How much will your home rent for?
Craigslist is site to use when you’re marketing your rental property because prospective tenants use it to find their next home. However, it also opens you up to a lot of dishonest people doing dishonest things. Craigslist is often associated with scams, and both owners and tenant want to be sure they’re protected from fraudulent people and nefarious motives.
Watermark Your Property Photos
To get the attention of tenants looking at Craigslist ads, you’ll need to include as many photos as possible with your ad. Include pictures of the front of the property, any outdoor space, the kitchen, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and any other special features. These features may be fireplaces, pools, walk-in closets, or updated appliances.
Protect your photos by placing watermarks on them. If you don’t do this, unethical people can steal your photos and use them in a fake ad. Place your name, your property manager’s name, or your phone number and website over every photo. This will identify the pictures and the property as being owned or managed by you and only you. Anyone seeing those pictures on another ad will stop and wonder why the identifying information doesn’t add up.
Include Direct Contact Information
You ad should always include a way for prospective tenants to get in touch with you directly. Do not communicate strictly through Craigslist. There is no need to be anonymous during a legitimate business transaction. Include your name and your phone number as well as an email address. Prospective tenants may want to send a text, an email, or make a phone call.
It’s extremely important to talk to prospective tenants before you send them to see the property or before you schedule a showing. You want to take the time to ask a few pre-screening questions, and you want to give the prospective tenant the opportunity to ask you questions about the property. Anyone who doesn’t want to share personal contact information is likely involved in a scam, and you want to make sure you are transparent and open from the beginning.
Monitor Rental Listings Regularly
It’s time-consuming, but we recommend you check the Craigslist rental listings regularly. If you see an ad for your rental property and it’s not an ad that you have placed, address it immediately. Scammers will often steal an ad and change the price. They’ll attempt to collect money from prospective tenants, and then those tenants will be left thinking they’re moving into your property. It creates headaches and loss for you and the prospective tenants. So, scan the rental listings every few days, and make sure you don’t see any ads that shouldn’t be posted.
Meet Prospective Tenants in Person
Meet prospective tenants at your property at every opportunity. This sets an excellent precedent and allows you to establish a relationship with the people who may be living in your home. It also gives you the opportunity to ensure you’re considering real tenants who are the people that they say they are. You never know what dishonest people are trying to get away with, and when you meet prospects in person, you’re able to discuss things like rental criteria and move-in requirements. Tenants will be less interested in getting away with things when they see that they’re dealing with an informed, thorough landlord who knows the laws and follows a thorough screening process.
No one wants to be a victim of a scam. Craigslist is a great place to market your property, but you also have to protect your interests and the interests of your prospective tenants. If you need any help with marketing or avoiding scams, please contact us at South Bay Property Management Pros. We’d love to be your Manhattan Beach property management resource.