When you start searching for the best roommate finder options, it’s a good idea to think through the rental transaction. The first thing to consider is advertising on a reputable roommate finder. This is where you’ll get into some deliberate decisions about how you want to advertise your living space, or what exactly you’re looking for in a roommate.
A lot of people continue to flock to Craigslist for just about any type of public advertisement. Think about it, though, does it make sense to showcase your offer on such a prominent site?
For some people, Craigslist is the perfect roommate finder website, but for others, it doesn’t fit the bill at all. Here’s why you should consider looking for another roommate finder site.
- Floods of Applicants From This Roommate Finder Website
Just about anyone who has posted an ad on Craigslist will tell you you’re going to get tons of responses. If you don’t understand what this means, the aftermath of placing an ad on Craigslist can be overwhelming. Your phone will ring off the hook and your inbox will flood with responses from potential renters. If you’re not ready to handle this kind of bombardment, you’re going to need an action plan and the time to devote to your advert.
- Lack of Matchmaking Capabilities
Where some of the best roommate finder sites will offer more help in connecting renters and roommates, Craigslist does not provide this kind of value-added service. So, again, you’ll have more work to do and need more time to allocate to sift through all those responses to find the right match. As someone looking for a room to rent, you’re going to need to be able to sift out the scams from the genuine ads, and that’s no easy task.
An ad placed on Craigslist can get lost in the thousands of others, on a linear page where no specific information will jump out at readers. As time goes by, your ad becomes buried under hundreds of others just like it. In some cases, the right information isn’t even displayed and the ad won’t be nearly as effective.
- Watch Out For Flighty Applicants
Many people who turn to Craigslist as a roommate finder or to find temporary housing tend to not put much effort into the search. Don’t be surprised, or annoyed, when those who respond to the ad don’t visit or those who email don’t follow up with a call. It’s pretty much part of the whimsical and ever-changing world of roommate finder sites like Craigslist.
With these types of advertising sites, transactions tend to happen really quickly – or even not at all – and a single piece of communication between a buyer and seller is fairly disposable. This can be extremely frustrating for those of you who are more attuned to older ways of doing business.
- Personal Information
This is another problem with using Craigslist as a roommate finder website. You may be requested to include personal communication information or any other details to make an ad more effective, or to respond to an ad with.
The concern with this is that, along with other individuals scouring the site for information, they can use your details to create fraudulent situations, target marketing campaigns or carry out scams. Just like with other public postings online, you’ll need to use good judgement when it comes to including personal information.
Watch Out For Scams
Craigslist is awash with scams. One of the most common involves purported roommates making contact, showing interest in renting your room. They tell you that they’re unable to visit as they’re out of the country or simply don’t have the time.
In this case, the scammer insists that they’re easy going and ready to move in. They offer a legitimate sounding story. At some point, after finding you on the roommate finder site, they ask for the total amount to secure the room.
Based on stories of those who have been victims to scammers, the scammer sends a check or an international money order for more than the total needed to secure the room. They then request that you send the difference back to them via Moneygram or Western Union.
Typically, the money order or check is counterfeit so when you send back the “overpaid” amount, you’re really sending your own money.
Avoid Falling Victim To Any Scam
Avoid using Craigslist altogether. Instead, register with Roommatester where you can interview potential landlords and roommates via our online portal before you even meet. The roommate finder website is safe, convenient and ensures you find the right match.