Advertising For A Roommate
Advertising For A Roommate
Sylvia Bergthold (Author, Roommate Expert) gives expert video advice on: What specific services does the Internet provide for roommate searching?; What should my online ad consist of?; What kind of information should I put in an ad if I'm renting a room in my home? and more...
Where can I post ads for roommates?
When you post an ad for a roommate, you have several sources. You can use college bulletin boards, housing boards, you can use your local throwaway paper such as the Pennysaver, your local classified ads in your paper, word of mouth, or tell your friends and family that you've got a room available. Post it in the grocery store, the beauty salon, senior centers, rec centers that have bulletin boards available, and of course the internet is the new one. That's the greatest one now.
What should my print ad consist of?
In your printed ad, you should say if you're requiring a deposit, if utilities are included in the price, and how many people are sharing the apartment or the house. Also, you need to state if you don't want smokers, pets, and drugs. Those are the biggies, the most important ones. How much you want to pay for an ad is going to depend on how many words you can put in your printed ad.
What are the best places to post ads online?
The best places I used to use is the Pennysaver, but because I have a hearing loss, I don't do well on phones, so the Internet is a godsend. I can e-mail people, and they can e-mail me back. I can get all the specifications I want through an e-mail. True, you don't get the real feel of somebody until you actually talk to them on the phone, but that comes later. You can do all this other stuff, first. You can be very specific on the Internet - you can ask all kinds of questions. Usually, if they're serious about renting a room from you, they will gladly answer you. The internet is my favorite source of posting an ad. There's a lot of different ways on the Internet to do it. You have to be careful, but it's my favorite place to post ads.
What specific services does the Internet provide for roommate searching?
My own website has a whole list of roommate services available, and there's a lot of others that aren't listed on my website which I have used. You can be so specific when you use the Internet - I'm an e-mail freak. I can ask all different kinds of questions, and they'd answer back. You can even post pictures, but you have to be careful what you do. If you use common sense, that's the way to go.
What is a 'profile' on a roommate services website?
A roommate profile - essentially, you're talking about yourself. What you're looking for. Let's say that I'm a person looking for a room. I'm going to state what my age is, where I'd like to live, where I'd like to find an apartment, and what kind of personality I have. Am I quiet? Am I clean? Do I love pets? Do I hate pets? Am I allergic to cats? These are really important things, because the person that is looking for you needs to know these things. I'm not going to ask you for an interview if you're allergic to cats, because I have a cat. I need to know these things. I need to know that you live or work in the area where my house is located. These are important things. One of the other questions is, who do you want to live with as far as age is concerned. Do you want, if you're in your 20s, to live with just 20 and 30 year olds? Or, will you go from 18 year olds to 99 year olds? They will ask you these kind of questions in the profile.
What is a 'questionnaire' on a roommate services website?
A roommate questionnaire can consist of a lot of things, depending on the roommate service itself. Some of them ask questions in a format, for instance, How long does your chinese stay in the refrigerator?, or How often do you do your dishes? Others are vague, and you just push a radial button because they specify certain things - non-smoker, children, pets, alcohol, parties, cleanliness, that kind of thing.
What should my online ad consist of?
The online ad, depending on what service you use, already has specific questionnaires. You put radial buttons on - you don't want a smoker, you don't want kids, that kind of thing. They have comment sections, and you can say anything you want to there. I would really stress people writing as much stuff in there as possible about how old you are, what you do, and what your interests are. That's really important, because I know that when I am looking for a roommate through the internet, if you have left that whole comment section empty, I'm going to skip right over you. I feel that you are not serious and, to me, that's the most important part of the ad, that you're saying something about yourself. If you're going to school at Orange Coast College, then I know I can service you for a room, because I'm right down the street. If you go to Domingus College, that wouldn't make sense. I live out here, but Domingus College is in Los Angeles. That wouldn't make sense. I need to know that information before I contact you.
What is the difference between a specific roommate services website and an online classified website?
Roommate services ask for a fee. PennySaver USA and Craigslist do not. The idea is that a roommate service has already done some of the work for you. You answer a questionnaire with a radial button, and then they match you. When you push a button called 'my matches', it will only come up with people who are looking for a room that are specific to your needs. No smoker, no pets. They have the dollar amount that you want, or are charging. They eliminate a lot of ones that you wouldn't want, because they don't fall into the categories that you specified. There is an advantage to them, definitely.
Who pays the fee with roommate services websites?
Generally, depending on how serious you are about finding a roommate, it would be the landlord that is looking for a roommate. They have the room for rent. The people that want a roommate and a room usually don't have the money. They can post a profile for free. I can post my profile for free too, but without paying a fee, you're limited to what information you can access. If both parties pay a fee, they have unlimited access to information that everybody is getting.
What kind of information should I put in an ad if I'm renting a room in my home?
If I have a room available in my house, I want to specify certain things. I want to specify in my instance that they are clean, neat tenants, that they are not allergic to cats (although my cats are outside), that they have a job - which is really important because you need the rent money - that they are friendly and respectful, and that they will not vandalize your house, that kind of thing. I don't care what age they are. I really don't. It doesn't matter. I love students, I love international students even better - they are wonderful room mates. Specifically, they're stable and everybody comes with baggage, so let's not kid ourselves. We all have baggage. You want somebody you think will be compatible with what your needs are, and with what you want.
What kind of information should I put in my ad if I'm looking for a room?
If you're looking for a room, you should say that you have a job, or you could say that you're a student, and what kind of person you are. Are you neat and clean or are you a party person? Do you go out all the time? Do you have friends coming over a lot? That's really important. Do you have a boyfriend that would be coming over all the time? That's what you need to be specific about. If you want to have room-mates that are a certain age, that's can also be important. You may want to stick to your own age group, but it's not necessary. To have a great relationship with a room-mate, it's not necessary to be in the same age bracket, but you may feel it is important. You don't want to rent with an old lady, a sixteen year old, or somebody that has children in the house. Your roommate services specify these things. Will you have children with you? Do you smoke, do you drink? Some of the roommate services make it a funny questionnaire. How long does your Chinese take-out stay in the refrigerator?
What information should I leave out of a roommate advertisement?
You should never reveal your house number, or any real personal information. Obviously, you will not reveal your Social Security number, and your date of birth. Those are the specific ones, though. Don't mention your house number, because you don't want people just barging into your house and saying, Oh, I'm looking for a room, and you advertised. You don't want that. That's dangerous. I would say, specifically, do not put your address.
How long should I run my roommate ad?
As long as you think you're getting a response. If you're not getting any responses from your ad, then you need to rethink what kind of ads you've run, or what venue you've used. If you've got it in the local paper or classified, and you're not getting a response, take it out. You're just wasting your money. If you're spending money on an ad and you're not getting a response, don't renew the ad. Go online or try another venue, or start putting ads in other places. If you haven't had any response, I would say you have either chosen the wrong venue or your ad needs to be rewritten.