Renting an apartment sucks.
In the fifteen years I’ve lived in New York I’ve moved about eight times. And it was always a hassle.
The application process; the fear of not knowing whether I’d be accepted by the landlords (NYC living is cutthroat); the inability to square my expectations of the palace in the sky I wanted with the reality of the hovel I knew I’d eventually be living in… it all conspired to make life far more stressful than it needed to be.
If you’ve ever rented a place, then I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Well, folks… now there’s a solution for all of us.
HomeMe, launching today in the app store, is a new mobile app that flips the script on the rental market.
Co-founded serial entrepreneur and executive heavyweight Mark Douglas — a co-founder of the company who previously served as the chief technology officer of eHarmony and the Rubicon Project; was one of the founding members of the Oracle Applications Division; and is also the current chief executive of the hundred-million dollar per-year ad-tech gorilla SteelHouse (dude is baller) — HomeMe allows you to enter your information and then only shows you apartments that you’re pre-qualified to rent.
What’s more… it’s free for renters.
It’s a genius idea, and frankly, I’m not sure why anyone hasn’t done it before.
The app prompts you to enter information so that it can review your financial — and rental history. It’s the usual things like annual income, credit rating, background and recent rental history, then it cross-references that with the criteria of the property listings the company has on offer. The app then only matches renters with the listings that they’re actually able to rent.
Unfortunately for all you East and West Coast would-be apartment hunters, the Los Angeles based company is only offering its services in Texas: initially in Dallas and Houston with Austin not far behind.
But as soon as this thing hits the coasts, I really don’t think there’s anything that could stop this app from being a huge hit.
I’m not even looking to move and I’m tempted to play around on it to see just what I can get.
And lest you doubters start in with criticisms about the ability of a hardened, ex-Oracle techie to make a dent in the wild world of residential real estate, you should know that Douglas’ co-founder is a longtime real estate professional.
Lindsey Holland, who’s Douglas’ co-founder, previously worked at American Campus Communities, which builds, develops, and manages residential housing for colleges and universities. While there, she oversaw operations for student housing developments including a $350 million student housing project.
“HomeMe is making the rental process faster and more convenient for renters and apartment management companies by allowing renters to easily browse listings, book appointments and reserve an apartment that they are approved to rent from their mobile phone,” said Douglas, in a statement. “We’ve equipped the app with a real-time database of available apartments that will only include pre-approved listings for renters.”