Craig’s List is a popular website for tenants and landlords alike. At Soldsense Realty we use Craig’s List all the time – more than half our tenants find us through Craig’s List.
We receive a lot of responses to our ads on Craig’s list. However, the downside to an Internet ad is that you receive a lot of scam emails with unqualified prospects too. A first time landlord often has trouble distinguishing a serious tenant from an unserious one.
To make matters worse, “bad” tenants with qualification issues actively seek out first time landlords. First time landlords are often lax with their tenant verification and sometimes want that empty property filled quickly so the money can start flowing. On the other hand, properties leased by a real estate company will typically follow tenant verification procedures to the “T” in order to treat all tenants fairly. Landlords doing the leasing themselves have a lot more discretion to do things their own way.
To “weed” the responses to your advertisement add something like the following to your Craig’s List ad. You won’t get as many responses, but those that do respond will know that you mean business:
“Sufficient credit, income, employment & rental references are required and will be verified. All adults living in the property will have to submit a separate rental application. $xx application fee per adult. 1 month security deposit and 1st months rent payable before move-in.”
The suggested paragraph above may reduce the number of emails and phonecalls you receive by about 50%. If your property is priced right, you will still receive a large amount of responses (keep in mind, most people just skim ads and won’t read any further than the price, location and number of bedrooms.)
The post next week will give you a list of 7 great questions you need to have answered before ever letting a prospective tenant inside your rental.
Finding and qualifying tenants are a lot of work. If you would rather have professional help please contact us. We do leasing all the time and can also assist with professional management of your properties.