals (which will represent the majority of rentals you get from the site.

                                     

                                    Craigslist users look for bargains.  Be prepared for people who want to offer less than your posted price.  Also prepare for tons of spam, which means that you should probably use their anonymous email rather than entering your own address.  If you must use a unique address, make it a seperate one from your regular email, and ensure that it has a good spam filter on it.

                                     

                                    We continue to post on Craigslist, and on average, receive 1 firm rental per season, which isn't saying much, but, it's free at at $2250/wk, we do pick up that $2250, so what can I say?

                                     

                                    VRBO has been our best source of rentals since we started using it six years ago.  We get an average of 4500 +/- views per year, roughly 110 inquiries and about 13 rentals (we only rent for 14 weeks/yr), so we get our $380 work each season.  We haven't found a lot of difference in quality of tenant between Craigslst tenants as opposed to VRBO, but we have seen a number of attempted scams, which are easily recognizable, at leat to date.

                                     

                                    Bottom line:  from our experience, it hasn't yielded huge results, but enough to put up with the hassle of havin the listing there and renewing it every couple of weeks. 

                                     

                                    Good luck with your rental!

                                     

                                    Jim

                                      • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                        Contributor


                                        Thanks, Jim, for the detailed answer sharing your experience. I am now finding that I only post on Craigslist rarely when I have a last minute rental that I want to fill. It seems harder to screen and develop the kind of rapport with renters from that site that reassures me that good care will be taken of our VR home.

                                         

                                        I'm not sure why you recommend not using credit cards from Craigs list renters. As long as the transaction runs successfully, why would this be a problem?

                                          • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                            Contributor

                                            Hi gmajay,

                                             

                                            I'm realizing that as well. I'm posting more on Craigslist looking for last minute rental. Most of my Craiglist booking are for rentals within 2 weeks. 

                                             

                                            If you get credit cards from renters, that works for me. Though I do agree that most renters from Craigslist ask for discount of some kind. Mainly because it's last minute.

                                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                          debi Contributor

                                          I use craigslist routinely.  I add a link directly to VRBO or Homeaway for more information, pictures, availability calendar, etc.  After I post on Craigslist I get a flurry of inquiries, which, if they are funneled through my vrbo etc listing I will respond to.  I don't respond to anything directly from Craigslist.  If they don't have time to follow the link to the website, I don't have time to respond to them.  The scammers are easy to spot.  "My wife and I are two, no pets, no smoking"  - almost the same language every time.    My junk filter picks them up now, so I don't even know when they've come in.  Unfortunately, I don't know how many who come to me through my website originally found us on Craigslist, so I have no statistics to relate.  Also, I don't discount in high season. 

                                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                            New Member

                                            I use Craig's List for "Last Minute Specials"  when I have 3 days not booked and it is 2 weeks before the date.  I offer a 3 for 2 day special and which resulted in many inquiries.  The first person to book calling and using their credit card to secure the date got the special.  the 2.75% is peanuts when you consider the house is rented and not vacant.  The $300.00 reservation deposit converts to their security deposit when the rent is paid in full.

                                            • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                              New Member

                                              I have used Craigslist with success. Much like "debi" stated above, there are some tips that might help: Do NOT show an email address. You will get junk and more junk, even 6 months later. When posting your ad be sure to click "hide email". But do provide a direct link to your own site or your vrbo listing. I also provide my name and phone number. Some calls are for last minute bookings that I am not always able to accomodate, but many more inquiries go through the link to my rental sites and become firm reservations months in advance.

                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                webchalet Contributor

                                                We have many clients that have used Cragislist and had a lot of success.  The key is to advertise on Craigslist in the right way to prevent spam and ensure qualified leads.

                                                 

                                                I agree that anonymizing your email address is a good best practice. 

                                                 

                                                Has anyone tried using a formatted Craigslist ad?  This will make your listing stand out more and should hopefully lead to more qualified leads.  The ad includes the most important info about your vacation rental, photos and a link to your personal website, and posts it in html formatting that looks really nice. Here is a sample ad:

                                                http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=164061180329651&set=pu.115789905156779&type=1&theater

                                                Photobucket

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Hope this helps!

