Just read a post on Brian’s REI Blog that talked about quickly filling vacancies. His advice was fast, easy, and inexpensive:
Post your vacancies on Craigslist.
I know it seems simple, but it is amazing that landlords and property managers alike, don’t use this tool to its potential. If you want to advertise your apartment or house for rent, this is absolutely the most cost-effective option. According to Alexa, the site is one of the 30 busiest sites in the world! Go where the crowd is, but do it correctly.
Here are a few simple tips about posting a vacancy on Craigslist:
1. Be as detailed as possible
2. Post information about the amenities
3. Post information about the neighborhood. Tell the potential tenant why this location is better than others. Let people know where the property is relative to Major Highways, and landmarks.
4. YOU MUST INCLUDE PICTURES! This is so important. People will look at posts that have images before posts without them. If the unit is ugly, use a pic of the building. If the building is ugly, use an image of the unit. If both are ugly, ignore rule#4!
5. Post as much contact information as possible. Be careful posting your email address, though. I’d recommend using Craigslist’s anonymous emails.
6. Avoid shorthand. You’re not posting in the newspaper anymore. Craigslist and other classified sites let you write as much info as you’d like. Use that ability. Everyone does not know what dw, cac, and other abbreviations mean.
7. Respond as quickly as possible. If someone is responding to your ad, it means that they are actively searching for apartments. If you don’t get to them, someone else will!