Rental not renting

65 Replies

I have had my duplex listed for about a month with little interest.  I looked at RentOmeter and I think i am right in the middle with the price.  I don't understand it; everyone is telling me it is the cold/snowy weather.  Here is my craigslist ad; please give me your thoughts.

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/apa/4912027290.html

Thanks

Jon

ur house around here would be 4,000/mo easy! 

i suppose its a very quiet/slow area? never seen a title like that before 'Office or Den House' 

Do you think i should guess leave it at 3 bedroom?  I was trying to get 2 bedroom interest as well.

Originally posted by @Jon Adams:

Do you think i should just leave it at 3 bedroom?  I was trying to get 2 bedroom interest as well.

I would be VERY VERY careful of using rentometer as your "estimator". That is off hundreds in my areas. I look at the neighboring areas and come up with the my "number" based on that. 

Have you explored other methods of advertising? CL is a great resource but you have to try elsewhere. Do you have a FOR RENT sign on the property? Any local REI groups in your area that you could connect with? I know i see tons of emails from my local REIA of tenants looking for rentals.

I had it rented for 3 months for $675 but the couple broke up and he could not afford it on his own.

Is the neighborhood attractive? If so maybe highlight some of the those selling points, school district, proximity to cool stuff, etc.

Best of luck to you! $650 a month seems cheap but I'm in the south!

Are you posting on Postlets as well? We tend to get better quality leads from there along with Craigslist.

Are you getting any activity at all? If you are getting the showings and activity eventually you will find someone qualified. Just a numbers game.

Have you rented this particular unit at the price you currently have it listed at?

Originally posted by @Kyle Gregg :

Have you explored other methods of advertising? CL is a great resource but you have to try elsewhere. Do you have a FOR RENT sign on the property? Any local REI groups in your area that you could connect with? I know i see tons of emails from my local REIA of tenants looking for rentals.

 Thanks Kyle, i know it seems logical, but no i don't have a for rent sign on the property and it is across the street from a bus company.  Man i have egg on my face. Dumb or Dumber?  I think i am both.

haha but now you know! good luck with renting it out! 

Originally posted by @Michael Noto :

Are you posting on Postlets as well? We tend to get better quality leads from there along with Craigslist.

Are you getting any activity at all? If you are getting the showings and activity eventually you will find someone qualified. Just a numbers game.

Have you rented this particular unit at the price you currently have it listed at?

 Hey Michael!  No I never used Postlets.  I have rented it for a little more $675.  Yes i am having people email, they ask if it is still available.  I tell them yes and then get no response.  I think i have shown it to 4 people last month.

I agree or echo @Kyle Gregg  comments. I haven't seen the CL add you included but it sounds like you have listed it with a somewhat abnormal headline - it didn't sound particularly attractive from the above post.

It has been cold and snowy in many areas of the country and that can have a profound effect on people being willing to/wanting to move. I have seen things slow down for myself in my market this winter too as far as requests for advertised units and we didn't get all that much snow here this year  or an abnormal amount of cold weather either. I would say that a fair "lack" of interest is likely the winter weather.

I would also suggest that you just simply state what type of house or unit you are offering, a 3/2 or 2/2 etc etc and just keep it simple, don't make up something cooky that people might wonder "oh, what's the deal with that rental?" because I don't believe people will respond as well to that.

Good question was asked, is there a "FOR RENT" sign out in the yard?

Do you have a Facebook "buy,sell,trade" for your area?? Use that too.

Do you have any free classifieds in your area or that are popular there? Use those as well

Please please please don't drop your rates if you are confident that you are competitive and don't go to giving a month free etc etc.

I have had to wait before myself and once in a while you begin to wonder, what if or what's wrong, it's usually nothing, just some odd timing or just the group of people in the rental market at the moment.

Don't get discouraged .......

Originally posted by @Jeff McCaskey :

I agree or echo @Kyle Gregg  comments. I haven't seen the CL add you included but it sounds like you have listed it with a somewhat abnormal headline - it didn't sound particularly attractive from the above post.

It has been cold and snowy in many areas of the country and that can have a profound effect on people being willing to/wanting to move. I have seen things slow down for myself in my market this winter too as far as requests for advertised units and we didn't get all that much snow here this year  or an abnormal amount of cold weather either. I would say that a fair "lack" of interest is likely the winter weather.

I would also suggest that you just simply state what type of house or unit you are offering, a 3/2 or 2/2 etc etc and just keep it simple, don't make up something cooky that people might wonder "oh, what's the deal with that rental?" because I don't believe people will respond as well to that.

Good question was asked, is there a "FOR RENT" sign out in the yard?

Do you have a Facebook "buy,sell,trade" for your area?? Use that too.

Do you have any free classifieds in your area or that are popular there? Use those as well

Please please please don't drop your rates if you are confident that you are competitive and don't go to giving a month free etc etc.

I have had to wait before myself and once in a while you begin to wonder, what if or what's wrong, it's usually nothing, just some odd timing or just the group of people in the rental market at the moment.

Don't get discouraged .......

 Thanks Jeff.  I will change the title now.  Yes i do the facebook ads for rentals as well.  I will also add the rent sign.  I do feel confident that the price is correct for the area.

@Jon Adams   First, I would put a phone number in the ad, using a Google Voice number pointing to voicemail. Some folks are fine with email, but I've found that many serious tenants want/need to talk to someone.

Also, I'd soften the tone. While you are wise to do both credit and background checks (as do we), there's no real reason to put it in the ad. The ad is the pitch, the seduction. Let's hear more about the "gorgeous flooring" or "oversized windows" or anything that places the reader directly in the home. Once they call, then you can lay down the law.

