Latest on the blog

Friday, 21 December 2012

US30 Winners


We put some great prizes on the table for our US30 contest participants and they are now officially shipped to the winners! 35 school clubs racked up points on the leader board from Universities across the US.

The Columbia, Kellogg and UC Berkeley Clubs finished #1, #2 and #3 to claim our Top 3 Clubs prize. Berkeley held the top slot at the start but ceded to Kellogg and Columbia in the last week. As our Top 3 finalists, each US30 player in the Columbia, Kellogg and Berkeley clubs was awarded $25 Flat-Club Travel Money.

Our individual US30 $500 Lottery winner was Raymond of UC Berkeley! Additionally, as the UC Berkeley Club was a Top 3 finalist, Raymond scored $525 in Flat-Club travel money for the holidays.

Congratulations Raymond!

The third and final winner is yet to be announced. The application for our US30 Great Marketing Internship is open through the end of 2012 and we look forward to bringing on a great candidate in early 2013!

The US30 was great fun and we all win with a bigger student/alumni accommodations community, new places on the map and new clubs to expand. Thank you to all the participants, volunteers and supporters of the US30 and Happy Holidays to all!

Join your club today and start reaping the benefits of club membership: discounts, exclusive flats, and more.

Friday, 30 November 2012

We’re turning 2 years old and A LOT has happened




Flat-Club’s spent its first year with the LBS Incubator Programme which was invaluable. Support from the Incubator was critical to building our first working relationships with top tier universities, attracting our first customers and establishing credibility in the eyes of students, faculty, staff and alumni who we are building Flat-Club for.

Year 2 has been a rollercoaster.

Kicking off 2012 we were selected #1 in the TechCrunch One Sentence Pitch Competition in January. Though a small competition for TechCrunch, it boosted our profile and confidence that Flat-Club’s model of renting within trusted networks had mileage.

Through spring and summer of 2012 we raised our first round, grew the team and moved to Google TechHub London at the Old Street roundabout. It has been very exciting sharing space with other cutting edge start-ups and having access to the ecosystem resources for contacts and advisement.

In late fall this year we made our first major push into the US Market launching Flat-Club in over 30 top universities and business schools in America; our US30 campaign.

We’re proud to have earned the attention of great press during the year and find it extremely rewarding to see prestigious publications such as The Guardian, Forbes, and the Financial Times cover pieces of the Flat-Club story.

We are celebrating Flat-Club’s second birthday inspired by the team’s accomplishments and even more excited about where we’re headed for 2013.  So to celebrate turning 2 we want to express an enormous thank you to all of our advisors, partners, friends, staff and most importantly – customers. Our team is passionate about bringing the benefits of Flat-Club to the students, alumni, faculty and staff of many more top universities to come.

Search for your club and join today!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Flat-Club Launches In The US!

Flat-Club is officially launching in America - today! The campaign, called the US30, will introduce Flat-Club into over 30 top universities and business schools in the USA all in one go.

Over the last eighteen months, word-of-mouth has taken the Flat-Club platform through University communities in Europe. We’ve grown from 5 apartments at London Business School to 3,000 accommodations with 50+ school clubs across Europe. Not only has Flat-Club’s European platform expanded so quickly, we’ve also earned some great coverage from the Guardian, Forbes, Financial Times,as well as winning the TechCrunch 2012 One Sentence Pitch Competition and being awarded a place in the top 16 start-up companies in Europe at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.
It’s been a great year and a half and we’re closing 2012 with a big move into America. We’ve enlisted the help of 56 Launch Ambassadors - university students or alumni at our target US schools, to help with the launch. They are the friends and friends of friends of Flat-Club’s team and customers and all excited about bringing the platform to their school community. We are kicking off the campaign by opening a competition between the schools on our dedicated US30 page. Students, alumni, faculty and staff can earn points by for their club in 3 ways.
  1. Joining the club - 100 pts
  2. Spreading the word to others in the community - 200 pts
  3. Posting a room or apartment during the launch - 300 pts
The top 3 clubs with the most points by the end of the competition win $25 travel credit for every member and there are also prizes for individuals. Those students and alumni who earn enough points will get entered into the Flat-Club Lottery for a mega prize of $500 travel credit and they can unlock the application to One Great Marketing Internship. Our selected candidate will become Flat-Club’s first International Social Media Correspondent and will be in charge of running a marketing campaign to tell the Flat-Club story – from the road. We’re providing the Intern with a new iPhone5 World Phone (that they keep), $1,000 to spend on accommodation and flight tickets and a lot of freedom to put creative ideas to work.
ith the US30 we’re taking the Flat-Club concept to the US and continuing to solve one problem. As CEO and Founder Nitzan Yudan puts it “we provide alternatives to hotels, hostels, service apartments and short term rental marketplaces by solving the biggest problem of peer to peer renting – trust.” Rather than inventing a new way to build trust between members, Flat-Club simply goes to where it already exists, like university student and alumni networks, and leverages it to create a great short-term renting marketplace.

Help us spread the message across America, join your US University club and grow it now!

Friday, 26 October 2012

The Buzz Of A Start-Up Competition

This week, our very own CEO Nitzan Yudan travelled to Liverpool to take part in the Pitch80 BestSmall Business Final. Standing in front of a live audience with several other start-up companies, pitching Flat-Club to a selection of independent judges, Nitzan has talked of the great buzz and excitement that surrounded this event.
Start-up competitions have become an increasingly popular way for companies to launch themselves into their market, spread the word and start building a positive reputation. The number of start-up competitions available has proliferated (we found over 85 for UK competitions only), providing start-ups with more and more opportunities to demonstrate their strengths and recognize their weaknesses. There are so many different ways in which these competitions can prove valuable for a start-up during their first few years of development:

Experience. The more competitions start-ups take part in, the more experienced they become. Through participating in live events, such as the Liverpool final, start-ups gain the opportunity to learn from each other. Through listening to the pitches of other start-ups, small companies can recognize what qualities are needed in order to make their pitch effective. It was through building experience such as this that Flat-Club succeeded in winning the TechCrunch one-sentence pitching challenge earlier this year. It is also a great way to prepare for pitching to investors.

Networking. Competitions are a great place to find like-minded people. Start-ups can cooperate with other start-ups and coordinate their services in a mutually beneficial manner. In Liverpool, we learnt some outstanding tips about social media and finance, and even how to get government support through a new R D scheme.

Building Reputation. It is only through participating in a competition that start-ups stand the chance of being selected as a runner-up, a finalist or even a winner. Not only does this achievement bring obvious benefits of prize money and/or other support, it helps to boost the start-up’s reputation. Reputation is one of the most important factors in the first few years of a start-up, helping to give the company a sense of credibility as well as attracting potential customers.

