Looking for an apartment is usually pretty simple: you go on Craigslist, find three apartments that look like they’ve been used to chop up beeves, and then move in with your buddy whose roommate made meth in the basement. At least that’s how it worked for me a few years ago. Now, however, you have stuff like RentSocial.
RentSocial is the front end for Yield Technologies property management systems. Yield, for example, makes a product called RentSentinel for property managers to handle renter rolls for large buildings. By plugging into this existing install base, Yield has been able to create a rental research site with real-time updates from each apartment complex, thereby allowing you to find other people who live in a complex you’re looking at or, barring that, read reviews of places people have lived.
This, in turn, allows considerably more control over your house-hunting. You can find apartments based on good reviews and star ratings and you can share the apartments with friends. You can also create a private “conversation” about a particular building, thereby allowing your parents and friends to get in on the hunting action.
RentSocial launched today and is already connected to over 5,000 rental properties across the country (and soon in Canada). Even if you don’t feel like sharing your apartment hunt with your friends, you have to admit their strategy of selling both B2B and B2C is pretty ingenious. I spoke with Eric Broughton and Andy Hamilton, both of Yield, about their new product and how hard it is to find an apartment without rats.