The search for a home: 8 steps to success
1. Be patient and don't give up
On average, it takes about 3 months to find a suitable home in the Netherlands. So if you are worried about your progress just follow the steps below to increase your chances of finding a room, studio or apartment in the Netherlands!
2. Complete your profile
First impressions matter, so much in fact that 30% of all landlords indicate that they won’t even consider a tenant without a profile picture. It’s quite simple, landlords want to know who they are inviting into their home, so the more information you add to your profile, the higher the odds that landlords will find you and respond to the messages you send them. Tenants with a completed profile are more likely to find a home, so don’t be afraid to get personal and be sure to add an accurate description of yourself. Lastly, you might want to mention your hobbies and interests, your future roommates will definitely appreciate it!
3. Don't limit yourself or your search
The Netherlands isn’t a big country, in fact, it only takes about 3 hours to get from one side to the other. So don't dismiss housing options simply because they are located just outside of the city. Excellent transport links make it easy to commute by bus, train, tram and metro, making it a viable option to live just outside of the city, where the rent is considerably cheaper! Try setting your search radius to at least 10 km to see what you’re missing out on.
4. Stay up to date on new rental properties
When looking for a room, studio or apartment in the Netherlands, timing is everything. More often than not, landlords choose the first qualified tenant that replies to their housing ad. Sounds simple, but getting the timing just right can be tricky. Luckily, you can create alerts that notify you once a new home becomes available. That way, you can reach out to the landlord immediately. You can also create alerts that will update you once a day or once a week so you can reply to all housing ads in one sitting. And the best part is, you can create multiple alerts so you can stay updated on housing options in multiple cities. If you’re not a big fan of email, you can always choose to stay updated through one of our many Facebook pages. Just look for Kamernet in “city” and you’ll get notified of all new housing options in the area.
5. Create a well-written message to landlords
The housing market in the Netherlands can be pretty competitive. So if you want landlords to take the time to respond to your message, you need to put the time in creating one that stands out. Don’t just ask if the room, studio or apartment is still available, but explain why you would be the right tenant and what sets you apart from the others. Are you unsure of how to start your message to a landlord? Check out this example of a housing application letter for some inspiration.
6. Contact sufficient landlords
The more landlords you contact, the higher the possibility you’ll find a home. Makes sense right? But what exactly is a sufficient amount? Well, we found out that most people contact about 20 landlords before finding a home in the Netherlands. To find rooms, studio’s or apartments that you would want to rent, try looking through the entire housing supply, instead of just the first 3 pages of the search results. Furthermore, consider responding to ads without pictures, as you can always ask for them later, they might surprise you. Lastly, don't get scared off by homes that have been online for a while, just because these places weren’t right for others, doesn’t mean they aren’t right for you.
7. Don't forget about your matchingscore
I know I just told you to contact a lot of landlords, but before you respond to an ad, you might want to take the time to read the description and check out your matching score. Sometimes landlords or roommates are looking for someone specific, based on age, gender and whether you are a student or not. This is mentioned at below every housing ad. So before you start writing up a carefully written message explaining why you are the perfect tenant, you might want to check if you actually are.
8. Timing is everything
Timing is not only important when it comes to responding to housing ads, the moment you start your search for a home is also important. If you are looking for a room, studio or apartment in the Netherlands and you have a strict deadline because of school or work, be sure to start early and try to start before summer when competition for housing is fierce. Just do yourself a favor and don’t procrastinate, or at least not for too long.
No need to worry, you’ve got this renting-a-home thing. And now that you know exactly what to do, it’s time to check out all available homes in the Netherlands and find a place you’d love to live in.