Advertising Apartments for rent in Connecticut

10 Replies

I own a 3 family in Fairfield CT and am trying to be very picky with my tenants after a few bad experiences. Wondering where people have had success advertising.

Typically I use Craigslist and Postlets and get good volume but I am looking for quality tenants and not interested in nonsense. Where have you all had luck.

Appreciate any feedback

Unfortunately there is no "website for qualified tenants" website of which I'm aware. Separating the wheat from the chaff is an unfortunate part of the job.

You could probably limit the number of unqualified potential tenants by listing your approval requirements in the ad. "Credit score of at least ______ required. No broken leases/evictions accepted" etc.

@Bob Mazza we have an 11 unit property in north bridgeport, and I am VERY picky about tenants. I only use craigslist, and find that the quality is determined not by the source, but by the screening. And I've been quite successful - all with great tenants who have lasted.

I'll gladly tell you all about my screening process, but would rather not have it up for all to see - as some will accuse me of discriminating (read "good screening"). Shoot me a PM

@Tony Velez thanks for the comment. I have trouble handing this over to realtors mainly due to the cost, typically 1 months rent from what I have heard. On a 3 unit place generating $3800 a month that is almost a 10% hit on annual income. 

Overall it might be worth looking into given the time it takes out of my day/week/month to show it. I tend to try to do most things myself with the property.

Has anyone had success locally? can you still screen the potential tenants?

Hey Bob, I've been advertising rentals for a little over 5yrs now.  I too use Craigslist and Postlets.  I funnel all folks through a virtual phone number.  I generally call them back answering any questions then immediately get into my prescreening mode by asking them a number of questions to see if they would even qualify.  A start would be if they have employment and what their monthly or weekly income. Any evictions or fellonies.  Then how their credit is.  This usually weeds out 90% of the tenants. I would only show the apartment a few times a week lumping all prospects into those times.   Try to prescreen as much as possible and narrow showings to your schedule.  

I've done some open house ads on Craigslist with mixed success...  

PM me for more details... Good Luck. 

Hey @Bob Mazza good to see another investor and BP member from the home town. I've been on both sides of the equation on this one and have had both good and bad experiences with various screening processes. There are some good podcasts on the site that have great info on screening. I definitely believe in a tenant with steady employment and great credit.

Not to say that licensed agents don't bring bad clients but in my experience they usually bring well qualified tenants to the table. PM me if you want to chat or pick my brain, always willing to help. All the best!

I have been managing a relative's property from a good distance using a virtual phone number and a gmail address which is the property address @gmail.com. I set up a property website through Wix, then posted on CL, Postlets, (which sends out to Zillow, Trulia, and Hot Pads) and Zumper.  All posts pointed to the website for more detailed information.  

I was very open and upfront about rental qualifications, including no prior evictions, credit score of 600+ and verifiable income needed to be 3 times monthly rent.  

ALL contact was done by email (I am going to update the post I did on this a month ago so not going into too much detail here) but I was really surprised when I looked at the ad results. By FAR the most leads generated came from Zillow, and the only qualified leads came from Zillow, the actual new tenants came from Zillow.  The breakdown:  CL- 9, Zillow - 36 Trulia - 5, Hot Pads -6, Zumper - 3.  The winner:  Zillow.

The market is just outside of Boston, rent = $1500. Most, but not all, of the CL inquiries came from people using some sort of voucher or a request from their caseworker to use a voucher. Most of the way I structured the listings and screening info I gleaned from BP in the last few months.

The way we handled the screening was that I did all of the references, 100% of the contact and set up appointments where my relative actually did the showing.  We had 4 actual showings before offering a lease to a qualified couple.  (The three couples before them self eliminated for one reason or another - this couple made it to the final round, income, references, credit scores, all lined up.) This process took just over 3 weeks.

The thing I like about email contact is that absolutely everything is documented.  I am not tied up on the phone, I can "work" wherever I am, even at a noisy volleyball game.

Good luck with your rentals, and the best thing I can suggest is to do a search on BP for every subject/title you can think of relative to screening tenants, that will help even more than where to advertise - my opinion.

I agree with the post that noted it is not always the source of where you get the leads, but the screening process. What are your application requirements for occupancy? Determining your qualifications and making them known will allow you the funnel out who you think is good/bad.

Sometimes paying someone a fee for bringing you a quality tenant is worth it when it compares to the cost of evictions, damages, vacancy loss, etc. that come with a bad tenant choice.

Special thanks to @Travis Lloyd for the assist and everyone else who commented here. I now have 100% occupancy in my 3 family in Fairfield, CT. Found the tenants through Zillow. Love having 100% occupancy, just wish I had more units!

Appreciate the help from all in better understanding how to vet out tenants, I screened thoroughly over the phone and found it made most in person meetings much more valuable, I rarely wasted my own time. It took a bit longer but feel we are in a good place and have a good ecosystem going.