How to use Craigslist search engine: get the best Craigslist apartments

How to use Craigslist search engine: get the best Craigslist apartments

Posted 09.14.2009 in Articles by Christopher

Craigslist has listings for pretty much anything you could ever wish to look for: jobs, furniture, cars, free stuff, personals, apartments and more. The apartment listings are vast and clouded with inaccurate details, short listings, misleading headlines, and scams. In order to find quality results fast and effectively, you need to know how to wade and cut through all of the junk.

The classified apartment ads on Craigslist allow for any type of landlord, be it an individual or property management company, to post apartment listings. Many of the apartment ads posted by property management companies will look more professional: more detailed, more images, uploaded flyer, or a listed business email or phone number. Some of the property management company apartment ads will also redirect the ad back to its company website. The apartments ads that redirect to their own sites aren't necessarily considered as bad Craigslist ads, they can just slow down your search throughout Craigslist. A common downside of ads posted by property management companies is that they may post a headline with a certain rent price yet describe one of its other properties in the ad that is listed at a different rent price.

Individual landlord apartment ads are typically very simple: concise short descriptions, sometimes have photos, may offer more specifics about the apartment, and may include an alternate email or a phone number. A common problem that Craigslist users have with individual landlord posted ads is that they can be too short and vague; these leads to lots of users wasting time on ads that actually don't fit what they are looking for.

Before you can sort through the individual landlord posted ads and property management companies, learning how to correctly search for the amenities you want is a must. The Craigslist search engine bar doesn't offer many options to search for specific results so having a strategy of what keywords to search for is the first step. By using the “-” sign after your keywords will automatically exclude any ads with the keywords after the “-” sign, for example: search "Manhattan - Nolita" any Manhattan results that include "Nolita" will be excluded. You can also search for multiple types of ads by using the “|” sign to separate what you want to search for. By using the “|” sign, you can search more effectively by getting varied results off of one search and browse them at the same time.

Craigslist is not 100% safe however, lots of apartment ads can be falsified and used for scams. An easy and effective way to sort out the scam ads is by copying the body text of an ad that seems suspicious and pasting into a Google search. Google will kick back any forums or blogs detailing warnings against similar ads with similar body text.

Once you collected a pool of potential results, either bookmark or drop the URLs into an RSS reader to keep your listings organized. Instead of just keeping the tabs or windows with the ads you are interested in open, using the RSS or bookmark strategy will allow for you to access the ads any time you'd like without having to search for them again or makes them easily accessible to share with roommates.

Searching for apartments on Craigslist can be a tedious task, but by utilizing a strategy and searching effectively will simplify the work and stress that goes into navigating the classified ad Web site.

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