Since the dawn of time, Craigslist has been hotly debated as to whether or not it is a reliable source. Wikipedia too, was once considered a non reliable source. But now, is able to be used as a source for educational papers. The biggest issue with Craigslist, which is still a problem, is scams. To be honest, I’ve never been scammed by Craigslist, so I cannot attest to the frustration and lost trust that may bring. Over the past 10 years, I have rented property, sold iPhones and motorcycles through Craigslist. Here are three reasons why I use Craigslist to market my rentals.
1. It’s Free
What is your main reason for being a landlord? Appreciation? Tax purposes? Cash flow? One of my goals of being a Landlord is to create passive income. Cash flow. So when I have the ability to market a property for free, I’m going to use it. There are services on Craigslist that require a pay to list, but renting and listing property is currently not one of them. Free marketing = lower expenses = higher cash flow.
2. Multiple Listings
Craigslist used to monitor how many times you could market a property or a similar listing. If you spam the website, they will monitor you and possibly not allow a listing to be posted. But in recent years, we suggest to post at 8AM, 12PM and 3PM the same listing. Get that listing to the top of the page. You need to stay on top of it though, because you need to do this every day until this unit is rented. Why not? See #1. It’s free.
3. Vet all Applicants the Same
Who cares if you have 20 people come from Craigslist to view your rental? That’s great! If they want to apply, you are still going to put them through the same hoops as you would any other applicant who applies to your property. Background check, credit check, rental verification and income verification. When you are 3 months in with a new tenant who is paying rent, taking care of your property and respectful, you won’t care where that tenant came from. Instead, you will be happy your property is rented and you went through all of the vetting criteria as you would have for anyone.
***Side note*** – The world of leasing properties is dominated by young women. I highly recommend that steps are taken to ensure that these women (or men) are safe when showing property. I.E. Driver’s license submission prior to showing the property.
Ultimately, I’ve come across different landlords who are pro or against Craigslist as a marketing tool. There are always new listing websites coming out Apartments.com, zillow.com etc. Many of these are free and have free options to list to multiple sites and you will need to find out what works best for you. Craigslist is a super local focused marketing website where MANY renters go in search of a rental. Just because someone 5 years ago had a bad experience with Craigslist doesn’t mean that the Craigslist of 5 years ago is the same as today. Protect yourself, protect your property, but if you are struggling to rent your property, give Craigslist a go.