So I posted an ad on Craigslist in "housing wanted" saying our approximate credit score (750+ each), employment history, what we were looking for, and our income plus a little intro about us personally to give it a little flair.
Since we were pretty much ideal renters I was hoping landlords of the nicer properties would look there first to avoid the sketchy unqualified riff raff that may reply to public ads and waste their time. The other thing is we have/had cats, so the pool of apartments was smaller for us so it made sense to "target" landlords who were open to pets.
To my surprise, got a bunch of really great hits! Way better places at better prices than the public ads. Apparently landlords actually DO browse Craigslist for qualified candidates. Some even congratulated us on being responsible and "ahead of the curve."
Ended up renting from someone found that way. Total cost was $0.
I imagine Facebook groups would work just as well or better. Facebook groups weren't really a thing last time I was apartment hunting and I've owned for a while now so I won't ever get to personally try it out. Facebook groups work way better than Craigslist for both buying and selling stuff and, in general, a local Facebook group I belong to has been insanely useful for a lot of different things.
I very purposely didn't include any information about any of those categories in my ad. The only thing you could discern from my ad was that I was (and still am) married.
That's like saying employers looking for candidates on LinkedIn or the "Ask HN: Who wants to be hired?" thread is "little more than an end for employers to get around anti-discrimination laws."
Or maybe you don’t like gay folks, or black folks, etc.
How did you manage to convey that? By virtue of posting an ad or you went ahead and specified in the ad how high educated, high income, and overall awesome you are?
I didn't specifically mention my education though, I thought my profession was enough. I also didn't mention our savings/assets either, because I thought our income was enough.
Mentioned both of our professions, what specifically we do at work, our salaries, our work history (both had been at our companies for many years), our credit scores, our rental history (both individually and together), and a little about us personally (hobbies), that we were quiet, and that we've never missed a payment on anything in our lives. (Bills, loans, rent)
Basically conveying that we were stable, responsible, respectful, and could afford the rent.
I was absolutely floored on how well it worked, I had no idea how many landlords were going to be actively looking for tenants on Craigslist.
"They" say "the best jobs are never advertised." Turns out "the best apartments are [also] never advertised."
I would also suggest local Facebook groups in this day in age.
I've done it before and it works. Really stands out among all the "Single parent, 3 dogs and 2 cats, can afford $500/month for a 1-bedroom apartment in city downtown" ads.
My wife and I recently moved and, while we ended up somewhere we like, there was one particular street right next to our old house that we always wished we would be able to get a home on. When we talked to other neighbors that were thinking about moving, we found out that we were far from the only ones eyeing that street. Unfortunately, people there rarely sold and, when they did, the homes got snapped up quick.
We thought about sending letters to see if somebody wanted to sell to us without going the realtor route, but we never did. Facebook ads would have made it way easier. And a service where we forked over $50 to run some ads plus $250 as a reward and pushed a button would have been better still.
We actually just bought a house doing this exact thing. There was one particular area that only had about 30 houses in it and they don't come up for sale that much. Since we really wanted to move this year, we sent letters to the houses we'd want in that area. To our surprise, out of the dozen or so letters we sent, four people responded that they were considering selling and a few others still replied thanking us for the letter but weren't going to sell.
As long as you are willing to be flexible with move date, this works out great for both sides. The sellers avoid agent fees, which at 5 or 6% can be significant, and the annoyances of showings and open houses. It also gives the sellers certainty of sale so when they go to buy another house, they don't have to deal with contingency offers.
A sale isn’t certain until it’s closed, so unless you are suggesting a sale and lease-back arrangement, it doesn’t really change the sellers situation.
I've gotten letters like that before and always assumed they were Realtors trolling for clients.
I don't own a house.
i.e. "my son lives on X street and I would like to live by him" or "the access to hiking/biking trails is one of the things I cherish the most." , etc.
Otherwise, you are right that I think most of those letters are from Realtors and go immediately in the trash.
At this point I would be suspicious of even a personal letter like you mention above. I really hope technology continues to squeeze realtors out of business. At one point I was indifferent to them, but they have turned my opinion negative.
