Flatmates: bringing people together for 30 years

Flatmates: bringing people together for 30 years

Words by Fergus Neal

Since it started in 1990, Flatmates has become a necessary institution for people who are considering making a leap into the share-house game.

Finding a new room or roommate can be stressful business. Questions of convenience and safety almost always come to the forefront of young people’s minds when considering how to go about it most effectively.

Flatmates.com.au is a full-time service that looks to make the inevitability of living in a share-house simple and easy. Flatmates Community Manager Claudia Conley points to the service as giving customers assurance.

“For young people in Australia, share accommodation is a rite of passage,” says Conley.  “We have a vision to create the best shared-living experiences and we want to provide and be there for our community and help them along their shared accommodation journey. Whether you move out of home to start uni, or you’ve finished your degree and you now want to find your independence, living in a share-house is something every Australian does.

“Over the years, we have seen more and more people who are staying in share accommodation, our audience is getting older as people continue to live in share-houses well into their mid-thirties and sometimes into their forties.”

When asked why someone might move into a share-house, Conley highlights the way in which a share-house can allow you to live a desired lifestyle at a more affordable price. 

“It definitely is an affordability issue and that can be for a number of reasons. You might want to live in your favourite suburb of Fitzroy or Brunswick and you can’t afford the rent by yourself to live that lifestyle. Living in a share-house allows for you to live in your favourite suburb, next to your favourite café or your favourite pub.”

Flatmates.com.au is Australia’s No.1 share accommodation website – every 70 seconds someone finds a new flatmate using the service. Recently, Flatmates conducted a massive National Share Accommodation Survey where they received over 10,000 responses. Perhaps, a surprising outcome was that 47% of people surveyed believe strangers make the best roommates.

“That statistic was interesting for us because obviously we’re a website that brings together strangers to live in a share-house,” Conley says. “Sometimes for people who haven’t lived in a share-house, the thought of living with a stranger can be quite daunting. But when we got the results back from our national share accommodation survey, almost half of them said they preferred to live with strangers.

“We think it’s because sometimes living with a friend can cause issues. You might let cleanliness or little teething issues slip to the wayside because you don’t want to create conflict with your friend and then, in the end, it can potentially ruin a friendship.

“I think we’ve found with our community that they prefer to live with a stranger because you can move in, set everything up from the beginning, and have a clear agreement.”

The two big perks of the Flatmates service is their dedication to the safety of their members and the filter tools available when looking for a house or roommate.

“The main difference with Flatmates compared to other share service providers is that we have a full-time moderation service and moderation team to ensure the safety of our members. All of our listings go through a set of automated security checks and then flagged accounts are manually verified by our moderation team so we’re on full time – checking accounts, listening to feedback from our community, and responding to their inquiries directly.

“Another big difference is that we have a dedicated search tool so people can put in their filters for what they are looking for in a share-house. Whether it’s a private room, they want to live with a pet, they want a house that is LGBTQIA+ friendly, we have all those search filters available.”

Looking for a new housemate or ready to change things up and move someplace else? Head to Flatmates.com.au to get your accommodation sorted.