As a landlord of a single property all I can tell you is that if you see something your like you have to put your application in immediately. I posted my two bedroom on craigslist and got about 6 emails in three hours about it. Try to make yourself sound as normal, employed and financially stable as possible in your email, that helps on the response rate. You wouldn’t believe some of nutty sounding emails I got, thus I didn’t waste my time on responding other than to mention the open house. I had an open house scheduled for a sunday about three days after the first posting because I didn’t want to do a bunch of indivual showings. However, a couple of people reached out to me in earnest to see it earlier and I did show it before the open house. I took two rental applications and an application fee and had the place rented out within three days of posting. Its a landlord/sellers market. I was once in your position though so I feel for you. You just have to act fast, bring a check book to open houses for application fees and be prepared to make up your mind on the spot. Also, start networking among every friend you have to see if they know anyone moving out. You can also try renting in a new, managed building like ones in NoMa or Columbia Heights. You will pay a lot more but its less hassle to find something.