I've used Craigslist this way, most of the public rental ads for our area were either for shitty places or overpriced. There's nice to very nice apartment complexes in our area but they are very expensive, have on-schedule yearly rent increase, and charge pet fees.
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 was at Oren’s Hummus Shop in Mountain View when an Israeli-American couple were plopped down next to me. They procesed to converse loudly, and the male smugly boasted about how “horribly old” one rental candidate was, how he’d just waste his time and say it was already rented. Ageism never gets old, but then when it does, it gets bitter as the younger ageism treats it like the elderly in Korea... eventually, it jumps from a bridge due to poverty, shunning, isolation and neglect.
Selling myself. It was "this is why you'd want to rent to me."
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."
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 thought about sending letters to see if somebody wanted to sell to us without going the realtor route, but we never did.
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.
You can work out a lease-back for 60 days on most mortgages and some mortgages don't have any leasing restrictions. I'd say some lease-back would happen in this type of arrangement the vast majority of times.
I get ~4 calls/day from realtors wanting to list my house. It was so bad last summer that my wife changed her voice mail to start with "If you are Realtor, never call me again...".
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.
I get letters like this sometimes (people looking to buy either in our area or specifically our house). This only works when you personalize your letter to the specific house, and sell yourself - i.e. not send a generic 'call me if you want to sell', because then people will assume you're a realtor. I don't think this can be made into a service - it only works when you're clearly not a business and when you can show that you've put in the effort.
> We thought about sending letters to see if somebody wanted to sell to us without going the realtor route.
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.
>We thought about sending letters to see if somebody wanted to sell to us
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."
Direct mail marketing is a popular strategy in the real estate investing world. You can pull lists of properties+owners and filter by various criteria. Foreclosures or absentee owners are some pretty common ones.
Not only is there a "homeowners" category in the "Demographics" targeting section, but there are specific sub-categories like "Home value" $50,000-$99,999", "Home type: Condo", etc. IIRC, they get it from a data broker like Experian.
And the data broker, in turn, compiles that information from public records.
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).
Do people even look at Facebook ads? On my browser they rotate through every ten seconds, so even if I was interested the chance that I could read them and decide to click on them before they go away is nil. In he past, every single Facebook ad I'd ever clicked on turned out to be click-bait (the photo/ad had nothing to do with the link.) The ads are on a currently on a part of the screen I have mentally blocked out. The idea that you can hit 100% of the Facebook users in a neighborhood is laughable.
> I'm not questioning that Facebook sells ads, I am questioning their effectiveness and whether the OP is overselling it.
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.
Advertising is a prisoner's dilemma: every ad slot your competitors buy is a slot you could've bought instead. Seasoned companies don't advertise because ads are effective -- although in some cases, they are; they advertise because they're worried their competitors are attaining wider mindshare.
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.
> 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'm not sure if it would matter, if you were just doing this as an individual once or twice, but it's worth noting that in New York State, at least, this would be an illegal transaction, unless the tenant referring you to their landlord happened to be a licensed real estate agent. The definition of brokering a transaction according to state law, for which you must be licensed is that you're facilitating the transaction "for another" and "for a fee". The $250 dollar reward, therefore makes this an illegal act on the part of the existing tenant. Laws might well be different in other states obviously.
Typically (but not always) the complaints about this kind of thing come from people who believe they've been discriminated against, but in fact pretty much anyone can complain. In NYS, you can call the DOS and register a complaint for pretty much any reason you like, and they are pretty consistent about investigating all of them.
Actually, it might be more subtle than that. Simply referring someone to your landlord might be ok, but if you discussed anything at all about the property with that person, I think you'd definitely be in violation the moment you cashed the check.
There seems to be a technical difference between a "referral fee" and a "finders fee". And there may be a difference between a real estate sales transaction and a rental, the latter being what I was talking about.
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.
I think you'll be fine, and I wouldn't worry too much about it, but technically, it's against the rules. (As a thought experiment, suppose I knew what apartment building you lived in, and I actively hustled up potential tenants, maybe I even posted ads. I'd send 'em over to you, and you and I could split the fee. At this point, I am acting exactly the way a licensed agent would act, and the whole reason for having the license would vanish.)
I imagine in your scenario, my landlord could refuse to pay the reward, and I would probably lose in court if I tried to force them. That's not the same as it being "against the rules" to send people to them in hopes of a reward.
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.
There was a case on YouTube where a (sort of) satirical YouTuber Reactor (a fake over the top reaction channel) used a cut up footage of GradeAUnderA hating reaction channels as an ad on GradeAUnderA's own videos to direct people to Reactor channel as part of a scheme to bait GradeAUnderA (a 2-3 million subscribed channel) into attacking his small channel (1-2 thousand subs post these antics, much more later after the scheme came to light) to "expose" him for being a bully, starting fights (despite saying how he hates them and how they ruin YouTube and attacking people who are having them) and so on.
Lighten up. The obviously bad idea of offering potential dates a cash reward is what makes this joke funny because in the context of running a Facebook ad campaign discounts and promotions are quite common.
This made me curious about whether there are good lifehacker-style articles/listicles/compendia of creative personal uses of targeted advertising platforms. Not sure if the answer is no, or if it's just one of those ungoogleable ideas.
Someone in my coworking space is building a platform that does this in New York and Boston. It incentivizes departing tenants to be involved in the leasing process by cutting out the real estate agent and giving a portion of that fee back to the departing tenant. They've just launched: https://www.cribdilla.com/
It's important to note here that this will only work in densely populated areas. Otherwise FB will make you expand your radius / criteria to fit a large enough population potentially rendering the ad useless.
that still doesn't explain why not go for 2nd or 3rd floor which is still very easy to handle even with small children (park pram somewhere in basement or ground floor), I am living on 5th floor without elevator with 2nd baby, so did I in previous apartment with previous child, now that's extreme, but 2nd (just bove ground floor) or 3rd floor would be just fine
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