Tips for room seekers ('I need a room')
- Know your budget - it's a really good idea to properly calculate your budget in advance of the event - there's no point organising viewings for rooms you can't afford
- If you're even slightly nervous about the event, bring a friend along. They'll not only have a great time (as will you) but can also offer moral support and much-needed second opinions
- Know your area - try to work out in advance which areas you are thinking of living in - it'll help you get more out of the event. But...
- Be prepared to be flexible - you may meet your perfect housemates at the event, but they may live slightly further away than you wish - don't worry. London's public transport is comprehensive and an extra 5 or 10 minutes on the bus to get home might be a worthwhile trade-off for the perfect place or people
- Arrive early - this will increase your chance of finding the event useful - the earlier you get there, the more rooms will be available - simple!
- Be prepared to Buddy Up (see below). Buddying Up can be every bit as successful as finding a room in an existing share, especially if you find the ideal housemate before you find the ideal place to live
Tips for offerers ('I have a room')
- Bring photos to show off the room - you can print them out or use also your laptop/iPad or smartphone
- 'Sell' the room to prospective flatsharers - know a bit about the local amenities such as gyms, transport, restaurants, parks etc. People will be interested not just in the room, but also in what's on their doorstep
- Know your weekly or monthly rent for the room in advance of coming to the event - you'd be amazed at how many people don't
- Arrive early for a better chance of success - the earlier you arrive, the more people you'll be able to talk to
- Bring the whole house/flat. If you're filling a room in an existing houseshare, don't just send down one representative - you'll all be living with the new person and they'll want to meet everyone
Buddy Ups are people looking for a room who would also be interested in getting together with other room seekers in their area, with a view to possibly forming a group and searching for suitable whole properties to rent. If you're struggling to find exactly what you are looking for at an event (or have met other room seekers you really like) then Buddying Up can be a great way of getting your ideal room, with flatmates you like.
- If you're looking for a room, don't just chat to people with 'I have a room' badges - talk to as many 'I need a room' people as you can too; you might just find someone perfect to share with.
- Don't automatically discount people with different budgets - most properties have bedrooms of varying sizes and desirability and it's common practice to split rent accordingly (with higher rent being paid for larger and more desirable rooms).