Lastly, I agree with @Elizabeth Colegrove that you should re-check your rental comps to make sure $650 is truly the market rate.

Best of luck! (I've been there and I know it ain't fun...)

@Jon Adams  alright then don't fret, you probably have it right, just an awkward moment in the market.

Do you  keep records of people who call asking for places?? I don't currently do this myself but if you did, perhaps you could call those back in the last say 2 months and double check with them to see if they are still looking and so on.....

Hi Jon, I took a look at your craigslist ad. Use bold bullet points to inform the reader about your property. (like this)

-Put yourself in their shoes. 

-They are probably reading 15 to 20 other ads on any given day and you want yours to stand out. 

-Put bold information in the ad about easy qualifying for the property ( but of course you want to screen with a criminal background, verify employment, credit, evictions, ect). 

-The main pic needs to show the entire property.  I hope that helps!

that's the worst feeling..  when the house does not rent. 

it's been cold and people don't move as much. 

don't use Craigslist.  I hate it and never got anything above average tenants.  spend the money and list it on mls.  it's so,  so,  so worth it.  we rent them 10x faster with mls and u don't have to answer calls. 

I had accounts with all those sites...  forget about them.. 

I have e had houses open for 4 months when I tried to list them myself and it was cold.  good luck 

@Jon Adams  

 not sure if you are over priced for your area, but here are a few tips.  When you take pictures try to make the area light and bright and get as much area of the room in on the picture as possible, this makes things look bigger and more attractive. Think of it this way if you were a potential tenant would you go to the house that has pictures of dark small looking rooms or one that is bright and looks spacious?  

Another thing is to just leave it as 3bd.  People who are looking for a 2bd like newly wed with a baby knows that they can just convert a 3rd bd to an office if need be.  You do not have to spell it out for them.  

Maybe in your listing clean it up a little break it up into bullet points making it easier to skim through noone wants to read one big paragraph.  Also add in features about the location such as quiet neighborhood, walking distance to shopping center, bus lines nearby etc.

Just an FYI you shouldnt put no no sec 8.  That is discrimination and illegal, though almost everyone on craigslist does it.  I just tell them that I have minimum standards over the phone and they did not qualify if everything is good with them besides sec 8 then I give them a chance to see the place and usually end up picking someone else.  This way they can not say you discriminated against them.  I doubt anyone would go to that extent, but better safe than sorry.  When you list your property think before you put anything in that you think someone might feel discriminated against.  On another note I didnt like taking pets, but now I personally like having pets in my rental, as they can pay higher rents and not many places take pets so the tenants are happy to be accepted and will try to take care of the place because they know the market for places allowing pets is a lot harder. Good luck 

Originally posted by @George P. :

that's the worst feeling..  when the house does not rent. 

it's been cold and people don't move as much. 

don't use Craigslist.  I hate it and never got anything above average tenants.  spend the money and list it on mls.  it's so,  so,  so worth it.  we rent them 10x faster with mls and u don't have to answer calls. 

I had accounts with all those sites...  forget about them.. 

I have e had houses open for 4 months when I tried to list them myself and it was cold.  good luck 

great thanks George. How do i go about listing them on the MLS?

get an agent that lists rentals and have them list it.  it costs 1 month's rent but they split it between the 2 agents.  I have done it so much that now I pay a flat fee of 1k per listing and they each get 500. it rents much easier and the quality of tenants is 5x better.  no joke

How about a MOVE IN SPECIAL!

Move in for $99 

Get a security deposit and $99.

Then make sure you screen for and get a good tenant and a 2 year lease for a little more a month.

My prospective tenants seem to have the biggest problem with "the move in costs".

There is a reason they are tenants.  They can not save $$$$$ and do not budget for their move.  If they were good money managers they would be home owners and we would be out of business.

Some good themes.  Here's what I've heard (most of which you're already doing - I'm just summarizing):

1- Keep the ad heading friendly and 'normal' (I'm dying to know what the old header was)

2- Soften the verbiage in the description to remove reference to BG, reference, etc.

3- Use Postlets and the MLS (if available) to get more online views. Note that the MLS is not available for rentals in all areas.

4- Include an email option to the ad

5- Consider moving away from Google Voice/getting to the point where a person answers.

6- get a for rent sign in the ground.

7- do not decrease the rent yet.  I've skimmed the listings, and you look appropriately priced.

Overall, if you've had four showings in a cold/snowy month, and many more calls - you're not in awful shape.  Work on some of these themes and things will work out.  Hang in there!

What does everyone think of creating a website to house larger, crisper, brighter images? Has that helped anyone here? 

Also, I agree with the poster who mentioned bullet points. Makes it a bit easier to sell the terms that apply to their searches. You can always do bullet points at the top and a slightly longer description on the bottom - at least those are the types of ads I always preferred as a renter. 

Best of luck to you!

Originally posted by @Gene Maryushenko :

What does everyone think of creating a website to house larger, crisper, brighter images? Has that helped anyone here? 

I don't know if a separate website is needed (just my experience), but having better photos would probably be very helpful. I always use bright, crisp, professionally done (I'm a professional photographer) photos that make my places look better than they are in person. I get people in a craze about "being in love" with my places before they've even seen it in person. That draws folks to come see them. The funny thing is--I can see the slight underwhelmed reaction in many cases when people finally do see the place, but by that time, enough folks have already sold themselves on the place--just based on the photos. 

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