Spreading The Word. The more events a start-up takes part in, the more chance people are going to know about the company. Just this week, many new rooms and flats throughout England from London to Cardiff were posted on our website, due to more people hearing about Flat-Club in the Liverpool live event.

With all this in mind, Flat-Club is getting ready to participate next week in the popular Pioneers Festival Event in Vienna, as on the of the Top 50 Starts-ups in Europe. As you can imagine, we can’t wait to see what benefits this competition will bring to Flat-Club – so watch this space!

Friday, 12 October 2012

A Relocation Guide To Munich


As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Munich, written by the people who moved and lived there.

Before you go

  • Make sure that you have all your important documentation on hand and ready to go, including: visa, passport, photo ID and health card.
  • If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA, you do not need a Visa to enter Germany for a stay of less than 90 days. Your passport, lease agreement and local registration will suffice for an extended stay.
  • Certain nationalities - Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States – do not require a visa to enter Germany for visits less than 90 days. Longer visits will require a residency, student or work permit.
  • All other nationalities require a visa to enter Germany.
  • The language barrier can be a problem if you do not speak German. Many Germans speak English, but this is not universal. It is therefore good to brush up on some German phrases prior to your departure.
  • Before you leave home, it is a good idea to arrange for short-term accommodation in Munich, to give you somewhere to stay whilst you search for more permanent housing. Take some Euros with you to cover your initial expenses until your bank account is set up.
Visa Information for Germany Flat-Club

Finding a place

  • Give yourself time to look around and decide where it is in Munich you want to live. It’s important to soak up the atmosphere and decide which area suits you (and your budget) the most.
  • Once you have chosen your area, visit as many estate agencies (Immobilienhändler as possible, set up several house viewings and weigh up your options.
  • If you are not a confident German speaker, be sure to research some key German phrases or take a dictionary with you on the property viewings. You want to be in an able position to ask important questions, such those regarding deposits or agency fees, without any misunderstandings or confusion.
  • In most instances, you will need to provide a deposit equal to 2 or 3 month’s rent when you settle on a lease.
  • The average cost of rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Munich is €700 a month.

Setting up a bank account

  • Most major German banks have branches located in Munich.
  • You must be a resident, student or a citizen of the EU/EEA to legally open a bank while staying in Munich.
  • In addition to residency, you will also need to provide your passport and proof of address (such as a lease agreement). If you are a student, you will need to provide documentation that validates your student status.
  • In addition to your bank account, you will want to ensure that you receive a EuroCheque Card that will enable you to obtain cash from ATM and other benefits.

Health Insurance

  • The health care system features a legal mandate for all citizens to possess either government sponsored or private health insurance.
  • If you intend to work or maintain a resident status in Munich, you are legally required to enrol in health insurance coverage.You can choose to use health insurance you already possess from home; however you will have to investigate whether or not your personal coverage meets German guidelines.
  • Health care benefits associated with the European Health Insurance Card are valid in Munich.
Useful Links:

Staying safe

  • Memorize emergency phone numbers and have them programmed into your cell phone.
  • The emergency number for the police (polizei) is 110 and for fire (feuerwehr) and ambulance (rettungswagen) services, 112.
  • Ensure you keep your valuables safe and concealed from view when in a crowded area, particularly when using public transport.
  • Being aware of your surroundings at all times is the best way to remain safe.
Useful Links:

Travelling Around

  • Munich’s Transport System (MVV) issues a standard ticket for all of its transportation options. Additionally, most public employees speak English, which can be helpful when traveling about the city.
  • A standard fare of €2.50 will grant you access to the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, tram and bus. In order to more economically efficient, it is advisable to buy tickets in bulk. A set of 10 tickets (Streifenkarte) can be purchased for just €12.00 saving around 50% on single ticket prices.
  • Tickets can be purchased from automated teller machines that are readily available at numerous and convenient locations.
  • Taxis are another convenient and quite reasonably priced mode of transportation in Munich.
  • Munich is a cycle friendly city. Through Call-A-Bike you can rent bikes easily from virtually any location in Munch.
Useful Links:
If you want to read a more extended version of this summary, please click here

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Christmas Is Coming...Soonish


OK, so Christmas does feel quite far off. At FlatClub we’re in total agreement with you that it's certainly too early to start dusting off your decorations, putting up your trees or selecting festive gifts.

However, it is not too premature to start thinking about Christmas bookingsOur experience has shown that posting your room/flat in advance significantly increases your chances of securing a booking.

Are you planning a trip away over the festive period? Will your room or flat be free? Then post it on FlatClub! Even if you are just away from home for a week, visiting relatives or taking a Christmas vacation, you could still be earning substantial money. With all the presents, food, drink and celebration, Christmas is never the cheapest time of year. However, through making the most of your home when you’re not there, you could earn quite a substantial amount of extra money, helping to ease the pressure off that festive overspending!

Have you thought about renting a place through FlatClub? It is widely accepted that comfort is one of the key criteria for making a good Christmas.  Whether that comfort comes in the form of food, friends or a warm drink in front of the fire, feeling comfortable is integral to enjoying the festive season. This is why renting accommodation through FlatClub is the ideal solution for a Christmas getaway.  At FlatClub, we pride ourselves on the fact that rooms and flats are shared between real people. Therefore, when renting a place through FlatClub, you can always feel assured that your chosen accommodation will feel warm, inviting and offer all sorts of home comforts – perfect for Christmas!

We already have a great selection of fantastic rooms and flats available for the Christmas period, in all sorts of exciting locations and to suit a range of budgets. Booking early will avoid disappointment and ensure that you can start to look forward to spending your festive break exploring your chosen city whilst staying in your ideal accommodation.

Use our Expert Search to find the best accommodation for you -- for free!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Flat-Club Offers You $100 For Referring A Friend!


 


At Flat-Club, we’re all very excited about the launch of our new referral programme. Our Refer-A-Friend scheme not only gives you the opportunity to gain $100 of travel money but it is also very much in line with the core values of Flat-Club; bringing together friends and friends of friends on our website to post their places for free and meet each other’s accommodation needs.


We want to encourage our guests and hosts to invite their friends to our website: why?  


  • We are passionate about connecting together real people around the world to share their rooms or flats with each other.

  • We want to expand the community of trust that Flat-Club is founded upon. Already, we are focused on leveraging trust from academic, professional or social networks, such as students and alumni from top universities. We now want to branch out even further and make the most of the trust that exists in friendship circles, encouraging friends to rent with confidence from their friends or friends-of-friends exclusively through Flat-Club.


So, what are the benefits for you?


