How to write a great flatmate ad

February 2018

We’ve all been there, you’re on the lookout for a new flatmate and it’s not proving easy. It can be a real pain writing the ad, sifting through all the applicants until eventually finding that one special person. Finding a new flatmate’s important to get right, and can be really stressful, so we thought that we’d help you out with finding the right person faster.

1. Learn from your competition

Look at what other people are doing in your area – would you want to look around their homes based on their ads? What reels you in or puts you off? Learn from their mistakes and what they’ve got right. While you’re doing so, take the opportunity to see which websites you like, you might find that some really appeal to you whereas others don’t. There are some great sites out there, like Ideal FlatmateEasyRoommate and SpareRoom. While you’re on these sites, you may be able to see how long certain ads have been open, and how long previous ads took to be filled to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

2. Make sure you get the photos right

If you want people to get excited about what you’re offering, you need to make sure that the photos are good quality and the room’s clean, tidy, and nicely decorated. Some rules to live by are always take your photos in natural light, and to take photos in the corner of the room, as it will make it seem more spacious. It’s also always worth decorating a little – one thing that stands out when looking for rooms online is that they’re often pretty drab. If you throw in some splashes of colour or some plants, then most people will find it more appealing and characterful.

3. Use a catchy headline

No matter where you post your ad, be it online or in a local paper, you need a headline. This will be the first thing people see and can be the deciding factor whether or not to read the full ad. You want it to say all the essentials without being long-winded, so it’s best to mention the price and location, and then maybe something important to you like ‘cat lover’ or ‘non-smoker’. If you live in an exciting area or near a station, that can be a good selling point as well.

4. Narrow your search

If you know there’s some non-negotiables when it comes to who you want to live with (e.g. they can’t be a smoker or must work sociable hours) then make sure you put them early in your post – it will save you and people looking a lot of time. Some websites will give you the option of only showing your ad to people who fit common requirements like staying for a minimum number of months or fitting within a certain age range. If there are any other things that you’re very serious about, such as cleanliness or responsibility about paying bills, then put that in your ad too.

5. Put time into your bio

Half of what you’re selling is yourself and your flatmates – you want to make yourself sound as inviting as the photos make the room look. Mention any hobbies or interests (even if it’s just a tv show you’re obsessed with) to give you a talking point when they come to look around or attract people who are into the same things.

6. List all costs

The price can make or break a deal, so transparency couldn’t be more important here. People will want to know what to expect when it comes to bills, and it definitely helps if you let them know you’re splitting them 50/50 as it shows you’re a good housemate. If there’s anything included, like Wi-Fi or a TV licence then mention that too as it’s always nice to know there won’t be extra costs. If there’s anything else of interest nearby, like parking, then it’s worth saying how much that will be.

7. Make it easy for people to contact you

Leave a number and make sure you stay on top of people contacting you. Applicants will want to look around as quickly as possible and know what your process will be for choosing somebody. If you’re going to conduct interviews, then warn people in advance, and let them know how many others you’re talking to.

Happy hunting and, as always, feel free to check out our contents insurance below!

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