In the age of Craigslist rental spamming, it’s important to have a headline that stands out. What we’ve found is that a lot of people take this to mean that their Craigslist titles should have lots of bells and whistles (see above).

We disagree with this approach. The emphasis in a title should be on content, rather than style. A good basic approach is to list a unit as follows

3 bedroom, 2 bath in Neighborhood. Amenity, Amenity, Amenity, Amenity….

We say this for a number of reasons.

  1. When people look at titles they’re not looking for fluff (luxury, amazing, beautiful, must-see), they’re looking to see if your unit meets most of the important criteria they’ve already set out. Someone who is looking for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment downtown won’t be talked into a suburban studio just because it’s “gorgeous” and “luxe.” So give the people what they’re looking for right off the bat.
  2. After the size and location, it’s also important to list the top amenities of the apartment. What these “top” amenities are will depend on your location. Here in Chicago, having a dishwasher and central air in an apartment is seen as a huge perk. Other big selling points may include free wifi, in-unit laundry, pet-friendly, included parking space and updated kitchen/ bathrooms.
  3. Titles are also important in terms of searchability. If someone checks the “title only” box on the search function, Craigslist only shows them listings that have the search results in the title. Most people search things like “two bedroom, hyde park” or “studio, downtown.” If your post title doesn’t include common search terms, you won’t get as man hits.
Moral of this story: out with the adjectives, in with the nouns.