                                                 

                                                Sarah

                                                WebChalet

                                                www.webchalet.com

                                                • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                  New Member

                                                  Warning for Craigslist!

                                                  I had a call, from a prospective vacationer, who said she tracked me down after finding a fake advertisement using my info that she found on Craigslist.  This smart vacationer, was a DA, and said the ad sounded odd to her, as the pictures were not clear and the ad said no, fees involved, it gave no phone number etc. only an address to contact for the payment.

                                                  So she looked for my property and found the real advertisment on the web and called me.

                                                  I have advertised in the winter for "snow birds" for a montly rental on craigslist.  I will not do that again for vacation rentals.  It might clearly ruin your reputation for your property.

                                                   

                                                  If you do use craigslist be very very cautious.

                                                    • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                      debi Contributor

                                                      Beachwriter, would you mind telling us what city you post your ad in?  Likely this is not area-specific, but it might be more prevalent in one area over another.   I wonder what we can do in order to be more cautious?  It seems to me that hijacking an ad can happen with any listing, including VRBO and Homeaway.  Other than not posting on Craigslist, what are you doing to prevent this happening again?  Do you have any other recommendations?

                                                       

                                                      Debi

                                                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                          New Member

                                                          Strangely enough, as of this morning I can not access Craigslist. Have tried my usual route and others, but get nothing but a blank white screen. No error message, nothing that indicates it is being blocked. In fact, it appears that it has successfully gone to the page, but I have a blank screen in front of me. Everything else is fine. When I googled this, I see that others have had the same experience. No real solutions offered. Makes me wonder if it has anything to do with a scammer???

                                                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                            New Member

                                                            Yes Debbie,

                                                            It happened in San Diego.  I had posted an ad for one of my two bedrooms to fill the winter slow months back in February and March.

                                                            It wasn't till May when this lady contacted and told me she has tracked me down as she felt the ad lacked credibility.

                                                            She forwarded me the hijacked ad and it was not a great copy in anyway.

                                                            I have thought often about this very important issue and can only think to inform people that they must verify and be able to call and speak to someone personally.

                                                             

                                                            I am not going to run any vacation rental ads.  I do have year-round rental properties that we do advertise, but they would be unable to scam those as I meet with the people etc.

                                                             

                                                            Vacation rental ads are the most vulnerable to scams.  I look forward to hearing back from you and any ideas you come up with.

                                                             

                                                            The DA said that these people had tried to scam the wrong people and she was going to pursue them via their IP address in which they responded.

                                                             

                                                            Regards

                                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                New Member

                                                                We have fallen victim to a Craigslist scam where someone stole our pictures and description, but they must have gone directly to VRBO, HomeAway or Vacationrentals.com to copy our info, since we do not normally advertise on Craigslist. This scam has been going on for almost 4 months at this point, I have filed complaints with the Anaheim Police, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Federal Trade commission, Western Union & Craigslist and NOBODY seems to care! Tracking an IP address should not be that hard, right? Or having Western Untion notify the police to arrest the person that keeps picking up the money in Boise, ID should not be that hard either! But again, nobody cares! I keep flagging the fake listings for removal, sometimes with success, sometimes I cannot get them deleted. I have therefore created my own warning post on Craigslist with a link to VRBO. Many, many people have answered thanking me to post the warning, so obviously Craigslist must get quite a bit of traffic from vacation rental seekers. I got 2 bookings out of it, but also already got 2 phone calls from people that sent money to the scammers via Western Union (their only accepted form of payment - people should know better!) If anyone has any idea on what I can do to stop these people, I'd love to hear about it! According to the police, they are 99% sure that it's a ring that operates from outside of the U.S. I am very disappointed that Craigslist won't step in and I am considering contacting the press. Beachwriter - if you wouldn't mind putting me in touch with the DA, I'd love to talk to her/ contact via vrbo.com/234550

                                                                  • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                    debi Contributor

                                                                    Anaheim, your experience sound horrifying!  How are you finding these fake ads?  After reading your post, I googled the names of my own homes and found them under unrecognized listings.  When I clicked on the "contact owner" button, they referred me back to listings which I personally posted - with homeaway and with vacationhomerentals.  I didn't know they had so many affiliations!  Or do they?

