For those who may not know, Craig’s List is the Google of the online classified advertisement world. In just a few years, it has become such a powerful free tool that many newspapers around the world are losing serious revenue to its superior and cost-free service. I’ve never used it before now. I’m looking forward to discovering how well it works – or if it works at all.
About two weeks ago I put up a sublet ad in the Manhattan “vacation rentals” section, adding the note in the headline that the apartment is actually in Jersey City. I stressed convenient access to lower and mid-lower Manhattan. I chose that section thinking it would be the most likely venue.
The responses were only so-so and by the time the 7 days allotted had run out, I had nothing.
After a few days of reading other sections, I re-wrote the ad, included pix of the modern interior of my apartment and a view of the NY skyline from my window. This time I put the ad in the sublet and short-term rentals.
Well . . . let me tell you . . . within 4 hours I was innundated with offers to send money right way via PayPal just to hold the deal. Prospects from Germany, France, Italy and various parts of the US wanted it sight unseen, no quibbling about price or terms.
(To those in the know, pretty much all of those overseas offers were almost certainly scams that would have required me to cash thier phony money orders and send back some of the proceds to them, leaving me holding the bag,:
I wasn’t going to let the apartment out to someone I had not met and vetted.
I set up appointments with the three most promising candidates, each of whom was already in the area, all on the same next day afternoon.
Two of those candidates wanted to deliver cash that every evening, before anyone else saw the apartment.
Of course, not one of those showed up or called to change the appointment. Probably another scam.
Late that same afternoon, I deleted the ad from Craig’s List, rewrote it yet again and posted it one more time. Within less than one hour I had two candidates, both only a short bus ride away. The first one (Hi Cory!) showed up within the hour and we sealed the deal within a few minutes of him seeing my home. The other guy called twice wanting to come straight away but he was too late.
The unit is rented. Before the meeting, I got solid, verifiable references and then actually verified them. Cory’s a great guy; newly hired financial trader with major firm.His office at Exchange Place is reached by a bus at the corner. His wife, who will join him weekdends while they house hunt, has taken a job as a youth counselor in a town at the Jersey shore where they intend to live.
All of us are happy.
I can start packing.