How To Get That Tiny Apartment Rented

It’s a common joke that if people want to move to Manhattan, or some other large city, they’d only be able to afford something the size of a shoebox. (OK, so maybe that’s not the funniest joke out there. Picture I said it with Steve Martin’s arrow on my head. Wakka wakka.) But according to an article on Yahoo, it turns out, that’s sometimes true. Well, not literally true. You’d have to be some sort of contortionist or Barbie doll to live in a shoebox. But the couple featured in that article lives in an apartment that’s 240 square feet. Maybe that’s not shoebox size, but that’s pretty small.

We could also show you a place that's more of a boot size.

Makes my apartment feel like a palace. I just need a draw bridge. Ooh, and a moat.

Anyway, as property managers, this tale should give you hope that no matter how small your apartments are, there could be somebody, somewhere, who would like to rent it out.

It is kind of a hard sell, though. And once the prospective renters step in the apartment and their faces fall, it’s really hard to get those frowns turned upside down. You know, without pliers.

Here are some suggestions for marketing your itsy bitsy, teenie weenie (hopefully not yellow polka dot, because, gross) apartment.

Emphasize a good location. It’s the first three rules of real estate for a reason. (Actually, I think “location, location, location” is statically the most remembered rule, along with “Don’t run with scissors” and “Don’t talk about Fight Club.”) If the building is near restaurants or shopping or public transportation, or whatever else is a selling point for the place, let the prospective renters know right away, probably while they’re still in the lobby. With all that good stuff around, it’s not like they’d want to spend much time in their apartment anyway, right?

Let them know about any storage spaces. Do you offer residents free storage space for bikes, luggage, etc.? That could help sweeten the deal, so that renters would be able to downsize their space without downsizing their stuff. For some, not having space for their chick flick DVDs or souvenir t-shirts from 5k runs could be a deal breaker (not that I would know, ahem), so knowing they’d have a place to safely keep it could make the apartment more appealing.

Talk up the single (or couple) life. A tiny place is going to be a hard sell for a family with kids. But it could make a perfect bachelor pad (or the equivalent for women. I don’t think there’s a name for it, so I’m going to dub it “bachelorette salon”). Or it could be a cozy love den for a couple. Plus, less surface area means fewer areas for dust to gather, which means less cleaning. That should appeal to everyone.

Stage it so they’ll know some furniture would fit. If there’s no furniture in the apartment, it will literally look like a closet. I’ve actually thought that about my current place, and I think it’s 900-ish square feet. It’s very hard to visualize fitting furniture in a place, especially a small one. Put in some furniture so potential renters will know they could actually live there, instead of just sadly imagining a Murphy Bed and a ceiling light that has pull chain, and that’s it.

Be flexible on rent prices. Maybe you won’t get top dollar for a smaller-than-average apartment, but maybe that’s OK. After all, some money is better than no money.

Try not to make any sarcophagus jokes. Although Twilight is really popular, so that might be a selling point. Wait, actually, mummies are in sarcophaguses (sarcophagi?), not vampires. That won’t work. And now I’m scared.

What are some of your tips for getting a small apartment rented?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: H. Tuller