Where do you post your vacant unit(s)?

11 Replies

Hello everyone,

As the title suggests, I have a vacant unit located in Pawtucket Rhode Island. I'll be finishing up the light renovations on the unit soon (it didnt require much) and I was wondering where you guys post your vacant units? What websites do you recommend, and what websites do you tend to stay away from? Thank you!

Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Facebook marketplace and Zillow are both great.

Do you typically find the quality of tenants are better on one site over the other? Also is it free to post on Zillow?

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Originally posted by @Marquis Harris:
Originally posted by @John Underwood:

Facebook marketplace and Zillow are both great.

Do you typically find the quality of tenants are better on one site over the other? Also is it free to post on Zillow?

 $10/week on zillow but worth it. I take applications on zillow.

Just screen any applicant. I've been getting great tenants with 700 credit scores lately.  Wait for a quality tenant and don't rush into signing a lease with someone that will be a pain and cost you money.

@Marquis Harris I think the three main ones these days are Craigslist, Zillow, and Facebook.

If you're asking a reasonable rent, you will be inundated with responses - I strongly recommend you have (or quickly develop) screening systems to handle the volume of inquiries you will receive.

There are a lot of resources for tenant screening here on Bigger Pockets so you should find everything you need if you spend the time researching the topic.

@Marquis Harris Facebook marketplace is really the only place you need nowadays. You’re going to get a ton of inquiries. Just make sure you have a good vetting process.

We fill 7-10 units per month for clients in neighboring CT primarily in Hartford, New Haven, Tolland and Middlesex counties and overwhelmingly we get the best leads from Zillow. 

Zillow owns every major apartment website outside of Craigslist (which no one uses anymore) and apartments.com which is just awful. Depending on your market it may cost you money to post on Zillow, but it is worth it in our experience. Facebook marketplace will get you leads, but you have to be skilled at filtering them which is why having minimum criteria is important when screening tenants. 

Understand this is highly regional.  In some places FBMarketplace is great and in others it is junk, lots of leads no applicants.  Same with every site out there.  Great in some, terrible in others.  Best thing to do is post it everywhere and track so you can learn.  See how many leads you get, how many applications, how many actual tenants.  When we started tracking we found very interesting things like the #1 place for our leads was also the biggest time waster as they generated the fewest number of qualified leads, applications and actual tenants.

So, go wide and track and learn so you know better the next time you lease.  

@Marquis Harris if you are in a decent location a sign can get you prospects and limit the people who call that are really not looking in your area. Some people just call everything available.

@Michael Noto

Echo this exactly. Facebook is a bunch of people clicking the “I’m interested button and never responding.”

I also exclusively require my applicants to submit a Zillow application which includes background and credit report. They pay once through Zillow and can use it for other applications. Takes a huge burden of the screening process.

Zillow, Zumper and, for giggles, FB Marketplace.  I stopped using Craigslist several years ago; ads get stolen so easily (even watermarking the pictures) and often get lost in the continuous postings for "rent to own" scams on that site.  It got so bad with stolen ads that, at one point, I had to put signs on the front doors of my available rentals telling folks that yes, I was the real owner and no, this three bedroom, 2 bath house was NOT up for rent for $500 a month.  Reporting stolen ads on Craigslist led to an (eventual) removal but two days later they would be back up again.

FB Marketplace tends to bring a lot of responses (typically the "Is it Available" response) but many don't bother reading the ad even after placing the requirements first in the ad.  Once you reply back asking them if they have reviewed the requirements (and repeat them) then ask if they meet these probably 90 percent of initial responders fade into the woodwork.  The good thing about FB Marketplace is that you can highlight that persons facebook site and many are not in private mode so postings can be reviewed.  Thus the person who responded to an that does not allow pets will sometimes have lots of interesting picture of their four pitbulls chained up in their back yard.  They've instantly screened themselves out of your rental.  FB Marketplace does have a problem with stolen ads (although so far none of mine have been stolen).  I typically report two or three a day that appear to be stolen and they seem to be removed quickly.  Zillow doesn't seem to have that problem (although I've seen a few stolen Zillow ads on FB Marketplace) because they now charge a fee for ads.