Roommate Wanted? 5 Reasons to Avoid Using Craigslist to Find a Roomie

in Roommates on by

When you’re looking to post a “roommate wanted” ad, it might be a good idea to think through how this kind of rental transaction might go. One of the first considerations is advertising. This is where you get into some very deliberate decisions about how you want to advertise your offer for living space. These days, everyone is flocking to the community mega-site Craigslist for nearly any kind of public advertisement – but does it really make sense to showcase your rental offer in this prominent Internet site? For some, Craigslist is a perfect way to look for roommates, but for others, it really doesn’t fit the bill. Here are some reasons why you should think about posting your ad for roommates on Craigslist.

1. A Flood of Applicants

Nearly anybody who has posted any kind of Craigslist ad an tell you that you’re likely to get whole lot of responses. For those who don’t understand what this means, the aftermath of a Craigslist ad placement can be overwhelming. Your phone rings off the hook-your inbox (and spam mail box) fill up with emails from prospective renters. If you’re not ready for this, all of your other communications can be critically disrupted. Posting on Craigslist often requires an action plan, and the ability to devote time to your advertising.

2. No Matchmaking Capabilities

Where some more specific rental sites might offer a little more help in connecting housing seekers with your kinds of offers, Craigslist really does not provide any of this “value-added” service. That means, again, more work for you and time allocated to sifting through all of your responses to find the right matches.

3. Competition

On Craigslist, your ad will be placed among thousands of others, on a linear page where specific information jumps out at readers. As time goes on, your ad can simply be buried under hundreds of other similar ones. In some cases, where the right information is not displayed, your Craigslist ad will not be effective.

4. Flighty Applicants

Many of those who look for temporary housing on Craigslist are not putting a lot of effort into the search themselves. Don’t be surprised (or angry) when those who call don’t visit, or those who email don’t call, etc. That’s just part of the whimsical, ever-changing business world that sites like Craigslist have contributed to in the 21st century. With these kinds of ad sites, transactions often happen quickly, or not at all, and a single communication between a buyer and seller is largely disposable. This, however, can be really frustrating for those who are more attuned to an older way of doing business.

5. Personal Information

Another potential problem with using Craigslist is that you may have to include personal communication information or other items in order to make your ad effective. The concern is that, along with many housing seekers, other individuals can be scouring craigslist for information they can use to target your marketing campaigns, fraud situations, or scams. As with other public Internet postings, you’ll want to use good judgment about including your personal information in a Craigslist post.

The above illustrates how a Craigslist roommate posting can be a liability for some people who are offering these kinds of collective housing situations. The bottom line is that making the right choices and getting a successful result requires a lot of effort, through narrowing down the list of potential roommates into a few good matches who will be likely to follow through and resolve your housing situation.

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