Tips to Flip the Norwegian Apartment Market in Your Favor

Updated 2009-09-23 10:17

Today, apartment renters are calling non-stop and demanding we take interest in their apartment. They are crying for our attention just a day too late. We signed our apartment lease yesterday, after finally conquering the art of apartment hunting! At first, our search was not this easy, and I was seriously doubting the idea of living in a space larger than 20m2. My boyfriend and I realized the art of negotiation and creativity is essential to finding your dream apartment in Norway. Specifically in a bustling, competitive and apartment-demanding city like 

Stavanger, one must refine their apartment shopping techniques. Our methods developed to a massive call campaign and self-advertisement.

We didn't think twice about putting much effort into apartment searching at first. It was after the third apartment we desperately wanted, but didn't get, that we realized we needed to change tactics. The apartment we lost was spectacular. A few minutes from downtown, on a secluded and quiet street, with a near-by park and easy parking. We were excited before we even went inside. Unfortunately, the girl showing us the apartment was not the landlord like we expected, and the viewing was scheduled with an unforeseen competitor: a young, single, quiet girl. Damn it!, I thought. I reluctantly introduced myself wishing she got the wrong address. Needless to say, she got the apartment because she looked better on paper with Norwegian references and no dog.

We took a deep breath, went back to our listings and decided this was war. In an effort to outsearch our competitors, we decided to develop a small advertising campaign for ourselves and target a different market. My boyfriend so cleverly realized that a large population of apartment renters in Stavanger are old and technologically challenged, looking for a sweet and quiet couple to live below them. From there, we wrote our ad titled (translated to English), "Project leader/MBA with girlfriend seeks apartment near downtown Stavanger." Our perks, qualities and a simple resume followed, hoping to entice all elderly rental owners. Our ad was published yesterday in the popular newspaper, Aftenbladet. Then, we created a master call list targeting the ads with out pictures. The ads without pictures proved to be less competitive, but still offered the size, furnishings and location we were looking for. Our call list found us the perfect apartment! We visited yesterday to ensure it was everything we hoped and we proceeded with negotiations.

A tip on negotiation: we never mentioned our dog in this process. At the final stage of discussion, we said, "Oh by the way..." and convinced our new landlord our dog was little more than a pillow on the couch and completely harmless. Also, we brought our dog and showed him her irresistible face, which I am positive helped. We learned to save important, yet controversial subjects to the very end!

Our negotiations and intense techniques landed us a fantastic apartment in the heart of downtown Stavanger. Today, we are getting phone calls every ten minutes in addition to text messages and emails asking us to consider their apartment. We managed to flip the apartment market in our favor by mastering these two simple tasks. I can't wait for moving day!

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