Craigslist is truly an inexhaustible wishing well of awesome apartments, condos, and rooms for rent. The only trouble is, you’d have to be glued to your phone or monitor 24/7, forsaking food, work, and even sleep to be there when your dream apartment hits – and sometimes a few minutes can make all the difference towards getting your perfect place, especially in highly competitive rental markets.
To make the most of Craigslist’s listing without suffering from malnutrition or sleep deprivation, here’s five tips for your next Craigslist apartment hunt.
Graigslist ads come from everywhere, all at once, and unceasingly. Trying to follow along and pick out an address from your desired neighborhood or in your preferred price range, is like being glued to a stock ticker, day-in and day-out, waiting for that miracle combination of signs to signify your dream apartment. Instead, Craigslist mapping sites like Padmapper (photo shows $1,000 studios available in NYC area on 3/27/17) or Hotpads not only make it easier to visualize your Craigslist feed, it’s also an easy way to keep track of all available apartments and roomshare opportunities that post throughout the day, so you can still live your life.
2. Start A Spreadsheet
Spreadsheets are no longer just for data geeks and entrepreneurs. With as many moving parts as a Swiss Clock, apartment hunting is already insanely complex, and triply so if you’re moving with multiple people or applying for multiple places at once. Consider starting a spreadsheet. Break it down by neighborhood, price range, size, however you care to filter it. It’s also easy to quickly disqualify inappropriate apartments with a simple ‘Y/N’ column, so you don’t have to go through the same listings over and over.
3. Bookmark. Extensively!
You’ll likely look at lots and lots and LOTS of listings over the course of your apartment hunt. To truly make your apartment hunt as efficient as possible, remember to bookmark the most promising listings. Finding the right apartment can sometimes involve seeing LOTS of places, and often all at the same time. To make things even more confusing, apartments that are being filled are often removed from Craigslist, so make sure to bookmark a direct link to the apartment site itself, so you don’t forget where you’re applying or a potential lead.
For even more efficient apartment hunting, create a dedicated folder in your Bookmarks Manager. Creating subdivided folders – by area or by price listing – will make going through available listings even easier, so you won’t have to wade through an ocean of apartment listings that all look the same. You can also use Bookmark apps like Evernote, which can also be shared with your apartment hunting team!
4. Use Apps Like Lovely
For even more mobility and flexibility on your apartment hunt, remember to go mobile. While there are plenty of Craigslist and apartment hunting apps on the market, not all apps are created equal or worth the space they take up on your phone. Apps like Lovely, however, act as a remote control panel for your apartment search, sending you updates straight to your pocket or purse as listings are updated, in real-time. It’s easy to save favorites for finding later, and it’s doubly easy to contact posters directly, straight through the app. When a matter of minutes can make all the difference in getting the apartment you crave, you need all the help you can get.
Flagging inappropriate listings and possible scams might not necessarily save you time, it makes apartment hunting on Craigslist more efficient for everybody. Consider it your good deed for the day, as well as helping to deter scammers, making future Craigslist apartment hunting easier, less painful, and more efficient for everybody.
Good luck with your apartment hunt! Remember to shoot for the moon and hope for your dream apartment! It’s out there!
What are some tools or resources you like for apartment hunting? Let us know in the comments!