Roommate Finding Service
The average income for owners of this kind of
business in California is $65,000 a year. Best of all, here's
a business that you can start with an absolute minimum investment.
Practically anyone who lives in a city anywhere in the country
can expect to do just about as well, and with a bit of imagination,
mixed with some business "moxie", you should be
able to do even better!
Income and market potentials for a service such as this
are truly fantastic! Rent increases that have far outpaced
wage increase have brought about a tremendous need for a method
to alleviate the cost of housing. Also, many apartment complexes
are being converted into expensive condominiums. These two
factors have created a problem of gigantic proportions for
millions of people who are concerned about keeping a roof
over their heads.
You can make big money solving the problem with your own
Roommate Finding Service. We're going to tell you how.
Many of the nation's leading economists are predicting this
kind of living arrangement to be the "money-saving answer"
for apartment dwellers for the rest of this century. Others
are predicting the roommate finding service to become as popular
as the employment agency by 1990.
This is an ideal absentee owner business. Most of those
operating on the West Coast have a woman doing the managing
- sometimes as just the manager, and some times as the owner
- manager. This apparently has something to do with the nature
of the business, and how most people seem to naturally trust
a woman to find the right roommate for them.
As to the fee structure, I suggest something similar to
the successful employment agencies. Charge everyone a $25
registration fee to start the ball rolling toward finding
them a suitable roommate. You take a Polaroid snapshot of
each registrant, have them fill out an appropriate application
card which will indicate the kind of roommate they'd be happy
with, and start searching through your files for people with
similar likes and dislikes.
To get started, you'll want a bank reference; a legal reference,
a telephone; a business name, letterhead paper, envelopes
and business bards; and office supplies such as a 3 x 5 index
cards; typewriter; file cabinet; and a printed questionnaire-application
form. You'll also need a responsibility disclaimer, which
can be combined with the applicant's agreement- to-pay contract.
Once you've found a roommate for your prospective client,
you should have it spelled out in your agreement that each
of the "matched room mates" will pay you 15% to
20% of the first month's rent. You could charge a bit extra
for particular requirements, and perhaps somewhat less for
older persons, or for persons with handicaps.
The approval or disapproval is left up in the parties involved.
You simply look through your registration card file, pull
out five or six apparently suitable roommates, call each of
them on the phone and arrange separate meetings for them with
your client. Your client reports back to you, and tells you
of his or her decision, and you call the person chosen and
finalize the deal.
Good advertising will play a most important part in getting
this business off the ground. Make up a good circular or "flyer"
detaining your roommate finding services, and listing your
phone number. Get these flyers on as many bulletin boards
in your area as possible. Get them in grocery stores, barber
shops, community colleges, beauty salons, bowling alleys;
the list of places to "billboard" your flyers is
endless. Another idea is to set up "take-one" boxes
in as many retail places of business as you can. Don't overlook
the value of placing your flyers on car windshields - particularly
around apartment complexes, and in the parking lots of the
colleges in your area. You might even pay the downtown
parking lot attendants to slip one under the windshield wiper
of each car he parks on Monday. If you do a good job with
the make-up of your flyer, and use your imagination in getting
them into the hands of your prospective clients, you'll have
no trouble moving your new business into the black quickly.
Even so, you'll need to run regular ads in your area newspapers.
The best headings to run your ads under is the Personals Column.
Your ad might read:
Need A Roommate? We'll find the ideal roommate for you!
Everything handled on a strictly
confidential basis. For details, call Jan, Mary, or Carol.
Within only a couple of months, you should be well enough
established, and with an income large enough to afford an
office location. When you establish your office, do some publicizing
of your business with press releases to all the media in your
and plan some fanfare that will bring attention to your services.
Tacking up on your office walls the enthusiastic testimonials
of people you've matched with roommates is a very good idea.
Later on, you might want to input all your client information
on computer, and take video pictures of each client for showing
to prospective roommates. In the final analysis, once you
have your business underway, your further success will be
limited only by your imagination.