Are you considering renting an apartment yourself to have the freedom to pick your own flatmates ? Well done, this is one of the best ways to learn Spanish fast and live like a local.
Now let’s buckle down to work and take all the steps to make sure you find the right flatmates in no time.
Four steps: First you will have to prepare the apartment, then define the kind of flatmate you are looking for, promote the flatshare and choose from the candidates you will have interviewed.
1. Prepare the apartment
Madrid lacks modern flatshares. Even cheap Ikea will make your place look really good compared to the majority of the market.
Think right away on how to bring colours and light for cheap, to be able to take amazing photos. Gorgeuous photos will assure you many candidates, but for this you need to make the place look modern. White paint and cheap IKEA are the easiest to get it done.
2. Take great photos that scream “modern, full of light and homely”
The most important here are the photos. If you have some knowledge about light, and have a good camera, do it yourself. The effect should be “wow”, while feeling “true”, not photoshopped.
The key equipment you need here is wide angle lens, which enable to really capture a room like the eye does.
The photos should stress the following 3 aspects: the apartment is modern, it has light and it looks comfy.
Take as many good photos as possible, even do a video. This will enable you to filter out before the viewings the people who might no be interested.
3. Do your research
Assess your competition honestly. Do as if you were yourself searching for the same kind of room as you have.
Do not find excuses and really see as searchers would see it: the first photo, the price & the location before anything else.
You cannot change the location, but the photos and the price can be improved.
Define a price which is below the average of similar rooms if you are in a rush.
If not, you can go high for a week or two, and see how many calls you get and then adapt.
4. Publish your advert on idealista
Yes, Idealista.com is really the best portal to find the kind of flatmate you want to find.It’s free, it’s simple and you can easily check the competition to adjust.
If you really want to post in another portal, I would go for loquo.
Focus on the 2 main elements: the main photo and the title.
The main photo of the ad should be of the room you are renting. You should have spent quite some time taking this photo with a wide-angle lens, adding a bit of light, and making it look modern (get some modern cheep Ikea furniture or accessories) and homely (cussions, a few decoration item with natural colors).
In the title should appear the differentiation point of your appartment. I would underline:
- the room is double, as there is a lack of double beds in flatshare,
- who is it for: young professionals and masters, or something more original, for “Madrid fans”, to “share with a guiri”.
Translate the ad yourself to Spanish.
Finally, set the price at between 400 and 550 € if the room and apartmet is modern and near the centre. Check your competition by searching in your zone and price within the “normal” price range, and be the best quality.
5. Interviewing and choosing candidates
Looking for a flatmate will take all your free time during 1 week.
Take the time to see the people one by one, with a 30 minutes margin, to be able to chat and have a laugh with someone you might really like.
Take a photo of each interviewee, and sum up in one sentence who this person is.
Try and get the interviews in the span of a 3-5 days, to take a decision quickly and not make people wait or lose interesting candidates.
Then just review your photos with your notes and think: “Who do I see myself living with ?”.
And if things do not work, you can always tell the person to go with a month’s notice.
Personally, I think flatshares are a great learning experience, especially if you want to become fluent in Spanish. Keep an open mind but always keep in mind your objective and happiness. If things do not go your way, just change: it’s your apartment !
If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact me.