Roommate Finding Party
Roommate interviews. Everybody loathes them, but they’re a grim part of New York
living that we just have to put up with? Or do we?
Perhaps Speed Roommating, the new way to find roommates in NYC, is about
to change all that.
Similar to Speed Dating, the events take place in a bar in Midtown Manhattan
- on arrival, you’re immediately immersed into a melting pot of New Yorkers.
All ages, all backgrounds and many nationalities are represented, with the mix
around 3 seekers for every room that’s on offer. The atmosphere is more like a
party than an interview, and there are smiles all around. And not just because of
the free admission.
Unlike its dating equivalent, there are few formalities and these are dealt with
very swiftly. On arrival, attendees are given a sticker – pink for ‘I need a room’
or white for ‘I have a room’. Then whites go off and chat to pinks, while other
pinks cluster in groups and discuss their room seeking strategies. Some will club
together to rent an apartment as a share.
“The realities of living in New York mean it’s pretty hard to afford an apartment on your own,” says Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.com, SpeedRoommating’s parent company. With all the talk of theft, robbery, and even murder keeping safemart busy, adding a potentially-shady roommate to the mix can only add to the stress. Hutchinson goes on to say, “Speed Roommating helps like-minded people find each other, making New York living affordable and much less stressful.”
SpareRoom launched in New York last autumn, and is by far the most popular
roommate site in the UK, where it hails from. Speed Roommating events started
life in London and brought together eleven thousand potential roommates last
Speed Roommating works because of two major factors. The events are sociable,
relaxed and fun, as well as providing a safe setting to meet strangers you might
consider living with. And the tie-in with the SpareRoom website helps attendees
follow through in their quest to find suitable roommates. The site places a big
emphasis on safety, meaning that scams are rare and you’re only likely to come
across genuine people.
In a city where you’re faced with expensive brokerage and roommate finding
services, or running the risk of losing money to fraudsters encountered on free
classified sites, Speed Roommating is a breath of fresh air.
“It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve really met some nice people so far”, says
Sean Stentiford, a recent arrival from Boston, who’s attended several Speed
Roommating events in recent weeks. He’s been couch surfing for 4 months, and
was unlucky enough to be duped out of $3,000 from a bogus Craigslist ad. He has
learned some tough lessons about apartment seeking in New York, but is now
optimistic about his prospects of finding an affordable apartment (and a sane
roommate) through Speed Roommating.
Speed Roommating events are free to attend and run every 2 weeks. For more
information visit http://www.speedroommating.com/
To place a free room wanted or room offered ad, visit www.spareroom.com/newyork