Anyone who has lived in New York, knows the hassle and stress of finding an apartment that fits within their budgets and has enough space to live in. New startup Naked Apartments attempts to ease the process by being a sort of Match.com for renters and landlords and apartment brokers. The site matches qualified renters with brokers and landlords, automating the process of finding an apartments that meet renters’ search criteria.
Here’s how it works. Renters sign up, creating anonymous profiles that feature key statistics such as annual income, desired monthly rent, their desired apartment size, location and move-in date. Naked Apartments will also supplement that information with a free credit check, which means that the completed profile includes a renter’s credit score range. Brokers and landlords can get access to the anonymous profiles and choose to contact the renters that meet their financial requirements and have matching interests in their rental properties.
The catch is that brokers and landlords have to buy credits in order to contact each renter. Landlords pay $2 to contact a renter. Once a brokers contact renters with their rental properties, renters can choose whom to exchange contact information with and which apartments to see. The idea is that after renters work with a broker or landlord, they write reviews of their experience, helping other renters know which brokers and landlords to trust and how to navigate the waters
Naked Apartments also allows renters to take a more active approach and browse its listings database. Similar to Craigslist, the site allows renters to contact brokers and landlords to find out more about the property. Since the site’s launch, 2000 renters have found apartments through the system, through 100 brokers and landlords. Currently, Naked Apartments lists 13,000 apartments for rent.
The idea of Naked Apartments is compelling but like many rental listings sites out there, it will face strong competition from Craigslist. And Zillow, which catered to home sales previously, is now offering rental listings.