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Great question, and one that we've been wondering about ourselves. A telling indicator appears in a Real Deal article on how scam-weary renters are turning to closed communities like Facebook to find apartments and/or reputable brokers.
This comment from a frustrated broker suggests that a lot fewer renters are cruising Craigslist these days.
"Two years ago, I would place one ad and would probably get maybe 10, 15 qualified candidates from it," Richard Santos of Level Group tells The Real Deal. "Now I have to place at least 10 ads to get two or three qualified candidates. One hundred dollars' worth of advertising should get you something."
(It should be noted that not everyone on the brokerage side thinks that's such a bad deal: "Frankly, I see that kind of return for $100 worth of advertising as damn good," broker-blogger Malcolm Carter observed after pointing out The Real Deal story to us.)
If you're using Craigslist to find an apartment, some tips for avoiding scams include avoiding anything that looks too good to be true, "blind" listings that don't carry a broker's name, demands for cash deposits, and requests that you wire money in exchange for keys.
How did you find your last NYC rental apartment....?