Inauguration: Rental Woes

by NCinDC

by NCinDC

For the last three weeks my roommates and I have been trying to rent our 3 bedroom apartment for inauguration week.  Our marketing plan has employed two tactics: 1) emailing friends from all over about the rental opportunity and asking them to advertise it (via an attached poster) to anyone who might be interested.  And 2) posting to DC’s craigslist.

We’ve had a 0% return on investment.  Not one lead, bite or even nibble.

Yesterday, I checked craigslist and found that the entire sublet section was over run with inauguration rental opportunities.  If anyone is looking for a non-inauguration subletting opportunity, good luck, because you’re going to have to sort through a list of every DC, MD and VA residence.

Are there success stories out there?  If so, how did you do it?  Or are these $30,000 stories, the stuff of urban legends?

Rebecca Johnson

A born and bred New Yorker, Rebecca made the big trip “down south” to DC in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her days strategizing/planning/ideating how interactive products can help her clients and change the world. In her free time, she explores DC’s ever expanding bar, restaurant and small business scene, plays a crap ton of soccer, attends concerts that contribute to her sleep deprivation and embarks on local adventures. Read why Rebecca loves DC or follow her on twitter.

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7 thoughts on “Inauguration: Rental Woes

  1. An older friend of mine who just finished renovating a historic townhouse with seven bedrooms and was planning to put it on the market, he successfully rented the place out for one week for $120,000 to a group of people from another country. The people that are renting these places are super rich and will not settle for measly 2 or 3 bedrooms. So much for the dreams of renting out my vacant apartment.

  2. I think its an urban legend. Dozens perhaps hundreds of people like you and me (great location, probably an older group house or apt.) are not having any luck. Probably…it made for a better news story more than anything.

  3. Everyone seems to envision these corporate honchos checking Craigslist for their ad, seeing enough information/photos in that ad to decide “Why yes! I will spend $15K+ on this apartment for a week!” and then happiness ensues. It doesn’t work that way (much like that little video on how a bill works its way through Congress is a blatant lie to anyone older than 6…).

    Want to rent your apartment to someone with a load of cash to blow on attending the inauguration? PAY A REALTOR. Yes, I said it – it will require you to pay a fee to a “trusted” third party. No political entity or others interested in spending that sort of cash to be in DC are going to check the DC Craigslist for rentals… they are going to ask a realtor to find them their housing options through a travel agent or local realtor.

    I personally know people renting their Cap Hill homes for 10K+, but I know of NO ONE able to make anywhere near 15K/bedroom. It makes more sense to rent a one of those amazing downtown condos for a YEAR pre-paid than to do something like that.

  4. Michael- you make a good point about potential renters using real estate/travel agents to make their bookings. Do you or anyone els ehave an idea about the commission for using an agent?

    Another thought along those lines is that my target audience, being generally older, more affluent and less web savy, doesn’t even think about craigslist as a viable/reliable source for inauguration rentals. I’m advertising to the wrong market segment.

    Although my roommates and I would like to rent out the apartment, we’re only willing to remove our valuables and live at a friends house for a certain amount. Perhaps we’re selling ourselves too high.

  5. re:Geb

    $120,000? for rizzle?

    If the tourists rent from a homeowner, they’re gonna miss out on a $400,000 “bargain” at the Omni. It even includes a trip to the Gulag.