What are your thoughts on placing an add on craigslist (for rent) to understand the interest in a potential set of units you are looking to purchase? The property has been vacant for a year and wasn't rented before that (owner lived in one and used the other 3 as storage, so I don't have any leases to reference). Looking to understand the interest beyond just using rentometer.
I'm not sure how useful that is, because you should be gauging interest of qualified applicants - quality over quantity. Unless you are planning on continuing your ruse through some pre-screening, but I think you'll be wasting your and others' time.
If you want to learn demand in an area, document the comparable listings online weekly, and see how many new ones are posted versus how many are taken down, how long the listings have been up, etc. You should be able to assess the market enough using that.
Although, every unit is different, so I'm not sure if it will tell you what you want to know about YOUR units in question. You'll need to look at amenities, neighborhood, parking, etc. Remember, virtually every rental unit has demand...at the right price. Better to establish the rent rate, as above, to see how that affects your financials.
Thanks for the thoughts, @Wesley W. ! Yeah, my reservations were in regard to wasting the interested party's time, so I think your comments are spot on. Just wasn't sure how common something like this would be. I heard it on a podcast or read it (can't remember). Rental comps are probably the way to go (with dignity).