Looking for a new apartment? Especially if you live in a college town or other popular area where good rentals are hard to find, you’ll want to do more than check Craigslist.
To get the word out, prepare a brief description of exactly what you want, in terms of location, price range, number of bedrooms and features (such as walking distance to a park). Use this Sample Apartment-Hunting Note as a model in preparing your own. If you decide to offer a reward, such as a $50 gift certificate to the person who finds you an apartment that you end up renting, mention this in your note, and anything else that’s important.
Send your apartment-hunting note to as many people as you know, alerting friends and social media networks, neighbors, and coworkers, of your housing search. Don’t forget local businesspeople with whom you have a friendly relationship—doctors, shopkeepers, lawyers, and insurance brokers may all have good leads on available (or soon-to-be available) rentals. You never know who may come through with the perfect apartment—it might be the woman with the flower stand down the block or your dental hygienist.