How to convince the right roommate to rent a room in your apartment

The most important thing about renting out your room, is bringing the right person in and there is no way you can leave this up to chance. When you feel that you have found someone who will fit in your household perfectly and who you will get along with, the time has come to apply some simple deal closing tactics, to help you convince this person to take the room. Here are some ways that could help you succeed in doing this:


A friend of mine who prides himself on never having to pay rent in NYC, because he lives with two roommates in a beautiful three bedroom, says that he always adds a few bucks on top of the price, when posting his adds online, pricing his rental room just a little bit more expensive, but not high enough to turn away room seekers. This way he can painlessly lower the price for the right person. Sales gurus suggest adding some sharp angle sales lines like “will you take the room if I drop the price bit?” to intensify the effect.


That same friend of mine, came up with another genious move, which I think might be called creating urgency. He sometimes arranges double or back to back showings for his room just to show potential roommates that his room is on high demand. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t, but it never hurts trying something, right? The sales experts recomend that you provide a high quality product, or in our case, room really worth fighting for, when using this technique though, to not to give your prospective tenants a feeling that they are being manipulated.

Good pictures are extremely important for your ad to be successful . So they have to be of good size, clear, bright and depict the actual apartment (especially the bedroom you are letting), rather than the view from the windows or amenities of the buiding.

example of good picture for your ad

Don’t try to entice people in with professional photos of a designer bedroom downloaded from the web. There are way too many posts today, so potential renters know fake when they see it. Most of them will just skip your ad without even looking into it.

Ideally, your ad should have a good picture of the room you are renting, pictures of the common areas in the apartment (kitchen, bathroom, living room) and of your pets, if you have any.

good picture of your rental room

Taking a picture

I would say use a professional camera rather than your smartphone, when taking pictures of your place, but who would listen? So my advice would be: try to choose the right angle for each room. It usually works best if you do it from the corner of the room, better next to the window (because when you take pictures from the point facing the window they usually come out darker).


The title is the most improtant part of your ad because if it doesn’t catch an eye of a prospective tenant nobody will even look into it. You do want to reflect all the best things about your apartment, when writing a title, but also, you want to make it as clear and concise as possible.

Good title for your room for rent ad
Good title for your rental ad

Using caps

And, PLEASE, resist the temptation to WRITE IT ALL IN CAPS, for it is NOT going to make your title more noticeable in any way. The best way to use caps in your title would be to start your sentence, and then to bring focus on the most important things in it, so it is ok to write maybe one or two words in caps from the whole sentence. Something like: HUGE bedroom for rent in UES.


Remember one thing: this is not an essay, so if you don’t want people to dose off in the middle of reading it, please, stick to the point, keep it short and simple, break it into paragraphs and use bullet points.

What to write in an ad

Again, remember, the shorter the better! You want to say a few words about the neighborhood, the apartment and the room you are renting, a little bit about yourself (age, gender, occupation, life style) and about other roommates, if there are any, lay out basic household rules and that is about it. The rest you can discuss when you meet your future tenant for an interview.

example of a well written room for rent ad


You don’t want to waste your time writing a beautiful ad if it is not going to bring you traffic, so placing it right is as improtant as having good pictures and catchy title. The best places for posting your ad are the thematic websites, in our case the roommate matching sites like and the likes. There are a lot of them on the market, most you have to pay to register, so you want to choose the best one before you spend your money.

Why should you pay for membership on a roommate matching website?

Because it brings you faster results. First of all, roommate matching websites are better categorized, less spam-infested than, let’s say, craigslist, and second, people, who paid for the membership on those websites, are more serious about finding a room for themselves and, most likely, have a deadline they have to meet, which makes them more commited to the search.

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