Apartment Renting Apps: The Next Big Step?

real estate, real estate technology  /   /  By Tracy

The days of searching for an apartment while being tied to a home or office based computer have disappeared. Welcome to the world of the apartment renting app!

The first mobile apps were just a smaller version of their desktop sites, providing listings but lacking real functionality. But as time went on, input from a variety of sources helped to guide these app builders into providing the options to truly assist potential renters.

The most popular apartment searching sites have created mobile apps for a variety of tablets and smartphones. These apps give the user freedom to walk the neighborhood, while providing a first-hand look at what rentals are available. Map features give the prospective renter the opportunity to target a preferred location or neighborhood within a city or suburban area. They offer the user the ability to mark favorites or take video tours. Some apps have also given the user the ability to format a list based on the length of their commute.

By using these different functions, a potential renter can define specific parameters for their search, while getting familiar with the perks of a prospective neighborhood.

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Depending on a user’s location, some apps can also provide up to the minute information. One apartment renting app, called the MOVEMENT, is currently focused on New York City. This particular app has brokers uploading information directly into it. Thus the app can use its geo-tracking function to verify that the broker is close to the apartment’s location, particularly if a broker wants to show the space that day.

For potential renters, stopping into a traditional office to complete an application or paperwork is disappearing. Online applications are another wave of the future. As a result, apartment renting apps are laying the groundwork for a potential renter to begin the process before they even reach the complex.

One such app is Lovely! Apartments and Houses for Rent, which features map functions and entries updated in real time. Additionally, a Rental Card feature allows a potential renter to give basic information about themselves to a potential landlord before visiting a property. The app description states the Rental Card will make a potential renter “stand out from the crowd.” Lovely! also offers the ability to contact agents and landlords right from the app. As this apartment renting app suggests, renters want the functionality of their desktop search engine on their mobile device as they cruise through a prospective neighborhood.

For many potential renters, the key is continual updates from apartment renting app’s data source

For many, the frustration of any app or search engine is out of date information, which can turn any potential renter off. Another turnoff is a limited pool of available rental options listed in the app. Potential renters are looking for apartment renting apps tapping into databases that offer the largest number of options. Thus, a potential renter may be willing to forgo a few filters or features in exchange for a large pool of accurate and up to date listings.

For potential renters, apartment renting apps have become the next wave in apartment hunting, but it is important to remember that their overall capability is still growing to the apartment hunter’s needs.

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