Ok, perhaps we should take a minute and explain why.
Avoid a Huge Mistake
Just a few days ago, we had a gentleman contact us to pick our brain and see if he needed our services. The interaction we had was a good reminder to myself that not everyone who owns property is an “expert” and sometimes needs help with the basics.
I quickly learned that this gentleman had several other rental properties in another state, so he felt he had a pretty good general gist of how things work in this industry, and he certainly did…until he brought up the Craigslist thing. “Why should I pay you to find a tenant? I already found a guy on craigslist who wants it.”
I was putting my head in my hands for a moment at the thought of this gentleman taking such a massive risk with his investments…
Why It’s a no-no
Ok, let’s take a moment and put ourselves in the shoes of the world’s worst tenant, let’s call him, hmmm, how about Jason (if your name is Jason, don’t sue me).
Jason is the kind of tenant that puts random holes in walls, has an unwanted pet in the home, doesn’t pay his rent on time…or at all, likes to call you every week with a new issue he demands be fixed (like “the skylight lets in too much light”), and my personal favorite…has past evictions on his record.
Isn’t that enough to make the hair stand up on your neck?
This is the type of renter who property management companies have it out for. We know these types will not only make your lives miserable, but ours as well. Most property management companies have enough of a brain to perform a background check, look for past evictions, check credit and payment history, etc. Now, the guidelines for approving a tenant vary per company (some you could barely call guidelines as we’ve seen some pretty incredible tenant placements when we take over the management), but the gist is these types of tenants will have a very, very difficult time getting through the application process. With us, there’s 0 chance any of that flies (more detail on what we look for if you click here and scroll down to the ‘tenant placement and screening’ tab).
So, if you’re Jason and desperate for a place to live after every management firm has denied you, what do you do?
Enter my BFF, Craigslist
Where For Rent by Owners get Suckered
This is where the gentleman I was speaking to almost lost his way. I explained to him that unruly tenants, like Jason, flock to craigslist to take advantage of inexperienced property owners. I’ve seen them forge documents, lie on their application, say they don’t have pets or kids, etc. It almost always ends up the same; a home is destroyed and your left in a money pit with no cash flow.
Honestly, this is why I love my job. I could almost see the light bulb go off on the other side of the phone line.
“Jeez, wow, ok. Yeah, I won’t be doing that, I can’t believe I even thought of doing that”.
It’s not a sales pitch to get people to use us, I mean, it is just by it’s nature, but this is us here at Douglas telling you…begging you not to make the same mistake others have made.
Are there people out there who have used craigslist and found a good tenant? I mean yea, like 3 or 4 maybe 😉
Let the Pros Do if For You
If you could save $10 by walking to work today instead of taking the bus or putting gas in your car, would you do it? Hell no.
Why would you do the same with your investment? Why on earth would you put yourself in that situation? Maybe these properties are meant to help you retire, or for you to leave your kids…the point is it’s not a risk you should take by finding your tenants through a site designed to help people buy used stuff.
If you saved let’s say $500 on a tenant placement fee by doing it yourself, how would you explain having to pay for new carpets, paint, a deep clean, and any other damage they causes adding up to 4 or 5k? Think farther ahead with your investments, not just how to save quick money up front.
Oh, and we’re not trying to be rude or blunt, but we like to tell it how it is, it’s just easier that way for everyone. The bottom line is don’t use craigslist to find a tenant, even if you don’t use us, we won’t cry (a lot), but at least save yourself the headache.
We put together a simple to follow guide of everything we do, and why we’re your best decision when it comes to getting the most wealth out of your investments. Check it out here