Getting a call back from a Craigslist ad can seem like a major victory, especially when potential roomies are swarming like ants on a pool of honey. Getting a call back, however, is just the first hurdle to overcome. You’ve got to make a good impression on your potential new roommates.
Much like trying to get your dream job, the interviewing process can be the hardest, most intimidating part of the moving process. In the case of subletting or moving into a room-for-rent, it’s three times as hard, as your new roommates will have been living in that spot for a while, most likely, and are trying to keep their peace of mind and current lifestyle going – with as little interruption as possible.
Here are a five tips on how to make a good impression on potential roommates, to keep in mind and help ease your worried nerves.
1. Making A Good Impression Starts With Your Introductory E-mail
Again, much like job hunting, writing a killer e-mail is the first, and possibly the most important, part of impressing your new roommates. It’s the most important, because you might never get a chance to make a good impression if your e-mail falls flat on it’s face. To make the best impression in your introductory e-mail, take a look at their ad and try your best to match the tone of their writing. Is it funny and personal? Or business-like and professional? In the case of the former, a simple ‘Hey there!’ will open more doors than a ‘To Whom It May Concern,’ but in the case of more professional renters, it might make you seem juvenile and immature.
2. Do A Little Bit Of Research
Once you’ve made the introductions and are having a conversation, do a little private sleuthing on your potential roommates. Social media is the most common way of doing that, so try your best to connect with potential roommates online to see who they are and what they’re about. Don’t worry about being creepy – we all research one another on the Internet, and you can be rest assured they’ll be doing the same for you.
3. Have Proof Of Income
You don’t need to be too official until paperwork is being signed, but your potential new roommates will be needing to know that you can pay rent on bills on time. If there is any doubt as to your ability do so, you can pretty much bet that room or situation is going to go to someone who can.
4. Ease Their Worries
Again, you don’t need to suck up or seem like you’re brown-nosing, but there are a few constant, consistent troubles that bedevil every household. If you can work it into the conversation, easily and comfortably, let them know you’ll do your dishes (and then actually do them, once you move in); that you’ll have your own food; and that you will have your own life outside of the apartment. Having a hermetic shut-in for a roommate can be challenging at the best of times, so ease their worries ahead of time that you won’t constantly be darkening their doors.
5. Find Things In Common (And Emphasize Them)
This is particularly effective through housing boards or through communities, as you can bring up common ground and interests and you’ll be best buds with your new roommates before you even move in. In my current situation, in Portland’s hyper-competitive housing market, an interest in punk rock and gender identity got me into the interview, where I was then able to show that I had my act together, by showing up on-time in a nice button down shirt. An offer to clean the house before moving in sealed the deal, and my partner and I scored one of the last affordable, functional punk shared houses in Portland!
Try out a few of this pointers in your next interview, to impress your potential new roommates, and you’ll likely find the same success!
Let us know how it goes! Come back by and leave us a comment!