                                                                     

                                                                    Is it possible that you could post a sample of the warning that you are posting?

                                                                     

                                                                    I think this is an issue to bring to the press - and also to Clark Howard, who specializes in exposing scams.

                                                                     

                                                                    Debi

                                                                      • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                        New Member

                                                                        Hi Debbie,

                                                                        I have not posted any further listing for vacation rentals on Craigs list as it seems like a fraud waiting to happen.

                                                                        I think sticking to the vacation rental sites is the best for me for now.

                                                                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                          New Member

                                                                          Hi Debi,

                                                                           

                                                                          It was actually an interested guest that brought the scam to our attention. We list our property for $170-225 per night and here was our same place listed on Craigslist for only $90 per night. Thankfully the interested party had seen our property on VRBO and emailed us questioning the price difference. I think anyone that owns a vacation rental property in a popular area or larger city should do a destination search on Craigslist to see if their property might have been used to scam people. Apparently it's a rather common thing - at least according to the police. Then again - there isn't really anything you can do anyway! I even emailed the scammers telling them that they were reported to the authorities and ordering them to stop their listings... Of course, without any success!

                                                                           

                                                                          BTW, yes, HomeAway owns 10+ vacation rental websites all over the world and the listing that you create on the US site is automatically transferred to their international sites which is why it is not unusual that you find your listing all over the web...

                                                                           

                                                                          Since you asked for it, here is a copy of my post on Craigslist:

                                                                           

                                                                          I am posting this ad in hopes that I can stop "Linda Lamphear" from her fraudulent activity on Craigslist! 

                                                                          We are the real, legitimate owners of the vacation rental shown in the pictures that we offer on VRBO under property # 234550. 

                                                                          The other posting on Craigslist that is entitled "2 bedroom, 2 1/2  bathrooms, sleeps 5-8 " is a fake listing for a fake property and you  will be asked to wire money to a Western Union account in Boise, ID. 

                                                                          Since neither the police, nor the Secret Service, nor the Federal Trade  Commission, nor Western Union or Craigslist have any interest in getting  these scammers shut down, this is my last attempt to prevent unknowing  vacationers from loosing a LOT of money. . .

                                                                          So please: Do not fall for this scam ! If you are interested in booking  our property, please check out our availability calendar and feel free  to email us through VRBO, or check out our website at

                                                                          www.anaheimvacationrentals.weebly.com.

                                                                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                              barkal New Member

                                                                              It is also notable that Craigslist is structured in such a way that facilitates these scams.  If Craigslist allowed saved searches with notifications we could put in permanent searches for our own properties and be notified if a bogus posting was made.  Craigslist has systematically shut down third party sites that performed such searches.  There are some comments online that indicate a saved search is possible using the RSS feed but it does not work on my Mac using Safari anyway.

                                                                                • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                  Contributor

                                                                                  I have been off the grid for awhile and am now just logging on to catch up on all the activity under the question I had originally posted. While it seems that my topic has shifted a bit, this discussion is really critcal to anyone considering using Craigs list to rent. It seems that the scams around Craig's list are becoming increasingly sophisticated. I have an acquaintance who was badly scammed out of a significant amount of money within the past month, not related to vacation rentals. She was not the kind of person that would be easily tricked, but the scam was a very slick one. That, plus the experiences mentioned here, are making me think twice about ever posting again on Craigs list.

                                                                    • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                      Contributor

                                                                      I have used Craigslist on many occassions.  I advertise in the city where I live, D.C. and in the city where I have properties.  Most properties rent within minutes.  I've never had to wait more then two hours.  I always put my phone number in and I process credit cards through an inexpensive service ($5 a month and between 3 to 4%).  I still e-mail a lease and have them acknowledge it. My properties are in a gated facility so all guests are checked at the gate.

                                                                      • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                        New Member

                                                                        Aloha,

                                                                        I have use Craiglist when I started and use them perhaps once a week to post in  our area. Since I live onsight I have not had problems, plus I  place my website with the ad.  I do however get many scam mail, but no more than other listing site I am on. If anything, I get more spam and bogus etc. from the other sites especially the free listing sites.

