Ten Tips for Finding Craigslist SRQ Rentals
You want Craigslist SRQ (or SRQ Craigslist or Sarasota Craigslist) if you are scouring the internet for a rentals in the Sarasota-Manatee area! Very few websites can beat the number of properties and traffic on Craiglist (craigslist.org). However, searching on the Sarasota Craiglist can be a bit frustrating to the uninitiated and to renters who have not used the site in a while. The rules and format are always changing.
So, pour yourself a stiff cup of coffee and let’s make sure you know the rules of Craig’s road:
1. First, you need to search in the right place geographically. Easiest way to do this? Just do a Google search for “Craigslist SRQ.” (Craigslist SRQ or even SRQ Craigslist is just a faster way of saying that you want to find the Craigslist for the Sarasota area) The Craigslist result should come up first, so click on “apartments/housing.”
2. A Craigslist search page will come up next. If you’re looking for an annual rental, you’re in the right place.If you are looking for a vacation rental, click on the dropdown menu and scroll down to “vacation rentals.”
3. Now you’re ready to start your actual search. You’ll note that Craigslist makes it easy to limit your search to number of bedrooms, what type (apartment, house, etc), rent range, whether pets are allowed and whether you only want results that have pictures. It also asks whether you want results displayed as a list, thumbnails, in a gallery of photos or just on the map. There’s lots to choose from. And usually renters stop right there.
4. But here’s where you could get easily discouraged. I just did a search for a two bedroom apartment that allows dogs in the $900 to $1200/month rent range. How many property results came up? 321! Why is that? Several reasons, the chief one being that because Craiglist puts the latest posting at the top of the list, landlords have to post the same ad over and over in order not to drop out of sight. So, your search results may contain hundreds of duplicates, and there’s no way to take them out. What a pain, and what to do?
5. Don’t quit! – because here’s the most important tip – The search box is your best friend on Craigslist. In it you should type anything you’re hoping to find in your rental. I put “tile floor” in the box and the search results zipped down to five! I typed in “University,” an area of town, and the result dropped to three! “I-75” because I want to be near the interstate — seven! Get the idea?
6. Here’s another hint: Craiglist posters are not necessarily the best spellers. Make sure you try imaginative ways to spell what you want to cover all of the bases.
7. Before responding to any ad, consider getting an additional email address – one that you will use only for searching for rentals. It keeps everything organized, and also keeps unwanted spam or responses in one place. Getting additional email addresses is simple in gmail and other free email services as well.
8. When you respond to a Craigslist posting via email, be careful. You don’t know for certain that the poster is a real landlord. And you don’t know for certain that he or she owns the house advertised. What if they are just trolling for names to add to their calling list for the latest insurance policy? Don’t give out a lot of information about yourself. Wait for the response. For some good tips, read “How to Avoid Rental Scams on Craigslist” by cactusbythesea.
9. Get the address of the property and DRIVE BY if possible. If you aren’t in the area, can a friend drive by? Google maps can probably give you a good idea of the street, but not the whole neighborhood. Are the roads in good shape? Is there trash all around? How close is the nearest shopping area?
10. Once your search is narrowed down to the rentals you want to see, don’t forget to check the craigslist postings each day for new listings that might fit your criteria. . . . I didn’t say this was easy, but it’s the best way to find a rental on Craigslist!
And, personally and in a very self-promoting way, let me encourage you to visit SRQrents.com as well. We can’t match the number of properties, but we can promise you no duplicates and lots of valuable extra information about the area!
Happy rental hunting!
Judy Gee, Owner