Renting an apartment — Decision Puzzle 03

Emre Soyer
2 min readDec 1, 2021


Decision Puzzles are based on real events, where a critical decision is required without prior preparation. There may be various solutions depending on the situation and the decision maker. What would be yours?

Renting an apartment — SOYER Decision Advisory

It’s Friday. Your classes at the university will start on Monday.

You came into the city a week ago and have been staying in a hotel. You’ll live in the town for a year during your degree program and can’t simply stay in a hotel or Airbnb. Your visa has been approved only a couple of weeks ago, so you didn’t have much time to look for an accommodation.

Your attempts to rent a house prior and then after your arrival were unsuccessful. You tried different methods, including working with agencies and even calling a friend living in a nearby city, all without any viable result.

There are many other students looking for a place to stay these days, making the market saturated. You did see a few alternatives, but they were either too big, too small, too expensive, or too far from the university. You’d also prefer not paying a large commission to an agency for only one year of stay.

It’s now 4 o'clock in the afternoon. You entered the student support office of the university as a last resort. Your acceptance documents say that they could help you with accommodation if nothing else works. After waiting for one and a half hours in a queue, the person in charge directed you to a large bulletin board in the hallway.

You had seen the board when you first arrived. There are always several people in front of it. It’s full of ads either by people who are renting a room/house, or by people who are looking for one. It’s quite messy and many ads have already expired: when you call, they say that the place was already rented.

You walk toward the end of the corridor and sit by the window. What else could you do to find an accommodation given these conditions?

What would be a wise decision?



Emre Soyer

behavioral scientist, co-author of The Myth of Experience