When I was a kid, I would hear about people that 'run in different circles' than others. It wasn't something I thought about much at any stage of my life. Growing up, my mind didn't sort things to an 'us v them' situation.
Even after I moved to NZ, I never thought of it much. We lived in 'town' or close to 'town' and did our shopping and business there. We found rentals from the local agencies with little problem.
Then the housing market went crazy a couple of years ago. Houses and rentals got totally out of hand. In fact, the one house down the road from us now--just a section on a farm paddock--sold for almost a million dollars a while back. Yes, you read that right, almost a million dollars.
When we house-sat about two years ago or so, it was mostly because rental prices had jumped practically overnight to $300 a WEEK for a run-down, moldy house, more than most of us renters could really afford (we had previously been paying $170 a week for a definitely not perfect house). But they all rented because people needed a place to live and there were few to choose from.
Through word of mouth from a work acquaintance of a friend of a friend, we found the house we are now in, a lovely established home and garden of most of an acre. It's hard to believe it's been almost two years. But now we must leave as it's needed for new farm workers.
And that's when we realized we had fallen onto the 'farmers' side of the fence. Instead of looking at the rental agencies in town, we posted on FB notice boards (mostly rural) and got some astounding responses that would never have been listed at the agencies. Farmers here know each other well and we just have to mention the name of the farm for other famers to know exactly who/where we are. It's early days yet in looking, and even the present house owners are looking out for a place for us to rent.
We found one house by word-of-mouth and hopefully, we will find a very long-term house the same way.