                                                                        I do get last minute renters who are not happy with were tey ented and want to leave and go some place else who find me on Craiglist. So it is  a good  thing for renters to find something else last minute.

                                                                        • Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                          New Member

                                                                          Craigslist for selling, purchasing items? Outstanding. For a property rental? BEWARE!  We did it once, and it was like sharks to chum in terms of scammers.  Without using Craigslist and our VRBO listing that is now 16 months old, we get the odd scam request, which we sniff out immediately.  We are very pleased with VRBO (our listing is 306262) and unless you want the chance for theft or worse, do not put your valuable property on Craigslist.

                                                                           

                                                                          One disclaimer, when we had a FULL time rental, 6 months to 1 year lease, in Napa, CA? Craigslist was outstanding, but for vacation SHOR TERM rentals, it seems to bring out the con artists.

                                                                           

                                                                          Dean & Diana Smith

                                                                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                            marilyn Active Contributor

                                                                            I think it depends on the area of the country that you are in. Some of my homes rent for the season Memorial day to Labor Day and Craigslist usually gets me one renter each year. My homes are in the Hamptons and many people check out this site for possible homes to rent.

                                                                             

                                                                            Marilyn

                                                                            www.hamptonhouseproperties.info

                                                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                New Member

                                                                                I would personally say avoid Craigslist like the plague.  We tried it - bad idea.....bad idea (hit it with a newspaper, it's that bad).  You will get so much "Scam Mail" it will bog you down and infuriate you.  You'll be amazed how many people from the "United Kingdom" have relatives in the US who will finance their trip if you just send them all your personal information.  Also amazed how poorly these people can spell and use correct grammar. 

                                                                                 

                                                                                Not worth it.

                                                                                 

                                                                                UncleBob

                                                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                crescentbeach4u Community All-Star

                                                                                I have given advertising on Craigslist my best effort but the scammers do a relentless job on trying to scam you.  I have noticed since I say to refer to VRBO on my add and also put a VRBO watermark on the pictures the scammers have almost stopped trying to get me.  Yet after all my efforts I am not finding a single legitimate renter.  I will probably just let the add expire and then stop using it. 

                                                                                  • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                    Contributor

                                                                                    Hi crescentbeach4u~ Well I find myself once again listing on Craigslist, in spite of the warnings, as I have one week that is a little slow in filling through VRBO, HA, and FlipKey.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I like your're idea of the VRBO watermark. Can you share how you do that? Seems like it would be a big help around the security question that comes up around Cragslist advertising.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                    • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                      whosails Contributor

                                                                                      I had the same problem with Craigslist. My listing only attracted scammers. I did have a picture.  I did not refer to my listing here but only gave an email address.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      My daughter was going to put her home on Craigslist. I told her not to because she might be opening herself up to a possible robbery and if she did to be cautions how she worded the listing.

                                                                                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                          Contributor

                                                                                          Hi whosails, Well since I posted this question last year I have learned some things about how to post on Craigslist. For one thing I never post an email address. I don't even accept return inquiries through my Craiglist posting. Instead, I include my phone number in the add or a link to my HomeAway listing. I indicate in the ad that those are the only two ways to contact me. It has eliminated all the spam I used to get.

                                                                                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                              whosails Contributor

                                                                                              Have you got any rentals through Craigslist? I guess it would be hard to tell.

                                                                                                • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                  Contributor

                                                                                                  Yes, I get a few rentals here and there through Craiglist. But I need to explain that I am now only using Craigslist once in awhile, only for off-season rentals and usually for definite, short-term dates. Like right now, I am posting the one remaining week I have left in September in our Cape Cod rental.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  People who are looking on Craigslist are looking for deals, so I, too, only post there when I am ready to make a deal and lower my regular rate. The header I post on Craigslist will reflect  that in order to attract attention--since my VR is on Cape Cod which is very competitive and which has sometimes hundreds of daily postings. In order to get a response to my ad, I must be offering a good deal and I show that loud and clear in my header.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  The renters I have gotten through Craigs list have all treated my property well and they are all welcome back. But I do take time to screen by phone, just as I always do.

