Desperate Times Call For The Best Roommate Ad Ever

When the going gets tough, the tough create an adorable self-promotion hoping to catch the eye of the best roommates ever. (Spoiler: it works.)

The Viral Ad Borne Of San Francisco's Crazy Rental Market

Photo By @LoTwirls. Used With Permission. Lauren tweeted the image and had secured a great new place in days. 

The rental market in San Francisco is insanely competitive these days. Some intrepid hopefuls create a "renter's resume" – a folder with photo, references, credit report and letter of introduction – in hopes they'll land at the top of at least one landlord's list.

And then there's "Lauren."

She moved to San Francisco from New York. Little detail about those two cities: when San Franciscans really want to draw blood, they accuse each other of trying to "New Yorkify" or "Manhattanize" their fair city. Yet though Manhattan and San Francisco are similarly expensive, the outlying areas of New York City are more affordable than the outlying areas of the Bay Area. This was the grim reality that smacked the transplant in the face when she assumed her east coast experience would have prepared her for the worst.

The Tweet That Brought Lauren Home

Photo Courtesy of @LoTwirls This is the tweet that took the real estate market by storm. 

It hadn't.

"I thought I'd be able to find a roommate situation easily," she says. "I answered Craigslist ads – a lot of them. After a couple of weeks, I knew I had to separate myself from the masses."

But how? In an age of social networking, the answer was obvious: go viral. "As an art director for a social media agency, I am all about making things visual," she says. "I whipped this out on Photoshop during my break one day." Though had she realized how viral it would go, she admits, she'd have spent more time on it. 

Never mind. It's pretty splendid as it is. And she's settled in with two terrific roommates in Nob Hill and having a great time, from the looks of it.

But there was just one question any regular reader of Craigslist had to know: What was the ratio of serious inquiries to total weirdos?

"About 50/50," Lauren says.

Sounds about right.


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