  • Our Refer-A-Friend programme is a great way for both existing and new hosts to earn a substantial amount of money. If you invite a friend to Flat-Club and they post their room/apartment on our website, you will immediately earn $25 in travel money. Once your friend receives a booking, you will then have the choice between gaining an extra $75 or a $50 Amazon Voucher. Therefore, by simply referring your friends, you could soon be enjoying a stay in luxurious accommodation around the world for free! For the new host, Flat-Club provides another great opportunity to earn money. Through posting their room or flat for free, the new host can make the most of his home when he’s away and often gain enough extra income to pay for his accommodation abroad. 

  • Through Refer-A-Friend, you could also gain exclusive access to Flat-Club’s club community. One of the primary ways in which Flat-Club creates a sense of trust is through club membership. We have a range of clubs for different top universities, business schools and companies throughout the world for example Wharton, ESCP and London Business School. Students, alumni and staff can join their club and rent out their place exclusively to their colleagues or classmates from their same academic or professional network. Club membership makes a host appear more trustworthy, causing their flat posting to rank higher in search lists and gives them the opportunity to view a greater range of  exclusive rooms/flats to rent. Through our Refer-A-Friend programme, Flat-Club guests and hosts can invite their friends to become a member of their specific club and therefore share the benefits that being a part of that club offers. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

A Relocation Guide To Barcelona

As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Barcelona, written by the people who moved and lived there.

Before you go

  • Make sure you have all required documentation, including visas, work permits, marriage certificates, driving licence and copies of past bank statements.
  • Ensure to have all the required paperwork to obtain the necessary Número de Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE).
  • Brush up on your everyday Spanish phrases – although many people in Barcelona can speak English, it’s not guaranteed!
  • It’s a good idea to arrange short-term accommodation in advance for your first few weeks in Barcelona. This way you’ll have lots of time to look around for more long-term housing, ensuring that you’re really happy with your chosen place to live.
Useful links:

Finding a place

  • Give yourself time to look around and decide where it is in Barcelona you want to live. It’s important to soak up the atmosphere and decide which area suits you (and your budget) the most.
  • Once you have chosen your area, visit as many estate agencies (agencia immobiliaria) as possible, set up several house viewings and weigh up your options.
  • Have a look through local newspapers and magazines. There are always new properties available and it’s a great way to see what’s on the market and in your price range.
  • If you are not a confident Spanish speaker, be sure to research some key Spanish phrases or take a dictionary with you on the property viewings. You want to be in an able position to ask important questions, such those regarding deposits or agency fees, without any misunderstandings or confusion.

Setting up a bank account

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is establish residency or non-residency when setting up a bank account.
  • If you are a residence, you just need to take your passport and proof of residence to the bank and you can open an account fairly quickly and easily.
  • If you are a non-residence, you need to obtain a “non-residence certificate”. You can do this yourself with your passport at Dirección General de la Policía. Your chosen bank will also be happy to acquire your “non-residence certificate” for you, although they will most likely charge for this service. With this certificate, and your passport, you should then be able to set up a bank account.
  • In Barcelona, most banks charge for opening an account and maintenance fees. However, there are often reduced rates for those under the age of 26; so if you are eligible for such discounts, make sure you do research on the best deal for you.
Useful Links:

Health insurance

  • If you are an EU citizen, then make sure you apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you depart for Barcelona. With this card, healthcare is at least heavily discounted and often even free in Spain.
  • If you become a Spanish citizen, work in Barcelona and pay into social security systems, then you will be entitled to state healthcare. The public national health care system in Spain is considered to be extremely good and efficient.
  • If you are a student, pensioner, unemployed or self-employed coming from within the EU, then you will also be entitled to 2 years’ worth of full and free health care services.
  • Spain also offers excellent private health care, which compliments greatly the state system. So be sure to do your research on this, to decide which health care option will be the best for you.
Useful Links:

Staying safe

  • Emergency number is 112
  • Shield your PIN at cash machines, avoid empty Metro carriages at night and never get in an unlicensed taxi (only use white taxis with a red diagonal stripe across the front doors).
  • Ensure your valuables are concealed from view when using public transport, or walking through a busy area.

Travelling around

  • The Barcelona metro network is extensive, clean and punctual. It provides a quick and cheap way of travelling around the city.  
  • There are RENFE trains which take to you the outskirts of Barcelona as well as various destinations throughout the whole of Spain.
  • If you have more time, then take a scenic bus route. Barcelona has a good bus network, with buses running frequently (and often into the night), transporting you to destinations covering a large area of Barcelona.
  • To use Barcelona's transport cost effectively, it is best to buy T10 tickets, allowing you to travel 10 single journeys for under €10.00 (as opposed to €2.00 if you buy single tickets separately). 
Useful Links:
Want to know more? Read an extended version of this blog.

Looking to stay in Barcelona? Use our free Expert Search to find the best place for your needs in Spain!

Friday, 7 September 2012

A Relocation Guide to Madrid

As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Madrid, written by the people who moved and lived there.

Before you go

  • Make sure you have all required documentation, including visas, work permits, marriage certificates, driving licence and copies of past bank statements.
  • Ensure to have all the required paperwork to obtain the necessary Número de Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE).
  • Brush up on your everyday Spanish phrases – although many people in Madrid can speak English, it’s not guaranteed!
  • It’s a good idea to arrange short-term accommodation in advance for your first few weeks in Madrid. This way you’ll have lots of time to look around for more long-term housing, ensuring that you’re really happy with your chosen place to live.
Useful links:

Finding a place

  • Give yourself time to look around and decide where it is in Madrid you want to live. It’s important to soak up the atmosphere and decide which area suits you (and your budget) the most.
  • Once you have chosen your area, visit as many estate agencies (agencia immobiliaria) as possible, set up several house viewings and weigh up your options.
  • Have a look through local newspapers and magazines. There are always new properties available and it’s a great way to see what’s on the market and in your price range.
  • If you are not a confident Spanish speaker, be sure to research some key Spanish phrases or take a dictionary with you on the property viewings. You want to be in an able position to ask important questions, such those regarding deposits or agency fees, without any misunderstandings or confusion.

Setting up a bank account

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is establish residency or non-residency when setting up a bank account.
  • If you are a residence, you just need to take your passport and proof of residence to the bank and you can open an account fairly quickly and easily.
  • If you are a non-residence, you need to obtain a “non-residence certificate”. You can do this yourself with your passport at Dirección General de la Policía. Your chosen bank will also be happy to acquire your “non residence certificate” for you, although they will most likely charge for this service. With this certificate, and your passport, you should then be able to set up a bank account.
  • In Madrid, most banks charge for opening an account and maintenance fees. However, there are often reduced rates for those under the age of 26; so if you are eligible for such discounts, make sure you do research on the best deal for you.

