How to Post an Ad to Find a Good Roommate

As I was saying on Friday, we need a new roommate at our San Francisco Apartment and we have exhausted Step 1 and Step 2 (email and facebook) of How to Find a Good Roommate.


Thus, my roommates and I must proceed onto Step 3, contacting the general public. Now, this is both exciting and dreadful; on the one hand, Christy Turlington may need a room to rent, on the other hand you may end up with the WORST ROOMMATE OF ALL TIME.


So how do you write something that will attract the kind of person with whom you’d like to share an apartment? The key is to convey a sense of the apartment life that the kind of person you want to live with can relate to.


So my first step was to think about what kind of ad would I respond to? (Because if I had the ability to make another me, I’d have him move in post haste and forthwith)



Who is going to want to live with these characters? (photo by Audrey Amelie)


For example, when I was looking for an apartment, I was looking for roommates who could enjoy beers and jokes and friends right at the apartment, cook more than macaroni and cheese (but not too often) and possessed the wherewithal to keep the apartment clean. Now this seems pretty nuanced, but it really just means I am looking for a social place to live with people who are my own age.


But, if I saw a post for an apartment that said, “we are a social, responsible household of professionals in our late twenties,” then because I can’t relate to that written thing as a person, I find it very hard to believe that that author is either social or responsible. When I say I can’t relate to it, I mean I can’t picture or hear the person who authored it and because in this case that author is someone with whom I’d potentially be living it means that I can’t picture myself living there. The posts or ads that I can relate to, therefore have a much bigger leg up on those that are impersonal or sterile.


So here is my first version:

Room for Rent in 4 Bedroom Apartment in Nob Hill ($750)


Hello everyone, we are looking for a new roommate to join us at our lovely apartment. We are friends who have lived together for about a year; we spend a lot of time at our apartment telling jokes over beers and macaroni and cheese, but we also like to get out into the city, be it for dinner, drinks, concerts or outdoor activities, and have found our neighborhood to be conveniently located for all of these things.


We are three guys, (our roommate who is moving to the east coast is a girl) in our late twenties and we all think that this joke is funny: “Have you heard about camping? it’s in tents!”


I wanted to keep it as short as possible while at the same time getting across the fact that we are a social bunch and that we live in a neighborhood that is fun during the day and for going out at night.


Another tactic, which I kind of like, because you can get more information across without the cumbersome nature of paragraphs, is the bullet point technique; although I think it is important to counter the matter of fact cadence with which it speaks to the reader with some less business English. Por ejemplo:


Room for Rent in 4 Bedroom Apartment in Nob Hill ($750)


Room for Rent: Very sunny, especially in the mornings, room overlooking Larkin Street in the front of our apartment available for a month to month rent.


We are: 3 dudes in our late 20s who all have steady jobs but are very silly, spend our weeks relaxing by telling jokes, inventing variations of macaroni and cheese and taking bike rides in the summer. We spend our weekends exploring either the city or heading out into the wilderness.


We are looking for: Someone about the same age, ideally looking for a girl, to maintain our old balance, but this is not necessary, who will join our happy bunch.


The Neighborhood: Has treated the 4 of us well; there are a ton of restaurants and bars, the best deli in the city is a block away and there are two grocery stores. Additionally, it is easy to get pretty much anywhere in the city from our apartment via bus lines and if you need a cab, you can walk one block and be on a main cab thoroughfare.


Not sure exactly which one I’ll use quite yet. Let us know to which post you’d be more likely to reply.

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You are a self-starter who can produce well-written and engaging Blog Posts. You’re handy with a camera and have a passion for DIY. And you’re employed by MyNewPlace! You love your flexible schedule and workload ...