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Article of the Month for January 2015 Printer friendly version

Finding Dingbat Retirees

by Ward Hanigan

We're frequently asked how we find a new tenant when a rare vacancy occurs with one of our dingbats. Obviously, like all landlords, we can’t discriminate in any way that limits anyone from renting one of our dingbats. So, every once in a while we find a very suitable non-senior that we will gladly rent one of our vacant dingbats.

We start out by putting up a rental sign on our vacant unit. But we don’t advertise in local newspapers or on websites such as Craigslist because the response is too overwhelming for us to adequately handle.

We have found that we can more easily get enough prospects by advertising in local, free publications such as Senior World or Senior Living, etc. that seem to cater to the interests of the downsizing baby boomer generation.

You can find current examples of senior–oriented publications at most neighborhood senior centers. And it seems that there are as many senior centers in a large city as there are local, branch libraries. Most centers circulate a multi–page monthly newsletter of upcoming events, which you might find helpful to advertise your occasional vacancy in.

We also post flyers for our upcoming vacancies on a variety of local bulletin boards in or near recreation centers, food stores, etc. and hand out copies at senior–focused events that are announced in their monthly newsletter.

Also, in many metropolitan areas, local seniors are offered a bargain-rate, nutritious lunch at or near senior centers on a Monday thru Friday schedule. So all we do is hand out our “For Rent” flyers to the people who have queued up waiting for the lunch to start. We also offer on the flyer to chauffer anybody who would need a ride to come see our rental.

In addition, we post our vacancy on the local Section 8 online bulletin board and also call our Section 8 Advisors about our upcoming dingbat availability. We also offer a $50 dollar finder’s fee to any of our current tenants who refer a qualified tenant to us.

What we’re looking for is a quiet, congenial tenant who’s not a transient and isn’t prone to hosting yard sales, day care, harboring pets, smoking, collecting bags of roach-filled recyclables, or use a wheelchair as if it was battering ram. For those reasons we will “visit” our qualified applicants at their current abode and get an idea of how they really live (and with whom).

We gladly rent to both men and women, but overall, women seem neater, more stable, more responsible and healthier than men.

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