Health insurance

  • If you are an EU citizen, then make sure you apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you depart for Madrid. With this card, healthcare is at least heavily discounted and often even free in Spain.
  • If you become a Spanish citizen, work in Madrid and pay into social security systems, then you will be entitled to state healthcare. The public national health care system in Spain is considered to be extremely good and efficient.
  • If you are a student, pensioner, unemployed or self-employed coming from within the EU, then you will also be entitled to 2 years’ worth of full and free health care services.
  • Spain also offers excellent private health care, which compliments greatly the state system. So be sure to do your research on this, to decide which health care option will be the best for you.
Useful Links:

Staying safe

  • Emergency number is 112
  • Shield your PIN at cash machines, avoid empty Metro carriages at night and never get in an unlicensed taxi (only use white taxis with a red diagonal stripe across the front doors).
  • Ensure your valuables are concealed from view when using public transport, or walking through a busy area.

Travelling around

  • The Madrid metro network is one of the largest in the world and provides a quick and cheap way of getting around the Spanish capital.
  • Reliable and comfortable Cercanías trains are a great way of travelling to the outskirts of Madrid. With a wide range of stations in a variety of locations, this form of transport is the best way to get around Greater Madrid.
  • If you have more time, then take a more scenic bus route. Madrid has an extensive bus network, with buses running frequently and transporting you to destinations covering a large area of Madrid. There are night buses (buhos) which continue to run after the Metro has closed. There are also weekend buses (Metrobuho) which follow the same route as the Metro.
  • You can find maps, information and buy tickets for both the Metro and the bus in the ticket hall of every Metro station.
Useful Links:
Want to know more? Read an extended version of this blog.

Madrid is a lovely city, and if you're looking for a place to stay we can help you with our Expert Search service! Just give us a few details on your trip, and we'll give you options -- all for free.

Friday, 31 August 2012

A Guide For First-Time Hosts

Top Tips To Welcome Your Guest Into Your Home:

We keep on hearing from both guests and hosts how much they loved their renting experience through Flat-Club. In order to ensure that you have an equally enjoyable time, we've decided to compile a list of other hosts' top tips on the best way to prepare your home for a guest. Whether hosting or being hosted, it is clear that a warm welcome and a comfortable environment are the key factors to renting success. That is why we want to share with you, from a first-hand point of view, the most effective steps you can take to make your guest feel at home and for both of you to get the most out of this exciting and unique experience. And don't forget, through becoming a host you could make a substantial amount of extra money!

Arrange your home. It would be great if you could leave some surfaces bare and some cupboards, drawers and/or wardrobe empty for your guest. This will allow them to tidy away some of their own things, making them feel more comfortable in your home as well as ensuring that their belongings don’t get in your way. If you have personal possessions that you don’t want your guests to touch, make sure you let them know in advance. It is also crucial that you leave your place clean and tidy, as this will encourage your guest to do the same on their departure; a win-win situation!


Leave instructions. It’s a good idea to provide your guest with information on how to use certain amenities in your flat. This will not only improve your guest’s experience in your home but it will also give you peace of mind that all will go smoothly in your absence. In particular, you might want to leave instructions for WIFI access, the T.V./DVD player, the telephone and the washer/dryer. You may also want to remind your guest to ensure that they turn off the heating/air-conditioning when leaving your house; both your bills and the environment will thank you and your guest!

Provide a comfortable bed and clean, crisp linens. Ensuring that your guest is given a good quality bed will not only make them feel welcome in your home but will also allow them to gain a peaceful night’s sleep, undoubtedly improving their overall holiday experience. Providing clean towels for your guest is also a good idea.


Leave some books, DVDs or magazines. Regardless of the time of year or the location of your home, we’re sure that your guest will really appreciate being able to enjoy these items. A book is the perfect accompaniment to a drink in the sun, whilst films are a great way to spend a cosy evening in. If you will be sharing your flat with your guest, books or films are also a great common topic of conversation, helping you to get to know each other better.

Provide details of local attractions. Leaving your guest a few tips on your favourite local café, restaurant or pub, the best shopping area or popular nearby attractions will be a great way of introducing your guest to your area, helping them to make the most out of their holiday and your neighbourhood. Practical information such as the location of the grocery store or local transport links would also be useful.
Fill the fridge. Providing your guest with a few necessities would be a lovely welcome to your guest on the first night. Milk, bread, fruit and other possible basic foods would allow your guest to settle quickly into your home.

Finishing touches. Finally, in order to make your flat exceptionally attractive to your guests, you could always branch out and buy some fresh flowers to decorate your kitchen or living room. A box of chocolates or a bottle of wine would also be a welcoming gesture to your guest, ensuring that both of you get the most out of your flat


Ready to make the most out of your home? Post your flat on Flat-Club today! In order to attract the maximum number of guests to your posting, it's important to also join a club.
Alternatively, if you already have some tips on how you like to welcome your guest, email us at hosts@flat-club.com and we'll add them to the list!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Flat-Club Joins TechHub And Google Campus!

We, at Flat-Club, have recently moved out of our London Business School (LBS) office base and into TechHub, an innovative co-working space incorporated into Google Campus. This relocation is not only extremely exciting for us at Flat-Club but it is also testament to how far we have grown and developed as a company over the past 12 months.


Being a part of the LBS Incubator Programme has been invaluable for us. We have had continuous access to office space and resources from LBS, which has been crucial for helping us to progress as a company. From the start, we gained a support base of LBS students and alumni, giving us a sense of direction and allowing us to network, collaborate and learn in an entrepreneurial environment. Being incorporated into the LBS Incubator Programme meant that we could also build a positive reputation quickly.

As a result, Flat-Club has managed to expand rapidly and successfully. Over the past year at LBS, the team has grown from 2 to 15 whilst the number of flats on our site has soared from 5 in London to more than 2,000 in over 20 major cities worldwide. We have also succeeded in attracting important media attention, for example with The Guardian , Forbes and The Financial Times as well as managing to secure Series A Funding from Venture Capital and private investors. Furthermore, we won the TechCrunch One-Sentence Pitching Challenge , we were selected as a finalist in The Pitch80 UK Best Small Business Competition and we were also chosen as one of the top 100 start-up companies in the UK. One of our most recent blog posts represents the largest database of European start-up competitions and has subsequently received a lot of encouraging reviews from entrepreneurs - you can read it here .

As our CEO Nitzan Yudan has explained, “Flat-Club would never grow so quickly without the support of LBS community. From the initial business plan to raising finance – we get excellent advice from faculty. The alumni network and especially the Active Startup Forum on portal are a great source of inspiration as well as support in bootstrapping administration and technical challenges”. It is clear, therefore, that we have a lot to thank LBS for.


