Have you ever heard of reverse prospecting for tenants? Hopefully, as a landlord, you are already using Craig’s List to find new tenants. This is a free and powerful tool to quickly advertise your apartment openings. I have good success for most of my properties using Craig’s List, but depending upon the area the apartment is in or the time of year, I may have to take an additional step that I call: Reverse Prospecting for Tenants on Craig’s List.
As you know, on Craig’s List, there is the section that you post available apartments in, but have you ever looked in the section labelled “Housing Wanted”? There are 1000’s of entries in this section and with probably 20-50 being added every day. All these people are looking for places to live, but most people will post something on Craig’s List and only come back once per week. Why not do some simple searches on this list and see if anyone may be looking for what you have available and contact them?
To do Reverse Prospecting, go to the “Housing Wanted” section of Craig’s List. In the header section, there is a search area. Type in the city in which you have an apartment opening. If the initial search of the city name does not turn up any leads, try neighborhood names and try adjacent cities/neighborhoods. Read each one of the results. If any are close to what you are offering, click on their “Reply to” address and send them a quick email that says something like this:
Hi. I found your ad posted on Craig’s List in the Housing Wanted section. I have a 3 bedroom apartment in Minneapolis with large bedrooms, a new kitchen, garage, and washer/dryer. The rent is $1100 and it is available November 1. Here is the link for the apartment: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/sha/453132627.html
Are you still looking for a place? If so, please reply to this email and we can discuss it further.
You will be surprised how many people will at least reply to you (positive or negative). You will be further surprised how many prospective tenants you can pick up this way. Give it a try the next time you are striking out on finding a new tenant.