Descubra mais de À Revelia
How I rented an apartment in Munich by putting an ad in a newspaper
I ran an ad in a single Saturday edition of the SZ for a fee. In a month or so, I had a contract signed
The title is clear. I ran an ad in a single Saturday edition of the SZ for a fee. In a month or so, I had a contract signed. The price and location were reasonable, and all my visits came from people calling me — instead of struggling with many possible visitors and refreshing websites all day.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with SZ in any way — though I honestly think I should get a percentage of the probable increase of ads they will get after people start testing this.
How did I get here
I was searching for apartments in Munich, and, as you probably know, this is a strenuous and tiring experience. This city has crazy prices for closet-sized flats, with dozens of applicants struggling to get a place to live.
A coworker saw my struggle and gave me a simple tip, which I'm giving you now. She asked casually, "why don't you put an ad in the newspaper?"
I answered, "first of all, no one reads the newspaper except old people. Second, ads are for people selling things, not people that want to buy."
I was right about my first statement. Older people do read newspapers. They also own property, something many of us will never do. Another thing that many older adults do is move to better, calmer, cheaper places in which they would be able to live with tranquility, spending their deserved retirement money. There's a good chance Munich is not that place.
I was wrong about ads being for sellers. I learned that if you want to buy — or rent — something, you can use the newspaper's space the same way. They are interested in your money, and you are interested in their reach; it's a fair commercial exchange. So, having that in mind, I decided to go forward with my colleague's tip.
Below is the ad I ran in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, distributed on a single Saturday across Germany. I asked my colleague to help me write the ad in German, and she clarified in the ad that I spoke only English.
It says: “software engineer searches for apartment in West Munich (Pasing station) 1-2 rooms, max 1150€ warm. 32 years, single, calm, not smoker, fixed salary, from 15.09. Phone (only English)”.
In two weeks, I received seven proposals, visited five apartments within my price and location range, and decided to move to one of them. Within a month, I was signing the contract with my new landlord, a very respectable older man from Nürnberg, reader of the SZ, and owner of property.
Thanks for reading The Revelry! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The most important part is this: I wrote, in the ad, how much I could pay and where I'd like to live. These people called me and sent me messages. I didn't have to refresh Immoscout, wait in the rain with other 20 people looking for a roof over their heads, or choose a not optimal place because of fear that this opportunity would never arise again. They sent me messages, and we set up meetings and visits; I did them and could choose which one I liked the most.
The price was not cheap: around 130€. Either way, it was completely worth it — if you know how apartment searching is a bad experience here, you know spending this amount of money to have them come to you instead of you going to them is priceless.
How to do it
First, google the words "SZ anzeigen inserieren". That means "SZ place ads." This will probably lead you to this website, but I'd teach you how to search it rather than leave a link that might break in the future.
You will click on the Immobilienmarkt tile and the green button with "Private Anzeige."
You will arrive at the SZ ad creator. Select Mietmarkt-Angebot and Click the text-only option: "1-spaltig." There are other possibilities, but they are more expensive.
There, fill up your ad. Remember, more lines, more cost. Try to be succinct and put all the necessary information there: who are you, how much can you pay, how big do you want the flat to be. Add your phone and, like me, put what language you speak at the end.
If you finish and click "Next," the website will show an error: you must fill in the information in the right panel, which is of no use to us, as only digital searches will use that information, and we're looking for the paper readers. We have to fill them anyways, though.
- In Art des Objekts, select Wohnung.
- In Wohnungstyp, select Wohnung allgemein
- In Wohnfläche, put how many square meters you want
- In Anzahl Zimmer, put how many rooms you want
- In Miete zzgl. NK, but how much do you want to pay (with decimals)
- In Land, select Germany.
- In PLZ, put the zip code of the place you want to live in
- In Ort, select München
- Staddteil might have been automatically filled for you. Add there the neighborhood or region you want.
- Put your email and phone in the required fields
Now you can click "Next."
We can select when SZ publishes our ad on this next screen.
Level 30 will be already selected. In level 2, select 302 (for apartments), and then you will need the good and old Google Translate help for level 3. I chose 30UM10 for mine — Great München region apartment. Maybe you need a different code if you want a WG or a different one.
Select the desired date for the ad — a single date is cheaper, but it's possible to run for more weeks. A tip: now, as I write this article, SZ gives a 50% discount for ad reruns, which means you can select one date now, paying X, and rerun it later, paying X/2. It's cheaper than selecting two dates at the first purchase.
Ensure you see "Gesamtausgabe (national)" in the Editions part; your ad will run in all SZ editions throughout Germany instead of just running in Bavaria.
For today's example, my total would be 126.97€. That's not cheap, I know, but my experience was absolutely worth it — worthier than the 19€ signature of Immoscout you might have thought about getting.
Check the box at the end and move towards payment — I won't follow up on this tutorial because I don't actually want to pay for another ad 😀.
I hope this has clarified how straightforward this strategy is. As explained in this article, I'd love to hear from you if you ever rent an apartment after putting up an ad.
Did I miss any information? Does the website look different for you? Let me know in the comments, please.
Did you enjoy your reading? Do you think anyone you know might benefit from this? Please share this article, then.
Special thanks to Annika Proske — she’s the one that shared this knowledge with me.