New apps simplify apartment search, help renters woo landlords

Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:03pm EDT
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By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) - In a property market where decent rentals can be in short supply, mobile apps could give apartment hunters an advantage in a competitive search.

Lovely, an iPhone app, notifies apartment hunters when a listing is posted that matches their desired neighborhood and price point. It also lets potential renters attach information about their income, credit score and desired move-in date.

Blake Pierson, the CEO of the San-Francisco-based company Lovely, said the app gives users a chance to stand out in a competitive rental market.

"It's about conveying to the landlord what makes you special, what are the reasons they want to rent the apartment to you," said Pierson.

Applicants can attach the information to inquiries to landlords and can also add a photograph and reference to their profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn profile.

Pierson said Lovely aims to make the rental process more transparent and to give more control to renters.

"It's just such a black box that creates a lot of frustration. Renters might send out ten messages to people online and have no idea whether someone is going to respond," he explained.

Pierson said the app is useful for apartment hunters and landlords who can be inundated with applicants.   Continued...