Built by college students
One major challenge for renters is coming to a common agreement with roommates. Because each person in a group has a different expectation and need when it comes to housing, it’s important that each person is represented in the final decision. With that focus in mind, a group of students from Boston University created the SocialRent Facebook app.
The SocialRent app is all about collaboration between roommates. Once renters and all of their roommates sign up for the app, each can input what they want in a living situation and then each roommate can edit, adjust, and add to it. When it comes to “customizing” the perfect apartment, users can be as specific as need be, including number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, and of course, price.
Roommates or future roommates can then log in and make changes or update information. Once everyone is in agreement, they can proceed to the next step: finding the right apartment for your needs.
When an agreement has been reached, users forward their information on to the SocialRent team, and they do the hard part. They will search for a match. Once they find results close to the users’ specifications, they will send that information to the submitter and even send viewing times for each apartment, so each roommate can check it out before they reach their final decision. This sounds a bit like apartment locating which requires a real estate license, which it appears could be the case with their “partner agencies” that generate results without SocialRent offering the agent the renter’s personal information until they choose which apartments they wish to see.
SocialRent says their main goal is to give renters back the power of finding the right place for the right price. The app lets users do the equivalent of designing their own apartment, and they will do their best to find you a perfect match—within reason, of course. Another problem SocialRent is trying to combat is the outdated apartment listings that are found on Craigslist and other similar sites. Not only are the listings outdated, but usually so is the contact information. That frustration fueled SocialRent.
This easy-to-use Facebook app is just the beginning, however. According to James Zar, one of the co-founders, they are currently working on a roommate-matching app, along with several other improvements and extensions.