Congratulations, you must be an awesome friend! You’ve been asked to help your friend find an apartment. This is a huge honor and means they must appreciate your input, so look at it that way! Maybe you’ve been living in your own place for a while, maybe you live in a location they’re interested in, or maybe they just think that you’re a responsible adult! Either way, here are some ideas to ensure you’re great at helping a friend find their perfect place. Just realize, helping your friend can be a ton of fun, but it will also take fair amount of your time.
Before starting to visit apartments, help them think through their goals for the apartment by identifying 4-5 must-have features of the apartment. Important things to include are the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, rent and utilities costs, location, and amenities. Once you understand what they’re looking for, you’re much better equipped to help.
Ask questions and share your opinion, but listen to theirs
Before and during apartment showings, get an idea of what your friend is looking for in an apartment. Jot down notes and ask questions of the leasing office while you’re there. Remember, your friend may feel overwhelmed or overly excited about the process, so you can be a great voice of reason to ask questions they may forget about.
If they tell you that they absolutely must have an open kitchen, but then start falling for a complex with an awesome pool (and no open kitchen layouts), ask the leasing office for options and remind your friend that an open kitchen with a breakfast bar was important to them. Then, back off!
Be their advocate
Advocate for your friend to ensure they receive a fair shake with the cost of rent and the particular unit they’ll receive, especially when other roommates are involved. Being the friend in this situation is great, because you can push for what your friend wants or needs without coming across rude. Remember their wish list and try to help steer them toward apartments that will truly meet their needs.
Finding an apartment can be stressful! Support your friend as you help in the hunt by staying positive and energized about the process during each step of the way. Your positive attitude will help them stay calm!
But remember, you don’t have to over-commit!
Finding an apartment is a big commitment that can take a TON of time, and remember that at the end of the day, it’s your friend’s responsibility to find their apartment… not yours! If you feel that you’re investing too much time or energy into the situation, politely let them know and encourage them to continue the hunt with you a bit less involved.