WCB’s three-month boot camp offers students a unique opportunity to expand their knowledge of digital marketing and the subsequent career pathways that exist. However, as the course only lasts for twelve weeks, the question of “where will I stay” inevitably arises.
To help you find an apartment that suits your tastes and budget, we’ve set you on your way by doing much of the background research for you. Armed with this information, you should be able to find your own ‘home-away-from-home’ in next to no time.
Finding an apartment over the Internet
When typing “short-term apartment rentals Bangkok” into Google, you’ll find yourself confronted with more than 430,000 search results! To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, below are some of the most popular websites for finding an apartment.
This is probably the first port of call for most foreigners looking for accommodation in Bangkok. It can be viewed in Thai and English, is quite intuitive, and is updated on a daily basis. Regular updates mean that you won’t have to waste your time looking at results that were in fact rented months ago.
After making your way to the ‘For Rent’ page, you’ll have the option of searching by area, price, number of bedrooms and floor size. Searching by ‘popular location’ or ‘access to public transport routes’ is also incredibly simple.
After just a few more clicks, you’ll also be able to tell how close each listing is to schools, universities, hospitals, shopping malls and restaurants.
When moving to any new city it always takes a while to get your bearings. The suburbs of Bang Wa, Bang Na and Bang Sue will surely mean almost nothing at this point in time. However, if you use the handy ‘listings by map’ option, DD Property makes discovering the city a breeze. By zooming in and out on areas that you think you might like to live, you’ll soon have a rudimentary understanding of the city layout.
Unfortunately, due to the complexity of this feature, sometimes the map can be slow to respond.
Finally, the listings themselves are generally pretty well written and informative. With a detailed description about the condo’s inclusions and exclusions, as well as half a dozen accompanying photos, the ad gives a relatively accurate description of what you can expect. With many ads also offering short-term rentals (from a single night up to a month), DD Property is the perfect first stop when looking for short-term accommodation.
The first thing that strikes you about Asia Rents is its sleek design, easy-to-navigate search features, and professional photographs. In addition, most listings also have an accompanying virtual walk-through video. These videos are extremely useful as they are able to give you an immediate idea of the size and layout of the property. This saves you a great deal of time and money and means that you really only have to visit a couple of places in person.
Promoting themselves as “Bangkok’s Premium Property Agency”, Asia Rents offers everything you need from a property rental website. With its streamlined and no-nonsense search criteria, Asia Rents makes it a breeze to find a short-term apartment in Bangkok.
For people that want to know all the details of their potential property, the site also includes information on local public transportation options.
One downside however, is that Asia Rents doesn’t update their site as frequently as their competitors. This means that many of the listings are out-dated and it is unknown whether they are still vacant.
Specifically geared towards digital nomads, meRooms caters for people searching for a short-term rental in Bangkok. Whether you’re a businessperson, student or simply on vacation, the rental listings will satisfy almost every type of individual.
Similar to other websites, meRooms offers a useful combination of maps and normal image listings. This means that individuals with even the most rudimentary levels of technical prowess can easily identify potential accommodation options.
Whilst the search criterion itself is pretty stock-standard, the “other features” option is quite impressive.
By allowing you to select what features and amenities you’ll require during your stay, the option is perfect for people that are looking to just ‘plug and play’ right into your new life. The feature that allows you to search within a specified geographic area is also a plus.
All properties on the website are photographed from multiple angles including the views from the windows. This will give you an accurate idea of what the living spaces will look like and what you can reasonably expect. Interestingly, the detailed information provided about each property even includes a sliding rental scale for ease of determining the final price. In most cases the monthly rent decreases the longer you stay.
As at the time of writing, meRooms is the only site that offers a live chat option, meaning that someone is ostensibly around to answer your questions 24/7.
However, whilst the service itself is a good idea, it wasn’t nearly as functional as we would have hoped. The live chat desk was not permanently manned and some of our enquiries were never answered despite leaving a message.
Whilst meRooms has a lot of potential, the website itself is quite slow. This means that the added functionalities, despite being a good idea, are almost rendered useless.
Utter the words “short-term rental” and Airbnb will undoubtedly be one of the first companies that come to most people’s minds. As you’d expect, the longer you plan to stay, the cheaper the rate. However, despite being the default option for many, in Bangkok it can be a bit hit and miss.
Probably the best function offered by Airbnb is the ability to communicate openly and efficiently with potential hosts.
This means that you’re able to ask as many questions as you like prior to arriving so that your arrival is as stress-free as possible. By knowing exactly what your apartment includes, how you will collect the keys, and what the local area looks like, you’ll hopefully be able to avoid any nasty surprises.
Overall, Airbnb offers a professional and streamlined website that has everything you want.
The map search functionality is accurate, quick and responsive, and the accommodation reviews by previous users make finding a place hassle free. Being able to view pictures of each property directly from within the search page is also a welcome treat.
