Entrepreneur

New apartment rental marketplace lets hunters search for shelter in packs

Finding a desirable long-term living situation is the Holy Grail of life as a young urbanite. Friendships have fallen apart over conflicting cleanliness habits, and coveted apartments with hardwood floors and high ceilings can easily be tainted by the creepy master tenant you are subletting from.

RoomHunt is launching today to not only simplify finding a place to live, but also finding people to live with. It is a website that aggregates rental listings from various sources and connects them with social networks. Those looking for a home select the neighborhood and number of bedrooms they desire, and the listings are automatically filtered by lowest to highest by bedroom price. From a listing, there is a “Find Roommate” button that notifies their social network that they are looking.

“We are creating the Airbnb for long term rentals,” said CEO David Weisburg. “Moving into a new city is very difficult both economically and psychologically.  RoomHunt’s mission is to make that process frictionless, affordable, and fun.”

Weisburg was inspired to start RoomHunt after moving to San Francisco and facing the frustrating and seemingly impossible task of renting an apartment. Rental sites like Craigslist, Zillow, Zumper, Padmapper, Trulia, and Rent.com can be overwhelming. By aggregating all the listings into one marketplace, RoomHunt attempts to offer a meta-solution (like Kayak), that puts all the relevant information in one place.

When I first started searching for a rental in San Francisco, I could not afford a one or two bedroom apartment. Unfortunately, I only had one friend to look with (sad, I know), and we were hesitant to check out three or four bedrooms without knowing who would be living in the other rooms. The roommate finder feature makes it easier to form a cabal to embark upon the hunt together.

This is also appealing to landlords and property managers that want qualified, responsible tenants.

As of today, RoomHunt is only active in San Francisco’s 37 neighborhoods, but has plans for national expansion. At the time of publishing, the site was down. However, in a statement, Weisburd describes it as “a visually-pleasing site featuring photos of hundreds of beautiful properties in every price range.”

So far, the two founders have raised $85,000 and said $25,000 is “hard committed.” Angel investors include Alex Roasti, Errik Anderson and Randy Brunson. RoomHunt is based in the SoMA area of San Francisco.


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