As rent prices continue to rise, living with a roommate is a growing reality for most. But instead of scouring Craigslist or relying on friends and family to connect renters with a potentially suitable roommate, apps like Sumu hope to take some of the surprise and uncertainty out of the equation.

As rent prices continue to rise, living with a roommate is a growing reality for most.

But instead of scouring Craigslist or relying on friends and family to connect renters with a potentially suitable roommate, apps like Sumu hope to take some of the surprise and uncertainty out of the equation.

The beta version of Sumu launched June 7 (just two days prior to the Roomi launch available to New York City renters) with Boston as the target market — although anyone in the world is able to make an account. So far, the majority of the users signed up have been women.

Sumu Process

Sumu process

Founders Daniel Tewfik and Ethan Setnik came up with the idea purely to help renters stray from the Craigslist roommate hunting that can be less than appealing for many. In hopes of bringing more transparency to the market, Sumu cuts out the awkward and uncomfortable situation of setting up a time to meet with a potential roommate.

Users create profiles as either a seeker or a poster that include photos and bits of information about themselves, like whether you’re a night owl or an early starter. People looking for roommates can also post listings with images of their unit, the price point, move-in and -out dates, and any specific amenities and features that could be helpful in the decision-making process, such as a place that has exposed brick, is pet-friendly, has a gym or fitness center, has air conditioning or cable, or allows online rent payment.

Sumu Apartment Profile

Sumu apartment profile

Those looking for apartments can find the most ideal spot for their personality and lifestyle, as well as the most compatible roommate. All listings are verified to be real and accurate, and all potential roommates are screened to ensure everyone using Sumu feels safe with the process.

The app works for desktops with mobile usability right now, but mobile apps for both Android and iOS are expected to launch soon. In the first month of the app’s availability, about 300 apps were created and 30 posts were added.

Although it’s a lofty goal, Tewfik said he hopes to see 250 posts a day, a figure similar to roommate-search posts on Craigslist.

The founders hope to continue to roll out new features and updates regularly to improve the experience on the website, including the ability to sign up through a third-party social media platform so users can learn even more about their potential future roommates.

Email Kimberly Manning.


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