How to Fill a Rental Building With Friends

A recent New York Times article discussed Ruxton Towers, a New York City Upper West Side rental apartment building populated by a large network of friends. Of the 250 units in the building, the article reported, 75 can be tracked to Caroline Bass, senior vice president at CitiHabitats. Although she is not the building's official broker, Bass is said to split the commission for bringing in new tenants.

However, her motives are said to be less about monetary gain than surrounding herself with friends.

"My friend was a friend [of Bass'] who also lived in the building," says resident Sari Rosenberg. "She told me about all the amazing people she lived with, so I looked into Ruxton Towers when I was looking for a new place to live."

If you know and feel comfortable with your neighbors, your home is likely to feel even homier. Even better, filling your building with friends isn't as hard as you might think.
Here are some easy steps:

1. Move in Together: The easiest way to begin to spread your peeps out across a building is to start out together. Contact the people you most want to live with and let them know the plan. Then find a building with more than one available unit and go together to rent them. It might take some time to organize, but it will be worth it.

2. Get to Know Your Building Management: Pay your rent on time
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and avoid disruption in order to be a voice they trust, but also to be the first to know about available units. Bass suggests staying in touch with the building's official broker. "I know about things in advance," she says, "so I can give people warning."

3. Talk It Up: Be prepared to share a glowing list of why you are so excited about keeping your friends close. Moving to a new home is a daunting task no matter where you are going, but if you can eliminate some of the unknowns, like your neighbors, it can be a great relief. And once you are there, Bass states plainly, "It's so nice to be surrounded by a support system."

4. Network: There is nothing better than a personal reference when it comes to choosing your new neighbors. And now there are so many ways to reach out to voices you can trust. Use them. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are great ways to reach out to as many people as possible when a unit frees up in your building.

5. Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open: "I keep a running list of friends of mine or friends of friends who have expressed an interest in living in our building," says Bass. Encourage your friends already living in the building to report to you when their friends mention that they are interested in moving in. Also pay attention to people who dislike the places they currently live. Then, make sure you get the word out to those people as quickly as possible when you hear that someone is moving out.

Of course, the easiest trick might be to simply make friends with the people already living around you. You could throw a party, go door-to-door for a charity or just be friendly in the hallways. But at the end of the day there is nothing nicer than going to borrow butter next door and having your best friend answer.

"Living here is great," says Rosenberg who has now lived in Ruxton Towers for a year and a half. "Who wouldn't want to live surrounded by friends?"

Want to know how to deal with other rental issues? Here are some AOL Real Estateguides that can help:

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