Craigslist is a great resource. If you don’t know about Craigslist it is basically a huge classified ad. Every major city around the world has one, and it is great place to buy and sell used stuff.
I use it all the time for buying and selling things. Most recently used it to sell off some power tools that I wasn’t using anymore. My wife used it to sell some gently used baby clothes and things our little one has outgrown.
As great as Craigslist is, one bad thing about the site is that the people who use it are often looking for a deal. It’s like a giant garage sale on the internet, and rarely do I get full price for anything I’m selling. In fact, I just posted a sander on Craigslist for $100, and I had to lower it to $50 before anyone called me to look, and then when I sold it the guy offered me $40 (I stood strong and got the $50).
A lot of landlords think they can rent their house on Craigslist quickly and without having to pay a lot of fees to a Realtor, and for some properties this is absolutely true.
In Austin, if you look at the Craigslist rental section, you see a lot of things for people just starting out – 1 or 2 bedrooms, in an OK neighborhood, for somewhere just under $1,000/month. This is just the kind of places people who are just starting out are looking for. They are targeted at people just out of college, or people who have some credit issues and the like.
Sometimes you can find a hidden gem, but the good places to live are way overpriced for what you get (More than $1,500), and when you are spending a lot of money, I know I don’t want to do things under the table or without some legal paperwork in place to protect me.
I’ve worked with a lot of landlords who started by trying to rent their place on CL. They post it, and think that as soon as they do, the phone will start ringing. This is hardly the case. Days, or weeks may go by before anyone serious calls, and then when someone does, they may try to bargain you down, or set up an appointment and never show up.
Then when someone applies, how do you do a background check, or a credit check to see if they aren’t someone who stiff’s landlords? You know packs up all their stuff in the middle of the night, trashes the place and runs out on the rent?
Everyone want’s to save buck – but do you want to risk ruining your largest investment by getting a bad tenant?
I can help you get good renters.
Here are some of the things I do when you let me lease your house:
- I know the proper forms to use, and how to handle all the legal paperwork.
- Find you qualified tenants who can pay the rent on time
- perform background checks and income verification to weed out the riff-raff
- Arrange all showings around your schedule if the house isn’t vacant.
- Answer every with every phone call, and track all leads
- Put a sign on your property to adverse it to people driving the neighborhood
- Advertise your property through the traditional Realtor channels
- Enter your property in the MLS – so every agent in Austin (all 8000+) sees it.
- Control access to your home using a computerized lock box.
- Possibly get you more rent per month
- Take professional color photos (over 30) to showcase your house.
Don’t take my word for it though – I encourage you to try to be Craigslist landlord – give it 1 week, heck give it 2 or even a month. When you get tired of wasting your time, and having an empty place that isn’t generating a positive cash flow, give me a call. I can help you get your place rented fast, with amazing tenants, and possibly for more money.