- Next Step Realty partnered with TRR to provide seamless apartment hunting.
- The Room Ring (TRR) connects renters looking for roommates through Facebook authentication.
- Once roommates are matched through personal connections or a mutual interest on a room, they begin the process of finding a broker or contacting the landlord.
The Room Ring (TRR) sounds less like a roommate-matching app and more like a term hotel front-desks use to wake people up with a phone call.
Alas, it is the former — but it is a wake-up call for young people searching for likeminded roommates in New York and San Francisco.
“I think that you know finding roommates in New York City is very difficult,” said Blair Brandt, CEO of Next Step Realty. “It’s a city of people that are essentially immigrants. Whether domestic or international, everyone is from somewhere else, and often you don’t move here with people you know. We’ve seen that pain point with our clients consistently.”
TRR and Next Step have aligned themselves to streamline the entire rental process.
If roommates find each other through TRR’s online portal, Next Step Realty is recommended to the user. Conversely, brokers at Next Step recommend TRR to clients looking to share rental costs for affordability.
“We’re trying to really help people from start to finish, which is where the integrated partners come in,” said Lia Wayman, co-founder of TRR.
Developed out of necessity
Wayman was moving from New York to Boston in 2014. During the moving process, she and co-founder Josie Hubschman realized unfortunate norms of having to move quickly: finding an affordable apartment in a new city and filling a leased apartment with new tenant.
“If you have to be living with a roommate, why not make the experience that much more comfortable and easy for them?” Hubschman asked.
The only real roommate searching option other than word of mouth or social media was Craigslist, but they knew something else could be done. After researching various platforms and options, the two friends landed on the concept of Room Ring.
The idea (advancing the technology of real estate) revolves around mutual interests and mutual friends through Facebook. Searching Room Ring’s new portal is free and user-friendly, but the connections happen when authentication through Facebook occurs for the user. This idea reveals first-, second-, or third-degree connections who are likeminded and can be vouched for through closer relations.
Once roommates are matched, whether through personal connections or through a mutual interest on a room, they begin the process of finding a broker or contacting the landlord.
“In New York and San Francisco, if you’re in your 20s, for the most part people cannot afford a one-bedroom,” Hubschman said.
Brandt echoed this sentiment based on his experience in New York.
“A studio/one-bedroom is the most expensive decision, so we definitely like to see people find roommates and go to two-bedrooms,” he said.
The Room Ring is a free service for users and also has partnered with several other homemaking and lifestyle brands.