                                                                                                   

                                                                                                  I would say that posting on Craigslist is not for everyone, as you do need to be viglilant to make sure that someone hasn\'t stolen your photos and listing as Sopie posted above. However, I get enough out of it, that I still think it's worth the effort for me.

                                                                                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                            Contributor

                                                                                            Hi, I just got another off-season week rented through my Cragislist posting to a nice retired couple who were looking for a bargain.  We negotiated a rate that was acceptable to both of us and I got another Sept. week filled. Since I had an extra night open,  I threw it in at no extra charge to help sweeten the deal

                                                                                             

                                                                                            So far in 2012, about 7% of my rental income has come from Craigslist. In spite of the hassles and associated risk, it is enough to be a worth while effort for me.

                                                                                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                              drox New Member

                                                                                              Craigslist is free marketing!  Here's how I do it... First, create a junk email account - example JunkEmail992@gmail.com.  Next, use that email account to create your craigslist account.  Now post your listings and CLEARLY STATE:

                                                                                              I manage this property by listing it on VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner)

                                                                                              Click here for rates, availability, and additional pictures: VRBO.com/399812

                                                                                              Please do not reply using the anonymous craigslist email - it is unmonitored and you will not receive a response.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Problem solved!  You don't have to manage or see the junk and scams, you don't get auto dial phone calls, and anyone who is sincerely looking for a vacation property will take the time to go to VRBO.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              You will need to go in every week or 2 and renew, or delete and repost your ad to stay somewhere near the top of craigslist's listings.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              If you want to track this - you'll need to say something like "When inquiring, type CL-VIP to receive a VIP upgrade which consists of ??? (wine, continental breakfast, reserved parking, or a discount).  You get the idea.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Forgive me if this method has been posted earlier... there were a lot of posts and I didn't read them all.

                                                                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                New Member

                                                                                                I have work with 2 properties that run ads through Craigslist and are generating bookings through it. I wrote an article on the 7 steps to advertise your vacation rental on Craigslist. Here's some additional feedback from the owners of the properties.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Sonoma owner says...

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                For me, Craigslist has been a great, cheap advertising channel. I think it depends on the area, but we've had very high quality inquiries come in through Craigslist. I think updating the post so bump to the top is important, and I think people generally dislike when people re-post every few days, as opposed to just refreshing the post. I also find it helpful to put in some keywords, since you never know what people are typing into the Craigslist search field.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                As with any inquiry, I think it's important to reply right away. A typical prospective renter is probably submitting to a few properties at once.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Lastly, I'd recommend getting on the phone with would-be-renters. While I have never personally experienced fraud with renting on Craigslist, I have when selling used goods. It's out there. I think it's good to make sure you're talking to a real person - and get their phone number, as opposed to having them call you.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Lake Tahoe owner says...

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                Craigslist has been a great source of new bookings for my for my Lake Tahoe vacation rental. I like using MyVR's Craigslist poster as it greatly simplifies the process and produces a visually compelling ad with little work. A few things I've found to be important...

                                                                                                • Consistently test different posting titles as the right keywords can have a large impact. For example, I have a 2x greater response rate to my Craigslist ads when I include "hot tub" in the ad title.
                                                                                                • Photos matter more than anything else - use photos in your ad!
                                                                                                • Provide multiple ways for potential renters to contact you - email and phone
                                                                                                • Always provide a link to more information, such as your rental website
                                                                                                • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                  New Member

                                                                                                  What's great about Craiglist is the website ranks well on Google for many keywords. I'm not saying you can't rent a property from it which I'm sure many people do however in my opinion it isn't as user friendly for a vacation rental property owner like a VRBO, Homeaway or http://www.FVRA.com which is what we need as property owners. Since so many people use Craiglist you have to relist your property weekly just to ensure it is seen. Your Craigslist ad doesn't look as organized as a vacation website would. Also it doesn't seem as professional since Craigslist is basically a classified service. The free price is great don't get me wrong but if you aren't renting your property is it worth all the time and hassle to use this service?

