How many times have you “judged a book by its cover” when reading a share accommodation advertisement without realising it? Your answer is probably many times. It’s just part of human nature and the same thing happens each time you respond to a flatmate advertisement.
Answering advertisements is all about standing out from the crowd and getting that elusive flatmate interview. The key to unlocking the door is remembering that most people choose a flatmate subjectively through a process of elimination. Your goal should be to avoid being placed on the “reject” pile while at the same time deciding if the advertiser is the right flatmate for you. This means from the moment you contact a potential flatmate showing them why you are the right flatmate and giving them a reason to meet you. Whether you make a good or bad impression, its impact will be greater when the advertiser has received many responses. The advertiser will usually be more choosy, review your reply more critically and make a harsher judgement in deciding if you would be a suitable flatmate.
So, how can you stand out from the crowd when answering advertisements? Here are 10 tips that can help you make a great first impression and secure a flatmate interview.
To help you reach the next stage and set up a meeting, you should:
1. Be Positive and Polite
When you use a positive tone when communicating with the advertiser, they are more likely to want to get to know you better. It suggests you are a happy and enjoyable person to live with as a flatmate.
2. Be Yourself
Advertisers will usually notice if you pretend to have same interests or change your personality to secure an interview. Being yourself is the easiest way to get people to like you and set up a meeting.
3. Communicate Clearly
You should make sure that you use correct grammar and spelling in your emails and speak articulately on the phone. This helps avoid miscommunication and shows that you can communicate well with others. Find out more about how you can avoid getting tongue-tied the next time you answer a flatmate ad by phone.
4. Tell Your Story
When responding to a listing you should let the advertiser know why you would be the perfect flatmate. These should be qualities that you possess and are mentioned in the advertisement. It’s important to accurately describe and not over exaggerate the positive traits that you can bring to a household. Take a look how can create the right email reply when responding to a share accommodation listing.
5. Keep Notes
Making notes can help you keep track of the contact you have had with the advertiser. If you can’t remember your potential flatmate or any previous discussions you’ve had it gives the impression you are not serious about becoming flatmates.
When answering advertisements it can be easy to say or write something you may regret later. Next time you reply to a listing, it’s a good idea not to:
1. Answer Advertisements When You’re Had A Bad Day
As the tone of your voice and writing is affected by your emotions and mood, it’s better not to reply to an advertiser when you’ve had a bad day or experience. You may not feel your tone was negative when contacting your potential flatmate but you may disagree a few days later.
2. Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Agreeing to commitments that you know you may not be able to keep creates an unfavourable impression, inconveniences all parties and can cause conflict if you move in. This includes setting up interview times for which you may be unavailable or living arrangements that may be unsuitable for you in the long run.
3. Give Out Sensitive Information
You shouldn’t give out information that can put at risk your safety, personal identity or bank account. This information can include your bank account and credit card details, full date of birth or address and the details of your family members. When replying to a flatmate listing you should use your own judgement in determining which information to give out.
4. Contact Advertisers When You’re In A Hurry
When you contact potential flatmates just before leaving to go somewhere you are more likely to feel pressured for time. This can decrease your level of concentration which can lead to poorer quality emails and absentmindedness on the phone.
5. Speak Badly About Other People
It’s a good idea not to talk negatively about current or past flatmates when corresponding with your potential flatmate. While you may wish to share negative experiences, it’s important not to assassinate a person’s character as it may not be looked upon favourably.
When replying to advertisements you may not be able to stop your potential flatmate from “judging a book by its cover” but you can put your best foot forward. Just remember, by standing out from the crowd and avoiding the “reject pile”, you too, can set up that elusive flatmate interview.