This means that all search results remain in view and it removes the irritation of continually being redirected to a new page.
Having been around for a number of years, Hipflat has everything you want from a real estate listings website. The design and layout is almost identical to DD Property and has most of the same features.
The properties listed on the site are from some of Bangkok’s most reputable real estate agencies, meaning that there is a consistent level of quality across the site e.g. the photos for each listing provide a relatively accurate representation of what the inside of each property looks like.
The information describing each apartment is also very clear, detailed, and easy to understand.
The site offers hundreds upon hundreds of listings with many options available in downtown Bangkok that are popular with foreigners. When viewing a search result, there are “similar ads” displayed directly underneath.
This can make your search significantly easier and saves you time from scrolling through endless pages. Unfortunately, there are lots of duplicate and expired ads that can be slightly annoying. In addition, the tedious sign-up process for a rental contract can mean that this may not be the best option for everyone.
Self-proclaimed as “Thailand’s No. 1 Apartment Portal” ThaiApartment offers a mix of agent and privately listed sale and rental properties. Despite there being some great offerings, the website itself is a navigational nightmare. Many of the listings navigate away from the site to third parties and the navigational panels themselves appear to continually shift around the page. The search function also leaves a lot to be desired.
Another downside of the site is that many of the listings are somewhat misleading. Whilst some rental prices initially appear to be a bargain, the total price increases drastically after adding on essential items such as water, lights and Wi-Fi. With other stipulations for many listings including large rental deposits, the process can quickly become complicated.
The properties themselves are well photographed and professionally portrayed. However, with very little other information provided about the apartment or the general area, it is difficult to become excited by any one listing.
On a positive note, the review system on the site is quite robust. Similar to Airbnb, previous occupants are able to review their stay and there are scores of open and frank reviews available to read.
A typical estate agency site, AccomAsia is simple to understand and easy to navigate. The standard search options make it hassle-free to narrow down your results to find a short-term apartment in Bangkok.
When finding an apartment that matches your preferences, you’ll discover the galleries stocked with a number of professionally taken photographs. Most listings also have a virtual tour video, which really helps to give you a decent idea of the property’s layout and facilities.
Each listing also has a wonderfully in depth description with a detailed explanation of all the available facilities. This includes a brief mention of what is available in the immediate area surrounding the listing. However, for someone that is not familiar with Bangkok, this can be somewhat redundant.
Should you wish to get more information on any of the listings, enquiries are generally answered promptly and professionally. The listings are also kept up to date, resulting in a site that offers an all-round positive experience.
Finding an apartment the Old-Fashioned Way
Walking around town
If you’re someone who prefers to see something in real life before making a decision, then visiting condos / apartments directly may be your best option. It is perfectly fine to pop into any apartment building without an appointment and enquire about available rooms.
Whilst this can be time consuming, there is something satisfying about being able to ‘experience’ the space before you decide to commit to making it your home for the next few months.
Using an agent is perhaps one of the most underrated ways of finding an apartment. Unlike most European cities, agent fees are generally borne by the landlord and not the tenant meaning that it won’t cost you a penny to have somebody else do all the hard work on your behalf.
The only downside is that agents commonly prefer to work with tenants that are looking to stay for a minimum of six months. This means that finding an apartment for just a few months may be more hassle than it’s worth.
Making Your Final Decision
Previous students at Web Courses Bangkok have found apartments through each of these options above (and sometimes a combination of all of them). We’ve had students that have agreed to rental contracts site unseen and were incredibly happy with the location and the facilities of the building.
On the flip side..
Other students have advised that they wished that they’d arrived just a few days earlier to inspect the apartments in-person before making a final decision.
Overall, there is no right or wrong way to find an apartment. Personally, I spent hours trawling various websites to try and get a better understanding of what I could get within my price range.
Next I engaged an agent to suggest a variety of buildings that fit my budget and desired location. Lastly, I visited each of the apartments in person to see how I felt about the layout, design and local area.
Even though this took a few days, I was extremely happy with my final choice and have now been living there for more than two years.
Things to Avoid
Apartments far away from public transport: If possible try and find an apartment that is within walking distance to an MRT (subway) or BTS (skytrain) station. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself spending anywhere from 20-50 baht per trip to reach these main modes of transport. When you’re doing this several times per day, the costs can quickly add up, eroding any savings you might have made.
Check the electricity charges: Older apartments often have a fixed electricity cost for each unit used. More often than not, this is higher than the cost charged by the Bangkok Metropolitan Electricity Authority. For example, an older-style apartment that costs 12,000 baht per month to rent may cost you anywhere up to 2,000 baht for electricity. A much newer condo, whilst charging a higher rent of say 15,000 baht, may only cost you to 600-900 baht for electricity.
Happy apartment hunting!
The Team at Web Courses Bangkok