Whilst we remain very firmly within the parameters of the LBS Incubator Programme, we have now grown so much as a company that we are branching into more networks and facing fresh challenges. This is why we have made the exciting move into the TechHub office, which is a part of Google Campus. The entrepreneurship community at TechHub allows us to share advice and ideas with other like-minded small businesses, offering more inspiration and inciting more energy among us on a daily basis. In this new innovative space we can collaborate with other inspiring people and expand our network even further, creating the perfect environment for Flat-Club to continue to grow in a positive direction.

We are hard workers at Flat-Club. But, we can also play hard. TechHub appreciates this and therefore provides its community with a bit of time for socializing on the side. There is a ping pong table to encourage a bit of healthy colleague-to-colleague competition during lunchtime. There are also several opportunities for the start-up teams to get to know each other in the communal kitchen or over a pizza and beer after work.

As you can see, we are very excited about our relocation. Flat-Club has progressed quickly over the past 18 months. From a kitchen as an office at its initial beginnings, to the LBS Incubator space and now to TechHub, we are continuing to move in the right direction. We can’t wait to get stuck into new challenges and progress even further in our innovative and inspiring new home.


If you're relocating soon, we can help with that! Our Expert Search is a free service that helps you to find your perfect accommodation. Or search for yourself on our site and get in touch with one of our great hosts.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Relocation Guide To Berlin

As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Berlin, written by the people who moved and lived there.

Before you go

  • Make sure that you have all your important documentation on hand and ready to go, including: visa, passport, photo ID and health card.
  • If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA, you do not need a Visa to enter Germany for a stay that’s less than 90 days. Your passport, lease agreement and local registration will suffice for an extended stay.
  • Certain nationalities - Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States – do not require a visa to enter Germany for visits less than 90 days. Longer visits will require a residency, student or work permit.
  • All other nationalities require a visa to enter Germany.
  • The language barrier can be a problem if you do not speak German. Many Germans speak English, but this is not universal. It is therefore good to brush up on some German phrases prior to your departure.
  • Before you leave home, it is a good idea to arrange for short-term accommodation in Berlin, to give you somewhere to stay whilst you search for more permanent housing. Take a bit of cash in the local currency with you to cover your initial expenses until your bank account is set up.
Useful links:

Finding a place

  • Take time to become familiar with different areas so that you can make the best choice possible on where to live.
  • In most instances, you will need to provide a deposit equal to 1 or 2 month’s rent when you settle on a lease.This deposit is refundable, minus any damages, upon your departure.
  • The average cost of rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Berlin is €495 a month, with utilities averaging about €135 a month.

Setting up a bank account

  • Most major German banks have branches located in Berlin.
  • You must be a resident, student or a citizen of the EU/EEA to legally open a bank while staying in Berlin.
  • In addition to residency, you will also need to provide your passport and proof of address (such as a lease agreement). If you are a student, you will need to provide documentation that validates your student status.
  • In addition to your bank account, you will want to ensure that you receive a EuroCheque Card that will enable you to obtain cash from ATM and other benefits.

Health Insurance

  • Health care system features a legal mandate for all citizens to possess either government sponsored or private health insurance.
  • If you intend to work or maintain a resident status in Berlin, you are legally required to enroll in health insurance coverage. You can choose to use health insurance you already possess from home; however you will have to investigate whether or not your personal coverage meets German guidelines.
  • Health care benefits associated with the European Health Insurance Card are valid in Berlin.
Useful Links:

Staying safe

  • Memorize emergency phone numbers and have them programmed into your cell phone.
  • The emergency number for the police (polizei) is 110 and for fire (feuerwehr) and ambulance (rettungswagen) services, 112.
  • Always keep your cell phone handy and on your person when you are away from home.
  • Being aware of your surroundings at all times is the best way to remain safe.
Useful Links:
  • Berlin Police Department,
  • European Emergency Services
  • Travelling Around

    • Berlin’s Public Transport Authority (BVG) issues a standard ticket for all of its transportation options. Additionally, most public employees speak English, which can be helpful when traveling about the city.
    • A standard fare of €2.30 will grant you access to the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, and/or metro bus.
    • Tickets can be purchased from automated teller machines that are readily available at numerous and convenient locations.
    • Taxis are another convenient mode of transportation in Berlin. Most taxi drivers speak English as well. Standard taxi rates begin between € 3.00 and € 3.50.
    • Cycling is also a popular and fun way to get around Berlin. Many residents opt for this particular mode of transportation and there are many bike paths that wind their way through Berlin. You can rent a bicycle for as little as €7.50 a day.
    Useful Links:

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The UK & Europe Startup Competition Guide - 1st Edition

Note: We have an updated version of this database. The links and competitions listed here may be out-of-date.
In the last few days I have been asked several times how, in one week, we featured in both the Startups100 and the Pitch80 competitions as one of the UK’s most exciting, disruptive, and innovative startups. Here are my 3 (Flat-Club) rules for success:
  1. Always look for opportunities
  2. Apply on time
  3. Make a brilliant pitch!
I have already discussed the third point in an earlier post about how we won the 2012TechCrunch One-Sentence Pitching challenge, so this time I’ll focus on the first two points.
Finding opportunities and applying. Together with Chris Ramshaw from Flat-Club, we have built the most extensive and detailed database of competitions, grants, and prizes for UK and EU based startups. There are business plan competitions, awards, government grants, pitching opportunities and all the information you need to win!
Yes, we included the deadlines, requirements, and links as well – you just need to apply. This list contains 85 competitions, and links databases of many more. The prizes range from some good publicity and a couple of thousand pounds or some mentoring all the way to £1,000,000! Or for a very special prize, the opportunity to ring the opening bell for the New York Stock Exchange. Each competition has its own merits, so pick what you think your business needs.
They range from Pitch battles to Business Plan Competitions and we've even included a section for social enterprise. There is also the link to the website for UK Government Grants which offers another source of funding. Get applying and good luck!

