So you’re either finally in Berlin or are about to move here soon and it’s time to look for a place you’re going to start calling home. Finding an apartment here is becoming increasingly difficult and the rent prices are at an all time high.
On the 6th April of 2019, the people of Berlin took their frustration to the streets and organised a protest against the ever-increasing rent prices. The protest was attended by over 10,000 people and like most mass protests in Berlin, it was organised in the fashion of a street party with a strong message.
After trying different strategies to get my application read on platforms like:
I’ve gathered some experience and best practices through the trial and error method to be able to share my insights with you all.
1. READ THE DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY
Finding a roommate can be almost as hard as finding a partner. This is a person you’re going to be sharing a house with, even couples take longer to move in together, so it’s no surprise that the posters want to avoid people who have not read the description of the house at all and have simply copy & pasted their message, which they also sent to 100 other people (kinda like Tinder).
A sneaky way for posters to sort out the crowd is to add special text in the description to make sure you’re reading the text. An example of such a trick would be:
“Looking for a roommate from xx.xx.xx – xx.xx.xx for a beautifully furnished apartment in Kreuzberg
*insert description of room & apartment*
*START YOUR MESSAGE WITH “THISISTHEWGIWANT*
*insert whatever information they wanna add* “
Asking you to start the message with a certain text or using a specific headline is a way used by many posters to filter the crowd. Some people ask you to include your social profiles in your message and others might come up with their own ingenious way to do this, keep an eye out.
So make sure that you read the text and follow the special instructions (if any) to stand out.
2. INCLUDE THE BASIC INFORMATION IN THE BEGINNING
Think of finding an apartment as an application for a job. You have to get the basics out of the way in the first instance. The easier it is for the poster to read your message, the higher your chances of getting your application accepted.
I have used something similar to this for my applications and increased my response rate tremendously!
Languages: English, Hindi and German
Music: Techno, Jazz, Old School Hip-Hop, Rock
Hobbies: Reading, reading, reading, sketching, watching documentaries, hanging out with friends/new people whenever and wherever possible!
Job: Working in Marketing & Communications at a start-up called roomovo
This works so well because this delivers the message without you sounding self-obsessed. So give this a shot and see how things change!
3. TELL THEM ABOUT YOUR AVERAGE DAY
Now you’re going to be spending a lot of time together with your flatmate(s) and it’s nice to understand each other’s lifestyles before you’re hit with surprises. The best way is to always be honest about what you tell them. If you’re going to lie about anything they are going to find out eventually and you’re both going to face discomfort.
I usually share only how my day goes and I split the schedule in weekdays and weekends since I’m working and my schedule is very different on the weekends. An example would be:
09:00 – Wake up
09:45 – Leave the house
20:00 – Come back home
20:15 – Dinner
21:00 – Hang-out at home
00:00 – In bed
Just include similar “timetables” in your application and it’ll definitely make you stick out. This also helps the poster see if your schedules can align and you won’t have to fight for the toilet every morning.
4. SUGGEST ANY COOL IDEAS YOU MAY HAVE FOR THE WG
If you’re looking to be friends with your new flatmate(s) and vice-versa. It would be nice to undertake some activities together at home. At one of my WGs, we put up a notice board where one of us would print out a mini-poster for an event we would organize in our relatively big kitchen back then. Examples of such events were: Sushi night, Cocktail invention nights or simply playing poker. It was nice for the organizer since they got to do what they wanted and nicer for us since we got to undertake a fun activity with our flatmates!
So if you have any cool ideas about how you could make your and your new flatmate(s) life more interesting, don’t shy away from adding that in your application!
There you have it, the cheatsheet to improve your chances of getting a response for your WG application, remember:
- To always read the description of the house by the poster
- To get the basic information about yourself out of the way as the first thing
- To not sound like a narcissist while doing the preceding point
- To share your “timetable” of your day with your (potential) new flatmate(s)
- To suggest any cool ideas you may have to make your WG life more interesting
If you still need to go to the foreigner’s office, don’t forget to read our 3 things to know before going to the Foreigner’s Office in Berlin
Also, don’t forget to check out our furniture rental service, if you are still looking for furniture.