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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].


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