UK Competitions:

Business Plan Competitions

  • Competition Name: National University Entrepreneur Competition
  • Criteria: strong Students and Grads with a totally new idea.
  • Deadline: End of March
  • Prize: Investment Opportunities
  • Competition Name: Innotech Summit
  • Target: Seeking Seed/Venture Investment
  • Deadline: Beginning of April
  • Prize: £5K Mentoring and Support
  • Application: Enter a Business Plan then finalists Pitch.
  • Competition Name: Enterprising U
  • Criteria: Any Student or Grad from the last 5 years
  • Deadline: Mid June
  • Prize: 1st Prize is £25K, 2nd - £10K, 3rd - £5K

Social Enterprise

  • Competition Name: Richmond's Den
  • Criteria: Company earning less than £30K grants/annum.
  • Application: Describe your idea in 500 words, then finalists pitch
  • Prize: £10K Package
  • Deadline: Late June

Pitching Competitions

  • Competition Name: Orange Different Business
  • Application: Finalists Pitch to a panel of judges
  • Prize: Package of £200K
  • Deadline: End of March
  • Competition Name: The Pitch UK
  • Contest: 3 Minute Pitch
  • Prize: Package worth £50K
  • Deadline: May
  • Competition Name: Thinking Digital
  • Contest: 3 Minute Pitch to a panel of Startup Stars.
  • Deadline: Mid-Late May
  • Competition Name: DublinWeb Summit
  • Criteria: No more than 3 years old, no more than €5M revenue in the previous year, no more than €5M in funding.
  • Prize: Largest fund to date TBA
  • Deadline: End of July
  • Competition Name: Derry'sCulture Tech Festival
  • Criteria: Digital Business in Derry
  • Country: Ireland
  • Prize: £10K 2nd/3rd £5K
  • Deadline: Held at the end of August
  • Competition Name: Discovering Startups
  • Criteria: Technology Startup
  • Contest: Pitch
  • Prize: Package worth £2K
  • Deadline: Mid-November

Startup Awards

  • Competition Name: UCL Bright Ideas Awards
  • Criteria: UCL Students and Alumni
  • Prize: Share of £50K Funding
  • Deadline: Announced end of March therefore check early in the year
  • Competition Name: Market E-Test
  • Criteria: New Business Idea
  • Prize: Up to £1000 Market Research
  • Deadline: Mid-April
  • Competition Name: House to Home
  • Application: Download and fill in an entry form
  • Criteria: You must have a country based business
  • Prize: £6K of advice
  • Deadline: End of April
  • Competition Name: British Innovation Gateway
  • Application: Enter your idea online
  • Criteria: UK Based small businesses and startups with technology based prototypes/proof of concepts.
  • Prize: $200K Package inc. $100K Cash
  • Deadline: Beginning of May
  • Competition Name: Million Pound Startup
  • Criteria: Less than 10 years old, less than £1M Turnover, willing to relocate to London
  • Prize: £1M in equity investment
  • Deadline: 1st May 2013
  • Competition Name: Conservative Party Startup Hub
  • Criteria: Less than 2 years old, UK resident, Over 16 years old
  • Prize: TBC/Showcasing your business at the party conference
  • Deadline: May
  • Competition Name: Future 50
  • Application: 400-500 words on why your firm has outstanding potential
  • Criteria: Less than 4 years old, steady turnover and employment growth, innovative and disruptive
  • Prize: Media Coverage and Prestige
  • DeadLine: Published around the end of September – Get entries in over the summer
  • Competition Name: Startup Awards 2012
  • Criteria: Less than 3 years old
  • Application: Online form – 4 questions, answer all 4 for each of the 13 categories you are entering
  • Deadline: 14th September 2012
  • Competition Name: Shell LiveWire Grand Ideas Award
  • Criteria: Aged 16-30 – Open to international entrants
  • Prize: £1000 – Awarded Monthly
  • Deadline: Last day of each month
  • Competition Name: PEA Awards
  • Criteria: Demonstrating Sustainability
  • Application: 500 words
  • Prize: Prestige
  • Deadline: 24th September 2013
  • Competition Name: Competition Wayra UK
  • Criteria: Businesses in Cloud Services, Financial, Mobile, Digital/Video, E-Health, Social Networks, Internet and Mobile Applications and E-Learning. Open to International Entrants
  • Prize: €50K-€70K + Support for 10% Equity
  • Competition Name: Young Foundation Accelerator
  • Criteria: Businesses that have a positive social impact, are ambitious about growth and are able to demonstrate successful delivery in at least one location.
  • Application: Online application form at http://www.growingsocialventures.org/
  • Prize: Training and Support Package/
  • Deadline: 16th September 2012
  • Competition Name: Young Entrepreneurs' Challenge
  • Criteria: Businesses that have been trading for under two years and with a maximum of 20 employees or prospective start-ups with a credible idea and business plan that is close to maturity.
  • Application: A detailed business plan (no more than 10 pages).
  • Prize: £10,000 investment from the judges; £10,000 from Investec Specialist Bank; £5,000 of consultancy from creative agency Albion London; A year's free financial and tax advice from Berg Krapow Lewis; Profiling in the business pages of the JC and via its digital channels.
  • Deadline: 9 November 2012

Non-Entry Top 100's

  • Competition Name: Guardian - Top 20 Startups to Watch

Non-Government Grants

  • Competition Name: BT Startup Grant Competition
  • Application: Complete an online form with details of your business
  • Grant: Depends on your business

Government Grants

  • Name: R&D Tax Relief
  • Criteria: Fewer than 500 employees, less than €100M annual turnover, balance sheet no exceeding €43M
  • Application: Visit the website for more
  • Grant: For SME's 200% of R&D Tax Relief (Corporation Tax)
For a full list of all the Government Grants available visit: www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk

European:

Business Plan Competitions

  • Competition Name: BBVA Open Talent
  • Criteria: Tech, Innovation, Banking and Financial Services
  • Country: Spain
  • Prize: €100K for 10% Equity
  • Deadline: End of April
  • Competition Name: Arctic15
  • Criteria:Baltic and Nordic Startups
  • Countries: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  • Prize: €15640
  • Deadline: 31st August 2012

