When it comes to apartment hunting, Toronto is a dog-eat-dog city. Since only one percent of units in Toronto are actually available for rent these days, finding the perfect place is pretty much a pipe dream. And when you do find something worth living in, it’s all about the emailing, interviews, credit score and eventually, the bidding wars.
Yup, trying to find somewhere to live might be harder than trying to make it in Hollywood these day. Unless you can put some Hollywood creativity into your search, that is.
That’s the kind of approach Huy Do took when it came to finding his next pad. The 27-year-old has been living with three other people in a two-bedroom condo while he paid off his student loans, making use of the apartment’s den for $600 a month. Now that he’s ready to live on his own, however, he decided that going the traditional apartment-hunting route wasn’t going to get him noticed.
Instead of beginning a soul-sucking real-estate search, Do plastered a picture of himself on a fictional movie poster for a film called The Hunt for An Apartment, complete with all of his requirements for a great space. Things like a one-bedroom unit, paying $1300 a month and something close to the downtown core. He also added in why he’d be the perfect tenant: being respectful, always paying the rent on time, never partying and being employed full-time are just a few of his reasons.
Do shared the genius ad on various social media channels and free listing sites like Kijiji, and before long (an hour or two, to be exact), the owners were coming to him with offers. “The poster idea came from me watching a lot of movies,” he told Toronto Life. “Looking for an apartment can be full of drama and suspense. When someone looks at a movie poster, they might be able to empathize and feel those emotions.”
Do even created a parody song about apartment hunting to the tune of “Closer” by The Chainsmokers.
It looks like this movie has a happy ending as Do found a place and is getting ready to sign papers on a unit around his ideal price range — a feat considering most one-bedroom units go for about $2020 a month. But while his efforts are commendable, it’s a little disheartening to know that this is what it takes to find an apartment these days. At least we now know it isn’t impossible.