Author Topic: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?  (Read 2997 times)

neo von retorch

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I bought a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in 2007, and have had people living with me ever since. The first couple and the subsequent 2 gentleman were acquaintances of some sort. The current gentleman renter found me on a Craigslist post I put up 3 years ago. So when I decided to resume renting my third bedroom, I turned to Craigslist. I initially used almost the exact same ad as I used 3 years ago, but with different photos, as it's a different room. (Maybe that's the problem?!) I've had a handful of people visit, but 3 of them decided not to rent, and the 4th had a lot of red flags (paycheck to paycheck, smoker, unsure when he could even gather a deposit) so I turned him down. I've had the posting up for almost 8 weeks now, and that's all the activity I've gotten. I'm asking the same amount as I asked 3 years ago for the other room, and they are about the same size. Any ideas for keywords, phrases, or perhaps how to take photos that will catch some attention?

swick

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 02:39:57 PM »
Hard to make any suggestions without seeing the ad.

Personally though, I would go through your social networks - or those of your current renters? Might result in some better prospects.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 02:55:57 PM »
As someone who has rented a lot of single bedrooms, I look for no-nonsense ads with a clear description and a slightly below market price. Red flags are poor spelling or grammar, unclear contact information, or any sort of rambling. Post great pictures, and let your place sell itself by listing its advantages.

You would be surprised at the number of times I have made contact with a potential landlord/housemate and they are either unsure of the contents of their own ad or act like I should be grateful they are taking twenty minutes of their time to talk to me.

usmarine1975

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 02:56:45 PM »
I wouldn't really know on the renting a room side.  I know what we try to consider when listing an apartment.  We look at surrounding apartments prices, pictures, what they include, etc...  And we try to price ours accordingly.  If you have a college near by check there maybe a student is looking although many colleges in our area are increasing their own dorm rooms.  Pics can make a world of difference as can a snappy headline.  Look to see what others are offering etc...

thedayisbrave

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2014, 08:37:51 PM »
I would also suggest looking at your location & targeting your nearby community.  For example, I have a 4 bed/4 bath condo that I rent out by the room to students.  The property is specifically designed for suite-style living so I bought it with that in mind.  I currently live in it and rent out the other rooms, one to my brother and he brought along some friends.  Have had 0 vacancy since day one and don't anticipate that to change much given its proximity to the public university as well as a nearby community college. 

A venture I toyed with was looking at the demand for corporate rentals in an area about 20 minutes away that is home to a bunch of tech companies.  My mom personally rented out one of her bedrooms to a contracted employee who would fly in periodically. 

So, my suggestions would be look at local demand.  Are there workplaces or business nearby that are attracting people who need a place to stay? Schools? Hospitals? Etc.

Another thing I would suggest if you haven't done so already is looking throug the "housing wanted" ads - you can pre-screen and not reply to anything that looks sketchy.  That way you've kind of got both ends covered.

Oh, and I just saw that this is your own residence as well.  Depending on where you are again, AirBnB could be another option - where you rent your room out for a night/multiple nights.  You'll be one the hook for a little more as it's more "hosting" & will mean more turnover/maintenance but I know of people who have made decent money doing this.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 08:39:43 PM by thedayisbrave »

electriceagle

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 03:56:54 PM »
Where are you located?

If your property is in NY, SF or some other ultra high COL location (or in a college/military town), you should have an easy time finding mainstream, employed tenants.

If you are in a less expensive or less transient area, you might have a hard time finding room renters who are both mainstream and employed. In many parts of the country, it is highly unusual for an adult to share a home with someone who he/she shares neither genetic material nor bodily fluids. In one of these areas, you might have limited roommate choices no matter what you do.

Three years ago, the economy was worse, and there were more "mainstream" people looking to save a buck. Now, the economy has turned around, so the market has changed.

neo von retorch

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 08:31:07 AM »
Thank you, all.

A few friends also commented on photos. I need to take some more photos and add them to the listing. Most of the time, my Facebook account is inactive (like now) though I had put the word out on there. As electriceagle mentioned, some people just find it weird to rent just a room and live with other adults, though it's not wildly uncommon here in Central PA. Still, I might have to drop the price a little to put more distance between renting a room and renting a whole place (though you generally need another $250 for rent, and then utilities on top of that.) I am near a major area hospital, and have had one or two potential short term renters, so that is a possibility. I do not think I could handle the AirBnB option, personally. I like the idea, but I think it's safe to say "that's just not me."

I do list the advantages - simple price (all-inclusive) with internet/TV (I might put the exact details back in, though I was debating dropping down from FIOS to cheaper cable and wanted the flexibility), laundry room, home gym... but I think a good once-over on the house to make sure it's in tip-top shape and some photos of such advantages might be helpful.

usmarine1975

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2014, 09:24:06 AM »
Another Central Pa Mustachian.  I live in Harrisburg and would agree it is quite common to rent out a room.  I am surprised how many homes in the City rent fully furnished rooms by the week.  Just make sure your price is in line and that your lease agreement (yes you should have one) is fairly simple and within the legal allowance.  Should be able to google and download a typical roommate lease. 

mooreprop

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Re: Bedroom rentals: How do you advertise and attract (good) candidates?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 02:12:37 PM »
My daughter and her husband rent out a room and had the same problem this time around, after renting easily in the past.  Probably a function of the improving economy.  It is better to not rent it than to rent to the wrong person.  They eventually found a great person and are glad they waited.  Sorry I don't have any other helpful hints except to let everyone you know be aware that you need another roommate.  Sometimes word of mouth is best.