Lauren Fahey of San Francisco understands just how hard it can be to find a decent roommate in the city. She also has some mad skills with Photoshop. Instead of posting the typical “swf seeks swf roomate” ad, she chose to go super visual with her posting.
Lauren created a digital flyer that has all the workings of an awesome viral post, while also touting her past roommate credentials and her lifestyle.
According to Lauren she is “clean, considerate, and can mix a cocktail.”
Oh yeah there is also some random naked guy in the background of her outdoor photo. Fear not, as the poster clearly states he is just some “Ironic naked man” with “no connection to Lauren.”
If you need a roommate her friend Daphna proclaims “She’s fun enough to have a dance party with, yet will give you personal space when you’re hung over. She doesn’t judge.” Her viral roommate ad also features several other quotes from friends and a few past roommates.
We spoke with Lauren about her foray into viral marketing and her answers were both insightful and amusing.
Why did you decide to subvert the traditional text and photo Craigslist Ad?
I had heard before moving out here (I moved from NYC) that finding an apartment was “impossible” and I tried not to let myself get too worried before I moved. But once I was out here, I quickly found that it was in fact very near impossible. Incredibly competitive. I found that it might be easier to move in with people who already have a home (but with a spare bedroom) rather than find a new place entirely. Because I decided I needed roommates (studios in ok neighborhoods are a min of 2.5K easily), I also needed to make people want to live with me, and I needed to stand out from the sea of craigslist posts about people looking for roommates.
What Type of responses have you been getting (funny, weird, positive, negative)?
All of the above. The best ones I’ve received have come from over seas and are completely irrelevant to the ad, they just want to say they are a fan of my ad.
How did you come up with the idea for the viral ad poster?
I was really starting to panic that I wouldn’t have a place to stay by the time my temporary situation was up. I don’t know many people here in SF but have a great network on the east coast so I wanted to tap into that to sort of prove I am normal and have friends.
How long did it take you to make the poster?
About 20 minutes. I probably would have put a bit more time into it if I had known it would go viral!
Are you a regular Craigslist user? If so have you found this method to give you better results?
I am not! But in order to find a place here you need to sit on craigslist 24/7 refreshing and refreshing. So I got to know craigslist pretty well over the past month.
What do you do for a living?
I’m an art director for a social media agency.
What made you decide to use Craigslist to look for a roommate?
I heard it was the best bet, and where most people look. Here are roommates.com seem to be the only options, other than word of mouth (which is hard when you move to a new city and don’t know many people)
We see the post is now deleted. Did you remove it in favor of sharing virally?
I wasn’t aware it was deleted actually!
Have you found a roommate?
Yes! Two awesome girls. I moved in with them last week. The apartment is fantastic and I am so lucky to have a room in it.
How were you vetting roommate submissions (are you interviewing applicants, etc)
I was the one going on the interviews! Open houses can be very awkward and I found the one on one interviews worked much better.
Were you looking to move in or have someone move in with you?
I was looking to move in with someone, as finding a place here is insanely challenging.
Can you describe your ideal roommate for us?
Someone to share some wine with after a long day at work, who cleans up after themselves, who likes to have fun but doesn’t party every night of the week.
How does it feel to all of a sudden become a viral hitmaker?
Very interesting. It’s rather amusing watching the comment sections grow. People seem confused about why I have had so many roommates in the past and have marked that as a red flag. When actually, a few of the quotes aren’t old roommates and they don’t pretend to be- they are just good friends. But after 4 years of college (one year there were 6 of us in a house) and 4 years in NYC, having a lot of roommates in the past doesn’t seem like a stretch to me.
At Social News Daily we are huge fans of viral campaigns that are honest yet fun, this is definitely the type of original post that deserves to go viral.