                                                                                                  • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                    New Member

                                                                                                    I've had success with craigslist. You have to keep posting and you have to weed through many scammers, but I've gotten pretty good at spotting the scammers and reporting them without contacting them. I've reserved some summer weeks in January from craigslist.

                                                                                                    • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                      New Member

                                                                                                      The Vacation Rental section of Craig'slist is full of scams.  I have been battling them for over 2 years.

                                                                                                      They take my copy and pics and post them as their own properties.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Craigslist is great to work with and take them down as soon as I contact them.  But its an endless additional task to keep watch.  I was alerted a couple of years ago by a potential vacationer about "my listing" on Craigslist and since then have been emailed serveral times by worried vacationers.  I do advice them to stick with VRBO, HomeAway and Vacation Rentals for safety and peace of mind.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      I do believe that Craig'slist is not the venue for legitmate vacation rentals, and advertising cost is part of doing business.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      As far as long term year round normal rentals, I use them as my main advertisers.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Hope this helps, don't wake the sleeping scam dragon to your properties.

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      I also post a disclosure on my sites, that I do not advertise on Craiglist Vacation Rental site.

                                                                                                        • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                          New Member

                                                                                                          Did you ever respond to someone who turned out to be a scammer? I don't mean accept bogus funds from them, just send them an email.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          I've never sent one of them an email and I've never had any of my pictures or ad copy used.

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                          And I post a lot on craigslist. maybe they only do this when they get some info from you.

                                                                                                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                              bobbie32 Community All-Star

                                                                                                              The key to using craigslist is to not have your email address visible.  If you don't have a link to your own website or link to your HA/VRBO listing then you may have to post only a phone number.  I used to get a lot of spam emails before I remove my email address and just directed people to my own website.  That said, I have several great guests that found us through craigslist.  However, inquiries are usually the type that are for last minute getaways and no advanced bookings. 

                                                                                                          • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                            greenleaf Contributor

                                                                                                            We use Craigslist all the time and get at least half of our renters through the site. We get one or two spam emails a week but they are laughably obvious and all legitimate phishing attempts that we have experienced come from our VRBO ad (we use a different email for each one). The only annoying thing so far has been around X-mas and New Year's when we got a ton of inquiries even though our house had been booked for months and our calendar was up to date. But I would rather answer some pesky inquiries than miss out on half my bookings.

                                                                                                             

                                                                                                            I think whether it is worth using really depends on the location of your rental. We are in Northern CA where everyone uses Craigslist for everything so lots of legitimate renters would look there before VRBO but I think there are many cities where that isn't the case.

                                                                                                             

                                                                                                            One benefit of CL is that you can search more easily by keyword and price so I think our ad there is actually a lot easier for most people to find than on VRBO.

                                                                                                            • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                              loscuatrotulipanes Community All-Star

                                                                                                              Wanted to share this Craigslist experiment I did in which I pegged two ads side-by-side and tracked their progress. Shows how important your title and description are: http://www.vacationrentalmarketingblog.com/copy-writing/

                                                                                                              • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                                greenjoe New Member

                                                                                                                I had used Craigslist regularly for over 1 year in addition to VRBO and Homeaway, but 2 bad things happened in a row so I stopped using it. I rented to someone who had just lost $500 by sending a deposit in on a fake CL house posting and then shortly thereafter, I saw another Craigslist ad where they had stolen my ad copy and pictures, except it was listed at a much lower price (undoubtedly to increase the number of inquiries and thus increase the chance of getting a victim). I was always very careful to not respond to any obviously suspicious inquiries, but this still happened to me. Luckily, I started advertising on Airbnb and was easily able to replace the bookings that I had been getting from Craigslist. If you proceed in using CL, I strongly recommend that you proceed cautiously with your all your scam sensors on alert. Good luck to you.

                                                                                                                • Re: Has anyone used Criagslist successfully for renting?
                                                                                                                  twobitrentals Community All-Star

                                                                                                                  I know this post is old, bit I wanted to add that while I think it depends on the locaiton of the VR, I have actually had a very good guest from Craigslist.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  It was a corporate rental that lasted for 6 months. It was Great! They even paid utilities over a certain amount monthly. I would invite them back in a heartbeat.

                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                  I definitely would entertain doing it again.