My parent sold a place that they had after a letter was put in their letter box, and we were on the brink of doing this when we were looking for a place. Before we did I walked into work and said “anyone know of a place for sale in xxx that would be interested in a private sale?” Someone did, and we bought it. No real estate agents involved.
I do like the idea of targeting people through Facebook although I feel like the physical letter would pull more at the heart strings
I heard this is something real estate investors do for people who are in the foreclosure process. Offer a all cash short sale and see if the home owner and bank bites to prevent going through foreclosure. I don't know if it's actually true or not, or how common it is.
There is a service that offers this, it's called "Craigslist" and "Facebook groups."
Noooooo.... please don’t ruin this... Let’s keep it for us nerds, okay?
1. Personal FB ad copy 2. Landing page w/ more information about what we were looking for. 3. Contact form
I received ~5 leads from people willing to sell their house with about $100 in ad spend.
LexisNexis is actually the big one who resells that information, you can request a copy of your report from their site for free to see what they got on you. Mine listed my house, I believe the day I bought it, and the source of that information (in my case my town hall).
How? Their site has a physical form and instructions to mail it - which is so fucking ironic given they freely sell our data in digital form but we need to mail them forms to get a copy ourselves.
Edit: For example, the only Facebook ads I've seen recently are for riding lawnmowers. I live in the city.
If Facebook ads weren't effective; would advertisers continue to buy them? My direct experience using facebook ads is that they are exceptionally effective at targeting people.
> For example, the only Facebook ads I've seen recently are for riding lawnmowers. I live in the city.
That's not enough information to make a judgement on the efficacy of facebook's ad platform. Perhaps you're correct, and you were miss targeted by Facebook's algorithms. Or perhaps the advertiser didn't properly target their ad. Or perhaps the advertiser WANTED to target people living in cities, hoping to get in front of the eyes of any potential future customers who are thinking of moving out to the country.
If nothing else, you at least remember you saw an ad for a Riding Lawnmower.
Small, local companies frequently fall into the mistaken assumption that targeted advertising on Facebook will drive sales. Advertising should only be assumed to drive mindshare, whose link to sales is often discouragingly weak.
Regardless if advertising is effective at driving sales, a dollar spent advertising Women's Self Defense on Facebook drives (Mindshare|Behavior|Sales) more effectively than a dollar spent advertising Women's Self Defense in Black Belt Magazine.
"(I believe we reached roughly every Facebook using inhabitant of the targeted neighborhood)"
IANAL, but I was a licensed real estate agent in NYS about 15 years ago, and this was covered in the course materials.
In any case, I do not find any support for the idea that you can't discuss the property with the person you send to your landlord. It wouldn't really be possible to say "this is a great place to live" and respond to "why?" with "can't tell ya!".
Now if you tried to sue because your landlord reneged on your monetary reward, then you might not win because you weren't licensed or something, but that's not at all the same as it being illegal for them to pay you.
NY may have a reputation for corruption, but things aren't that bad.
The legalities of referral fees come into play if you are a real estate agent, and you pay a fee to another agent who failed to renew their license, I believe.
You just don't use a real estate agent for renting an apartment, regardless. I don't see how you just brush the difference between buying and renting aside.
I knew a guy who tried to use them as a dating service, I guess the lack of incentive is what made his trial fail...
(I was kind of disappointed that the "hypertargeted ad" link in the article went to a generic how-to article instead of that post.)
What a quagmire, I know.
Good video summarizing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9_6UCkxu_U
He should have offered a cash bribe. That would surely have worked.
God I need to move out of the bay area. I pay $1000 more than that for my one bedroom in Oakland. And it's not even in a great area... And it's not even that nice of an apartment!
Great idea what this guy did. Maybe I should give it a shot.
It ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Fuck you, Medium. I want to read a blog post, not sign a contract or marry you.
Works like a charm!
: Example - https://i.imgur.com/YfUKdjT.png
higher floor you go less foot traffic (noise) around your door you have, less likely your apartment to get robbed, less street noise, less insects, less air pollution and I could go on and on, basically higher you go the better, benefits end on the top floor where possibility of thieves returns, also hot in summer and possibility of leaking roof, but at least no top neighbors noise