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Getting the Worm: Early Bird Alerts (if You're Willing to Pay)

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[Shelter seekers wait outside of an open house in San Francisco]

Local property management company RMC took a look at all the rental craziness -- long lines, bidding wars, cutthroat tactics -- and thought it was all quite unsavory. To combat this, they recently started emailing potential tenants with new listings, and for a fee, they can be emailed before they hit the infamous craigslist. For $15 per month, you'll get the listings 48 hours before they are public, and for $50, a full seven days. With 500 units under management, it's unclear how many units might turn over each month, though as any apartment seeker knows, you only need one. So far, it's less of a money-making scheme for RMC and more of an experiment in pre-qualification. We thought that maybe brokers would be able to justify $50 per month for their clients, but RMC tells us it's mainly just individuals, ones looking to live in Noe or the Castro, near those shuttles we hear so much about. What do you think, dear readers? Would you pay extra to get a few days between you and the competition? Or is this simply another way that renting in SF is getting more expensive?
· RMC SF Early Bird Alerts [website]