Pitching Competitions

  • Competition Name: European Student Startups
  • Criteria: Only Students can enter
  • Prize: As much investment as you can get
  • Deadline: Late January
  • Competition Name: Le Web
  • Criteria: Received less than €1.5M in Investment, address consumer or business users, Launch at Le Web
  • Cities: London/Paris
  • Deadline: Mid-May – London/ Beginning December – Paris
  • Competition Name: Tech All Stars
  • Criteria: Less than 3 years old, less than $1M Capital
  • Prize: Exposure
  • Deadline: Mid-May
  • Competition Name: InnoPitch
  • Criteria: Under 36, EU Resident, Company no more than 18 Months old
  • Prize: Promotional Opportunities and Award
  • Deadline: End of May
  • Competition Name: MLOVE Confestival
  • Criteria: Raised less than $2M since previous January
  • Application: Online Questions followed by Presentation
  • Country: Germany
  • Deadline: Mid-June
  • Competition Name: SWITCH
  • Hosted by: Startup Pirates
  • City: Lisbon
  • Deadline: Being held 15th and 16th June
  • Competition Name: Tech Garage
  • Application: Elevator Pitch
  • Country: Italy
  • Deadline: Beginning of July
  • Competition Name: CleanTech Open Spain
  • Criteria: Less than $1M Private Investment, Less than 5 years old
  • Country: Spain
  • Prize: Package worth $100K
  • Deadline: Beginning of July
  • Competition Name: Webit
  • Criteria: EMEA Startup
  • Application: Apply Online
  • Country: Turkey
  • Prize: Worldwide Media Coverage
  • Deadline: Mid-July
  • Competition Name: PitchSlam
  • Application: Apply Online
  • City: Berlin
  • Prize: Tickets to the Tech Open Air Festival
  • Deadline: Being held on August 1st
  • Competition Name: European Pirate Summit
  • Criteria: Minimum Prototype
  • Prize: Free Web Hosting and More
  • Deadline: August 15th
  • Competition Name: MIPCube Lab
  • Country: France
  • Prize: Networking and Pitching to potential investors
  • Competition Name: European Venture Forum
  • Criteria: Must win regional version – Italian, Balkan, Nordic or Turkish.
  • Prize: €90K
  • Deadline: Varies by Region – See Below
  • Competition Name: Balkan Venture Forum
  • Criteria: Balkan Registered Company
  • Prize: Entry to European Venture Forum
  • Deadline: Held at the end of March so apply at least a month before
  • Competition Name: Nordic Venture Forum
  • Criteria: ICT, Life-Sciences, or Clean-Tech and Nordic or Baltic Headquarters - Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
  • Prize: Entry to European Venture Forum
  • Deadline: 5th October
  • Competition Name: Turkish Venture Forum
  • Criteria: High-Tech Turkish Entrepreneurs
  • Prize: Entry to European Venture Forum
  • Deadline: Held 18th October so apply at least a month before
  • Competition Name: Italian Venture Forum
  • Criteria: Italian Registered Company
  • Prize: Entry to European Venture Forum
  • Deadline: Held 13th November so apply at least a month before

Startup Awards

  • Competition Name: Lovie Awards
  • Criteria: Web Based, Created by a European Company
  • Application: Online Form
  • Prize: Media Coverage and Prestige
  • Deadline: Mid-July
  • Competition Name: Startup 2.0
  • Criteria: Video Gaming, Not older than 2008 and European
  • Prize: Prestige
  • Deadline: End of May
  • Competition Name: ICT Spring Europe
  • Criteria: Less than 3 years old
  • Application: Online Form
  • Prize: ICT Award – European Startup of the Year
  • Deadline: Not Given – Held in Mid-June
  • Competition Name: TheEuropas
  • Criteria: Formed in the Last 2 years, not taken Series B funding.
  • Awards: 13
  • Deadline: 7th October
For further EU startup events please visit: www.venturevillage.eu

Global:

Business Plan Competitions

  • Competition Name: Q Prize
  • Criteria: Less than $2M Funding
  • Regions: Held in 8 worldwide – Brazil, China, India, Israel, North America, South Korea, Eastern and Western Europe.
  • Prize: Up to $250K
  • Deadline: 17th August 2012
    Competition Name: Startup Open Criteria: Started trading from 22nd November 2011 - 21st November 2012 Prize: Conference Tickets, Mentoring Deadline: September 15th 2012

Social Enterprise

  • Competition Name: Global Social Venture Competition
  • Application: Enter a Business Plan
  • Prize: 1st £25K 2nd £10K 3rd £5K
  • Deadline: Join Mailing list for Notifications

Pitching Competitions

  • Competition Name: InnoTribe 100K Startup Challenge
  • Criteria: Financial Tech, Less than 3 years old and no more than $1M Revenue and Investment combined in the last year
  • Cities: New York, Belfast, Singapore
  • Prize: $50K Cash
  • Deadline: NY – Mid Jan, Singapore – End of March, Belfast – Mid May
  • Competition Name: Microsoft BizSpark Summit
  • Criteria: Cloud Based
  • Prize: $20K Seed Funding, $60K Cloud Benefits from Azure, Mentoring
  • Deadline: Mid-July
  • Competition Name: Amazon Web Services Startup Challenge
  • Criteria: Implemented AWS in your business – Hold an account
  • Application: Online followed by Pitch
  • Prize:$50K Cash + $50K Vouchers for AWS Links to compilations of US based competitions that already exist? Did we miss anything? Add your comments below.
  • Deadline: Not open yet but you can register for updates.

Startup Awards

  • Competition Name: TheCrunchies Awards
  • Application: Nomination
  • Deadline: End of January (For voting)
  • Competition Name: James Dyson Design Award
  • Criteria: Product Design or Engineering Students within the last 4 years
  • Countries: All
  • Prize: £10K for you and £10K for your University
  • Deadline: Early August

United States:

  • Competition Name: MIT100K - Consists of 4 contests
  • Competition Name: Business Plan Competition
  • Prize: $100K
  • Deadline: Mid-March
  • Competition Name: YouPitch
  • Prize: $5K
  • Deadline: Late April
  • Competition Name: Elevator Pitch
  • Criteria: Received less than $15K funding
  • Prize: Cash Prizes
  • Deadline: Mid-October
  • Competition Name: Accelerate
  • Criteria: MIT Student, received no more than $100K
  • Prize: $100K
  • Deadline: Early December

Business Plan Competitions

  • Competition Name: VentureLabs Investment Competition
  • Criteria: Entrance by Invitation Only or by winning one of several smaller local competitions
  • Prize: $135K Package
  • Deadline: End of March
  • Competition Name: NY Startup
  • Prize: From 1st - $15K up to 5th – $1.5K

2. Pitching Competitions:

  • Competition Name: TNW Startup Battle/Startup Rally
  • Criteria: Part of an accelerator/ Left one no later than a year before
  • Application: YouNoodle Questionnaire, Followed by Video Pitch, and then Comprehensive Interview
  • Countries: EU, Latin America, US
  • Prize: Prestige
  • Deadline: Europe – Beginning of March /Latin America – Beginning of July US – TBA
  • Competition Name: Funding Post
  • Prize: As much Investment as you can get
  • Deadline: Regular Event
  • Competition Name:Startup World
  • Criteria: Launched in the last 2 years, no more than $500K External Funding
  • Application: 10 Online Questions
  • Prize: Package worth $332K
  • Deadline: Unspecified
  • Competition Name: Launch: Silicon Valley
  • Criteria: Not been launched for more than a few months
  • Prize: $25K Investment and $75K of Benefits and Services
  • Deadline: Mid-May
  • Competition Name: Startup2012
  • Prize: $75K
  • Deadline: Early May

3. Startup Awards

  • Competition: NYSE Big Startup Competition
  • Criteria: Member of Startup America or EO
  • Prize: To ring the bell at NYSE opening
  • Deadine: Mid-April
For a list of competitions in the US please visit either: www.bizplancompetitions.com
or for a list of predominately University based competitions: www.scribd.com
Did we miss anything? Please add more competitions in the comments and we’ll update the list.
Thanks,
Nitzan Yudan
Co-founder & CEO
Flat-Club

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Join The Club!

