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The rental industry is slowly becoming saturated with technology platforms to make the process of finding an apartment, finding a roommate and paying bills much easier. Especially for renters living in areas of the country with incredible demand and low inventory — like New York and San Francisco — platforms to help find a roommate to ease financial struggles are increasingly sophisticated.
Platforms like Room.me use similar algorithms to that of dating sites, determining people’s specific lifestyle, likes and dislikes and overall personality traits to pair individuals together for a comfortable and even pleasant living situation.
Launching in San Francisco July 14, Room.me was founded by Max Kersting about a year ago and has an office in Berlin. Born in the United States and raised in Germany, Kersting has worked in cities throughout the world and he found one thing to be true no matter where you live: It’s hard to find a compatible roommate.
Kersting and his friends Felix Glaser, CPO, and Wilko Kunert, CTO, went through an international accelerator program in Berlin. Since traveling back and forth between California and Germany, Kersting and his team determined there was a strong need in San Francisco in particular for a roommate search engine like this one.
“We really focus on this market that we think we can have a real impact on by encouraging people to allocate space in a more meaningful way. An easier way,” he said.
But Room.me isn’t just a way for roommates to find another individual who will pay part of the monthly rent and pick up after themselves; the team is also finding meaningful ways to bring this type of software to property managers and landlords.
The company is currently building a feature specifically for landlords and property management groups, although they could not release information about when it will be available.
However, Kersting says there is a huge demand for smaller apartments, but it’s more challenging to find tenants those two- to three-bedroom homes and apartments. The Room.me extension for landlords would help them fill a larger space with people who are willing to move in with individuals with whom they are compatible, but who they may not actually know.
“There is a huge demand from property management groups for us to provide extra trust, verification and maybe even payment features and credit checks to help them allocate their free space to multiple people who will share it,” he said.
Room.me plans to launch a smartphone application in the next two weeks.
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