Queenstown can be a tough place if you need to find a room to rent. As you’d expect from the backpacker hub of New Zealand, demand for room rentals is high. Combine that with a chronic lack of affordable housing and you’ve got the perfect combination to ensure many new residents start to panic.
Before we moved to the mountains there was one thing repeated to us. A cautionary statement that worried us constantly. Everyone we knew told us the same thing over and over again.
“It’s so hard to find somewhere to live”
Tales were told of people searching for months, of crowded share houses and ridiculous rents. Open houses where forty or more people fought for a box room. People living in a garage and paying $400 a week for the privilege. We prepared ourselves for the worst. How on earth were we going to find a room to rent in Queenstown?
But only 5 days after arriving in town, we’d already put down a deposit on a place. And, when the time came to leave there, we found somewhere new within a week. How on earth did we manage that?
Luck? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s because we did the below. Follow my advice on how to find a room to rent in Queenstown and I promise you won’t have to go and live in the mountains.
Join the Facebook Groups
You can look in the local paper Lakes Weekly, Trade Me, and even noticeboards. However, for me nothing beats the three main Facebook groups:
Once your request to join the groups has been approved make sure you’re set to receive notifications when there’s a new post. Often getting in first can be a benefit so make sure to send a message straight away. Speaking of messages…
Thinking about how you’re introducing yourself
What message would you be more likely to reply to:
“Hi I’d like to see the room thanks”
“Hello! My name is Joe Bloggs. I’m a 26 year old backpackers from the UK and I’m looking to make Queenstown my new home away from home…”
When people post room adverts they can get upwards of 100 messages. Yes – I’m not kidding! Tell the advertiser a little about yourself, try to make them laugh, and they’ll be more likely to remember you when it comes to choosing people for a viewing.
Another advantage of using the Facebook groups is that you can have a wee stalk of the advertisers profile. Have a gander and see if you share any common ground. Can you tell that they share an interest of yours? Mention that in your message! Just maybe don’t say “I loved that photo you posted three years ago”. You’re going for interesting, not terrifying.
De-weirdo your Facebook profile
It’s a bit like applying for a job – except you’ll spend longer with your housemates than your colleagues! Consider what your facebook profile photo and cover photo say about you to potential flatties. Maybe swap out that photo of you doing shots from someone’s belly button, or naked on a beach with strangers is what I’m saying.
Sell yourself at the viewing
Okay, so you found a room you love online and your amazing message got you a viewing. Now what?
Well, in short, go and charm the pants off them. You might all say that you’re the one viewing the room, but with competition so stiff in this town you’re the one that’s being inspected. Be polite, ask questions and make an effort to chat. It doesn’t matter how prompt you might be with your rent – you need your potential new housemates to think you’re brilliant. That’s the real key when you’re asking how to find a room to rent in Queenstown – you need to make people like you!
So you liked the room, and made them laugh. Now all you have to do is wait, right?
Send them a message saying how nice it was to meet them and how much you liked the room. Once again it’s about making you stand out from a potentially huge crowd. If 20 people come to see the room and you’re the only one who sends a thank you message? That’s going to help you be remembered.
It’s basically a job application, where the job is being the most amazing housemate ever
If this all sounds like a step by step guide to getting hired – then you’re not wrong. It’s all about finding the right place, making yourself stand out from the crowd when applying and then selling yourself when you meet face to face.
Queenstown can be a tough town to find a room to rent in, but if you put in some hard work and effort you’ll find somewhere. And I promise that it’s worth it!
So there you go – that’s how to find a room to rent in Queenstown! What do you think of my advice? is there anything you’d add?