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There are times when you’re going to have no inquiries from your online advertisements.  I’ve been in this situation and it’s not the best situation to be in.  For one, once your spare room goes unrented, you’ve lost your source of income for that month.  It’s ideal to find a reliable roommate fast.

At one point, one of my rooms went unrented for 3 months.  One of my rooms commands $600 per month that is $1,800($600 x 3 months) of lost income.  There’ no way to make that up once the calendar turns.  Here are some options I’ve done to overcome this situation.

  • Re-advertise – This requires the least amount of effort.  You simply relist your room for rent using the same mediums. This is the option I lean towards only because I’ve had experience with the rent price and I figure it’s just a timing issue that resulted in no inquires versus demanding too much for rent.

If you don’t have too much experience in what kind of price your spare room can demand, perhaps you can relist your advertisement again, but with a lower rent price.   Remember the difference between rent price versus rental income.

  • Find new Mediums – Trying new untested mediums to determine if they prove to be effective.  New mediums can include, but are not limited to: craigslist market place, work place bulletin boards, online roommate subscription sites.  One place, I’m tempted to try is facebook marketplace; to see if a friend in my social network is looking for a place to live.  However, I would be renting out a room to a friend of a friend.
  • Change your advertisement – Craigslist is probably the most popular choice when it comes to advertising a room for rent, but it has some downsides.  It lacks the ability for the advertiser to view any kind of analytics on the click through rate and such.  Without many inquiries on your advertisement, it maybe that your craigslist headline or advertisement content doesn’t generate interest.  Re-writing or adding pictures to your advertisement would entice inquiries.

Don’t Wait Too Long

The clear downside of relisting and playing the waiting game is that as time goes by, you’re loosing out on rental income.  You could be in a situation where you have interest from less than desirable roommate candidates and roll the dice and go with them rather than playing the waiting game.  I’ve done this and rented out to roommates who were just starting out in life, ie younger roommates who had limited experience living on their own.  They did pay their rent on-time, but overtime they fell behind on their rent payments and ultimately moved out.

If you find yourself constantly lacking inquires, ask your self some simple questions.

  • Is the rent price too high?

Perhaps doing some research on craigslist to determine what a comparable room is going for might remedy this problem.

  • Is the room in a presentable and livable condition?

Are you being too picky on selecting a roommate?  For me, I’m easy going and probably live with anyone who is responsible.  I’ve lived with outside smokers to people who had whacked out work hours.  So I’m not limiting myself to certain roommates who have certain behaviors or work hours.   If you open yourself up, you’ll find yourself finding more roommates.

  • Are you being a psychopathic control freak?

I have to mention this because if you’re too controlling or overbearing in your advertisement or when you show your residence, your potential roommate may simply pass on your place.  I can’t suggest that you change your personality just for a stranger, but perhaps having a friend or colleague look over your advertisement to feel out the tone of the language.

Final Thoughts

This shows a few options that you can go about to increase inquiries from potential roommates.  I think the biggest thing you can do is lower you rent price to attract more inquiries.  The pitfall of this that you’re may not be getting the fullest market value for your roommate.  I like to keep my rent price inline with the market rather than under cutting them.  This allows me to find working professionals without blatantly discriminating against tenants that can just barely afford the rent.  In addition, I keep my place and in working condition and it shows when you see my place.  With that said, I’ve had no trouble find roommates once they go for a tour of my dwelling.  It’s getting the inquiries that take work.

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