5 TIPS FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE ROOMMATE AD
Have you ever looked around online for a roommate situation? Not surprisingly, the internet is full of roommate ads that are so terrible they may cause you to second-guess your decision to live with a roommate in the first place.
Still, one day you may be the person placing the ad to find a roommate to move into your existing home. When that day comes, be prepared to post an ad that is well received and well responded to!
Here are 5 basic tips for writing posting an amazing ad for a roommate.
1. First Thing First
While it may be tempting to simply start typing away, take a moment to be sure that your ad is in some sort of order. The most pertinent information about who you are and what kind of roommate you are searching for should be reflected at the top of the ad.
For example: I am a 27-year-old male who works 9-5 Monday through Friday who is seeking someone with an opposite work schedule who is also in their 20s. Ideally, seeking someone who is also a vegetarian although it is not a deal breaker and who does not mind my partner staying over on weekends only.
Next, list specific details about the situation. Reflect the rent amount, average utility cost per person, move in date, length of lease term, if parking is included, cross streets or neighborhood name and if pets are allowed or if there are any existing pets in the home.
Thirdly, add details about the home and the room. Include information such as if the room is already furnished or if there is additional space in the communal areas for the new roommate to bring more furniture or home accessories.
Last, but not least, include any other relevant details such as if there is a free washer and dryer for use onsite or if the building location is only a block away from restaurants and shopping.
2. Choose Your Photos Wisely
Your roommate ad will receive more than 25% more responses when posted with photos of the home and room but it will receive more than 50% more responses when the photos are good quality and the rooms are neat and tidy.
While it may be tempting to hurriedly snap a few quick pics with your cell phone, it is well worth taking a few extra minutes to be sure that the rooms are clean and well lit.
More specifically, always close the toilet lid when taking a photo in the bathroom. Unless the shower is amazing and a “selling feature” be sure that the shower curtain is closed.
Messy current roommate? Be sure to close their closet doors when taking photos of their bedroom and straighten up the bedding. While you may not feel this is important because it is not a representation of you, the potential new roommate may want to envision themselves or their furnishings in the room and it is very hard to do so when it is a mess.
A word to the wise: You should never post a picture of yourself!
As mentioned in step 1, including a brief description of who you are is sufficient. Adding a photo of yourself may give people the wrong impression and attract people that are not actually interested in a roommate situation at all.
3. Be Brief
All-in-all, your ad should be short enough to fit on the screen without the reader having to scroll down. Ads that are too long will never get read to completion, resulting in misunderstandings and wasted time.
4. Keep it Positive
Negative past roommate experience? As tempting as it may be to write a paragraph detailing every little thing “bad” roommates have ever done to you, don’t do it! This will only make you look nitpicky and angry.
Instead, in the first part of the ad when describing who you are and what kind of roommate you are looking for, include a few traits that you are not interested in your new roommate having.
For example: I am a 27-year-old male who works 9-5 Monday through Friday who is seeking someone with an opposite work schedule who is also in their 20s. Ideally, seeking someone who is also a vegetarian although it is not a deal breaker and who does not mind my partner staying over on weekends only. I am not looking for a roommate who plays musical instruments in the home after 9pm or who is not able to help take the trash out every other week.
5. Be Safe
Most importantly when posting a roommate ad, take precautions for your own safety.
For instance, as mentioned in section 2, never post a photo of yourself. Also, you may not want to post the exact address of your home, opting instead to post cross streets and only giving out the exact address after speaking with the potential roommate over the phone first.