Want to make your flat posting more attractive? Hoping to rent out your property to someone you trust, allowing you to travel abroad with peace of mind that your flat is in safe hands?
Well, join the club! This is exactly what Flat-Club want and that is why we emphasise for you to become a part of your club(s) today – it’s free!

Joining a club is beneficial for both the host and the guest in several ways:

  1. Trust:

    Our research has shown that one of the primary foundations to trust is the sharing of common values or experiences. The ability, therefore, to rent out your flat to someone that went to the same university or worked in the same company as you, builds on this concept of trust. You are no longer just opening up your home to a stranger but instead to a friend or a friend-of-a-friend from within your professional or academic network. Joining your exclusive club allows you to immediately make the most out of the loyalty and ‘bond of trust’ that comes with shared values and a common academic or professional background.


  • Make your flat posting more attractive:

    We are proud of the way in which our company focuses on leveraging existing academic and professional networks to create trust and clearly you are too. Our research shows that being a member of a club is a particularly great way of making your flat posting more attractive. Club members are more likely to be drawn to the rooms or flats of other members within their same network. Joining a club also increases your ratings as a ‘trusted’ host, making you appear higher in search results. So don’t hide your top academic or professional background, make the most out of it to attract more people to your posting.
  • Networking:

    Renting out a room in your flat to someone from within your academic or professional background also provides the perfect opportunity for networking. Joining a club allows you to host a guest or a rent out a flat from someone that attended the same university or worked in the same business as you, immediately forging a link of common interests and shared experiences. The concept of club membership therefore immediately changes the focus of hosting and renting; no-longer does short-term accommodation need to be just a necessary place to sleep, it can be a means of getting to know your host/guest, learning about their experiences and comparing them with yours. In fact, many of our users have given excellent feedback about the way in which Flat-Club offers them a great networking opportunity to meet and chat with other alumni of their top university, business school or company.
  • Browse a greater variety of flat postings.

    Finally, some of our users choose to only share their rooms or flats within their exclusive professional or academic network. Therefore, if you are eligible to become a club member but you’re yet to join, you could be missing out on some great accommodation postings.

  • How to Join?

    It couldn’t be simpler:
    • Login to your account.
    • Select Join a Club tab on My Account and enter in the email address for your particular university, business school or company; you can join as many clubs as are relevant to you.
    • Verify
    • That’s it. You’ll then become a member and can start to reap all the benefits that come with being a part of our exclusive club network.
    To read more about how our clubs work, click here.

    Search for your club now, and request to add yours if it isn't on FlatClub yet!

    Friday, 13 July 2012

    A Relocation Guide To Paris

    As part of our program to help you when relocating to a new city, we are launching today a relocation guide to Paris, written by the people who moved and lived there.

    Before you go

    • Make sure you have all required documentation, including visas, work permits, marriage certificates, driving licence and copies of past bank statements.
    • Brush up on your everyday French phrases – it’s not guaranteed that every Parisian can or will want to speak English with you!
    • Finding your ideal place to live in Paris is certainly no mean feat, so ensure to arrange short-term accommodation for the first few weeks following your arrival. It’s great to have somewhere comfortable to stay whilst you get to know the city and embark on your search to find more permanent housing.
    • Make sure you write down the address and the number of the district (arrondissement) of your accommodation – pronouncing a Parisian Rue with a good French accent is not an easy task and the taxi drivers don’t tend to wait until they understand you. Having a written-copy of the address to hand will make your arrival run that bit more smoothly…

    Finding a place

    • Walk around the different arrondissements, soak up their very diverse atmospheres and decide which area suits you (and your budget) the most.
    • Once you have chosen the arrondissement you want to focus on, you can begin the search for your ideal place to live. Visit as many estate agencies (agences immobilières) as possible, set up several house viewings and weigh up your options.
    • Have a look through local newspapers and magazines. There are always new properties available and it’s a great way to see what’s on the market and in your price range.
    • If you are not a confident French speaker, be sure to research some key French phrases or take a dictionary with you on the property viewings. You want to be in an able position to ask important questions, such those regarding deposits or agency fees, without any misunderstandings or confusion.

    Setting up a bank account

    • You will need plenty of paperwork when opening up a bank account. This could including any or all of the following documentation: passport/ID (often two different types), proof of address, health insurance confirmation, student status confirmation (if applicable), and work permit (if applicable).
    • Don’t rely on your account being open and ready to use straight away. In some cases you may have to wait for up two months before your account is activated and you can start to withdraw money. So, make sure you have access to other funds during your first few weeks in Paris.
    • Ask about account/withdrawal fees. Different banks offer different services so make sure you have a look around to find the best option for you.

    Health Insurance

    • Don’t underestimate health issues: get your health insurance before leaving. If you are a British citizen, make sure you apply for you EHIC card around 6 weeks in advance. If you come from outside the UK, research the best medical insurance package for you.
    • Keep your healthcare insurance documents safe – not having any medical insurance is illegal in France!
    • Once you are a French citizen, you are entitled to the same healthcare insurance as your Parisian neighbour. If you are working or a student, you most probably qualify for the state medical insurance, Securité Sociale. If not, there are plenty of services willing to inform you of the best healthcare insurance options for you (see the links below).
    Useful Links:

    Staying safe

    • Emergency number is 112
    • Shield your PIN at cash machines, avoid empty Metro carriages at night and never get in an unlicensed taxi (only use taxis with a roof-top sign saying ‘Taxi Parisien’).
    • Ensure your valuables are concealed from view when using public transport, or walking through a busy area.

    Travelling Around

    • Buy a detailed street map and walk! It certainly is one of the most scenic, healthy and environmentally-friendly forms of transport.
    • Buy a Velib pass and make the most of the abundance of public bikes in Paris. You’ll also get to know the city much better and much more quickly.
    • Buy a Navigo Pass if you need to use the Metro frequently – it can help save you a lot of money.
    • You can find Metro/bus maps in every Metro station (situated within about a 5-10 minute walk of each other).
    Useful Links:
    You can read a further extension of this guide as well as top tips from a local on the best places to eat, drink and shop in NYC.

    Need accommodation in Paris? Our free Expert Search can help! Give us the details of your trip and we'll help set you up with a great place to stay.