Tips to Help You Find the Madison Apartment that's Right for You!

5 Free Ways to Find a Subletter for Your Apartment

Posted by Jennifer Oppriecht

On Wed,Feb 19,2014

Sublet my room

Subletting your Madison Apartment is no easy task, as competition for those prized subletters can be fierce. You’re going to need to put your marketing hat on to rise above the crowd, and if you’re a typical student, you have only a shoestring budget. Look at these 5 ways to market your sublet for free.

1. Put an ad on Craigslist. This should be the first step you make when you’re looking for a freebie marketing source. You can review this article on how to write an effective Craigslist ad, but keep in mind a few of our rental-specific suggestions:
  • Include three key selling points about the apartment in the title.  What makes it different? Unique? Why do you love it so? Boil it down to 3 quick-hitter points.
  • List when available. Include when the apartment is available in the title, which will immediately help narrow your field.  
  • Add photos – as many as you can. These don’t have to necessarily be ones you’ve captured on your smart phone either. Your property owner may have some professional ones you can put to use. Get creative; check out what Aladdin Lee Grant Rutledge Collar did to rent his apartment.
  • Repost and repost some more. The way Craigslist is set up, you read from the most current listings down. Avoid getting buried under the more recent posts by reposting. It’s always a good opportunity to tweak your ad if it’s not working, too!

Here’s an ad we put on Craigslist that puts all these rules together.

cl ad

2. Tap Into Your Property Owner’s Marketing. Who knows the ins and outs of marketing an apartment better than a property owner? It takes a lot of time and resources to not only establish the marketing channels, but also know what works best. Why reinvent the wheel?

Reach out to your landlord, and try and make them part of the process. A property owner wants the best tenants in the apartment, and so they’ll likely do their best to help you attract the right people.

What can a property owner do? First, they can communicate internally to their own staff of the opening. At Steve Brown Apartments, with so many properties and so many managers, it’s amazing what word of mouth can do.

Property owners may also have a website or email dedicated to subletters. You might want to add your listing to help you get the word out.

3. Use Your Own Social Media. In the age where we’re all connected online, take full advantage of your social network and get the word out.  Here are some ideas:

  • Facebook: Create a detailed apartment description, and then post it on Facebook. Incentivize your friends to help you rent the space; tell them if one of their buddy’s claims the apartment, you’ll buy them dinner or take them out on the town. You can also use existing pages to post your sublet. Check out the UW Sublet and Roommate Posting Board.
  • Twitter: Use your Twitter account to link to an online posting (on Craigslist or your property owners). Search for #subletting hashtags here in Madison. Here’s a perfect example:

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4. Go Guerilla. Have you heard of guerilla marketing? It’s when you roll up your sleeves and get personal. It’s about hustling and making personal contacts. It also involves creative ways to market.  

For example, how about printing up a small flyer with apartment details, and then hitting the Memorial Union? Plenty of folks hang out there, and if you visit various folks at their table and hand out a small flyer with details, you’d be surprised how receptive people might be.

Take advantage of your big lecture hall classes too. Leave class a few minutes early, then hand out those flyers as people are leaving.

5. Use Your Email Contacts. We mentioned using your social network, but what about your email contacts? Take a look at your contact book for your emails, and you could find hundreds of emails you’ve forgotten about. Or pour through old emails, create a list of people who you’ve been in contact over the past year, and send out a notice of your place. Include a description and a picture.  

The key to subletting your apartment is activity. The more of the marketing efforts you put into play, and the more consistent you are with doing them, the faster you’ll sublet your apartment.

Get active and good luck!

Cover Photo: Aladdin Lee Grant Rutledge Collar

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Topics: Subletting Your Apartment, Subletting, How to Sublet Your Apartment

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