podcast icon

The Brick Underground Podcast Episode 9: Speed roommating

What happens when you apply the "speed dating" approach to the roommate search?
By S. Jhoanna Robledo  | November 7, 2016 - 3:59PM

Living with roommates is practically a New York City rite of passage for all but the ultra-wealthy. But first, you have to find one who's compatible with you. Many experts recommend using reputable roommate-matching websites (here's a list of some of the city's best), and others say it's better to work your social network to meet potential co-tenants. Either way, you'll need to interview the most promising ones to make sure you're the right fit. 

Enter SpeedRoommating, a monthly meet-up at a bar hosted by the website SpareRoom, which debuted the concept in the United Kingdom a decade ago, and has been hosting similar events in NYC for the past two years. Though it's not literally the same process as speed dating—there are no timers, for one—it's similar, in that you're thrown into a mixer and have just the evening to suss each other out to see if you're ready to take things, well, a little further. 

How it works: You show up at a predetermined haunt and register, at which point you get a color-coded badge that denotes whether you're looking for a room or offering one. You fill it out with your name, neighborhood, and budget, grab a drink, and hopefully find the roommate of your dreams. "Speed rommating is a lot faster than meeting with people individually," says SpareRoom CEO Rupert Hunt. "You can set aside a whole meeting to meet one or two people who will probably be wrong and you’ll know within one minute, whereas [at a Speed Roommating event], after speaking for a few minutes if they’re not right you move on to the next person and find someone you do gel with."

To see what Speed Roommating really is like in practice, Brick's senior editor, Virginia Smith, and podcast host and producer Jhoanna Robledo, headed to a busy bar in Gramercy to witness one first-hand. Listen to the podcast below and live through the experience with them and the roommate-hunters who showed up (or download for later listening on our website or via iTunes and Stitcher (and here's another link to the episode):

This podcast was produced by Jenny Falcon, Jhoanna Robledo, and Virginia Smith; additional thanks to SpareRoom, who invited us to the SpeedRoommating event.

Have a great tale about navigating NYC's maze of a real estate market? Or about life in this sometimes-frustrating-but-always-fascinating city? Comment on this post or email us at: [email protected].


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.


Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
iHeart Radio

Subscribe to the podcast via the links above and please do leave us a rating or review. We'd love to hear your feedback on this or any of our other episodes. Send us AN EMAIL, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on SOCIAL MEDIA.


Office Hours with Sam Himmelstein

Tenant attorney Sam Himmelstein, a partner at Himmelstein McConnell Gribben & Joseph and a long time sponsor of Brick Underground sits down for the first live Brick Underground Office Hours to answer your renter's rights questions.

Racism and the lack of diversity in the appraisal business

In a conversation on the Brick Underground podcast with Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, he says racial bias in appraisals is probably as prevalent in NYC as it is in rest of the U.S. and blames the lack of diversity in the appraisal business. 

Making sense of the NYC real estate market with Jonathan Miller

In this episode of the podcast, appraiser Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, joins host Emily Myers to discuss what buyers, sellers, and renters in New York City can take away from the real estate data as we head into 2023.