Finding Your Next Best (Flat) Mate

Finding Your Next Best (Flat) Mate

Finding a flat mate is not exactly the easiest process. And often it’s not much fun.

Since you probably don’t want to spend the next several months of your life slogging away at something that may not be very much fun, at Ark we’ve put together some thoughts on finding your next best flat mate.

The ideal person

First things first, you need to know what you want. What sort of person are you looking to share with? Most people have a better understanding of who they don’t want to live with, but it’s worth scoping out what the ideal flat mate looks like to you. Once you appreciate the ideal, then it’s easy to rule out those who don’t quite fit the bill.

It’s not all about you, you see. You also need to have a good idea about them. Who they are, what they’re like, their age, profession, hobbies and interests. Most people look for others like themselves. It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people who have similar opinions or the same outlook on life. So take some time to document what’s important to you. Otherwise, you could quickly find yourself hating your new flat mate because you don’t see eye to eye on recycling, or you clash over the proper way to load the dishwasher.

Red lines and rules

To make sure you don’t end up living with the wrong person, you need to know what you will and won’t accept. These are your red lines and rules. What are you prepared to live with and what won’t you?

Consider the personality of the person you’d like to be flat mates with. Are there any habits in people that you find totally unacceptable? If it’s too much for you to bear that your prospective flat mate won’t share the housework equally, won’t contribute to the Netflix bill, or will be having friends round late every week night, then those are the lines you need to set. Decide on your rules – and stick to them.

Everything is relative

While you’ll want to think about what’s ideal, and have a set idea of lines that you don’t want crossed, there are many things that can be compromised on.

Think about what, on balance, you can live with. You’ve outlined the deal breakers already. But would an otherwise excellent flatmate, who simply has a different taste in music, be someone you are prepared to compromise on?

Be organised

Finding the right flat mate needs a systematic and professional approach. The more organised you can be, the better. Do what works for you – set out a spreadsheet, tap in notes on an app, create a full-on Trello board, whatever. But use a process that you can tackle methodically.

Social media and events sites

Finding a flat mate is a bit like dating. You’re available and you’re a great flat mate, but you need to advertise the fact. Without promoting your availability, you won’t ever find anyone.

Social media is a great place to start. Use your own social media – like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn even. A simple post saying you’re looking for a flat mate in a certain area, and what sort of person you’re looking for will suffice. Ask your friends and contacts to share it for you and you could quickly reach several thousand people.

And there are plenty of dedicated social media sites, events and apps that can help you too. Get signed up to a few of these and get out there and get advertising yourself.

The “interview” process

Once you get some interest and begin the screening process, treat it like you might approach dating, or finding a new job, or business networking.

The key here is to get talking to people. You don’t have to grill them. Instead, chat and make friends. This way you’ll have the most success because you’ll find people you genuinely get on with and even if you don’t end up living with them, you never know, you may make a new friend.

What if you have to go in blind?

If you’re short of time and can’t do the work needed to find the absolute ideal flat mate, then at least stick to your red lines. Only agree to share with someone who meets your basic ground rules and isn’t too much of a compromise.

Finding the right flat mate is never easy. But really it is all about homework and organisation. And if you can have fun in the process, then it’s not going to be so much of a chore and you are more likely to find the right person.

Would you find a tenant network to find quality flat mates useful? Drop us a line at DoorProp and help us make a better rental life a reality. Don’t forget to register interest!

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