Searching for an apartment can be a hassle. There's no two ways about that. There are so many things you have to consider when looking for a temporary home: price, location, size, amenities, safety ratings, and so much more.
Then there's the actual trekking around and looking at the all the options. But now we practically live on the Internet and with social media; and those resources can do some of the work for you. Here are five examples of social media sites that can assist your search.
1. Naked Apartments
This isn't a social media site for nudists (though that could be fun!). This is supposed to give apartment hunters a true view of apartments without the muss, fuss, and sales pitch.
Users log on through Facebook (or by creating a manual account) and are able to rate and review brokers and locations. Users can also search for new apartments and refine the search as needed. Among the criteria are things I mentioned earlier, such as price, location, size, and so on.
At first glance, I thought this might be a hook-up site for couch-surfing. However, Crashpad is a site that will match you with an apartment and a roommate.
It's like a dating profile for roommates: you talk about yourself and what you're looking for, and it pulls up your best match. Exactly like a dating site!
It also filters matching apartments that fit your criteria for the new pad. I would suggest, if at all possible, going out for coffee or dinner with the potential roommate in order to properly vet the person and make sure you get no "serial killer" vibe.
It's important to remember that apartments don't exist in a vacuum, and many renters are understandably concerned about what goes on around where they live.
What do I mean by this? Trulia gives you local crime statistics, school ratings, and market trends, as well having "What's Up" and "Local Listing" sections. This site saves the apartment hunter a lot of research time because it compiles all the facts.
Some people don't factor in these "outside" statistics, but they're absolutely crucial. The place might look nice but if there's a high rate of break-ins or car thefts on the block, that's probably not a place you want to live.
If you have kids, schools are going to a primary concern, and although an apartment might be a temporary place to live, you don't want to be sending your kids to awful schools in the meantime.
4. Rent Social
This is essentially a Pinterest for apartments. It is very similar in aesthetic to the online pin-board and it's a great tool to help apartment hunters keep track of their choices.
The interface lets users set up folders by search criteria and even allows folders to be shared, so potential roommates can compare notes directly on the site. The folders and posts can also be shared through common social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As its title would suggest, this social network site includes a map. When you're on the hunt to rent apartments, it plots your potential choices on an interactive map that helps you plan your route when you're going on all-important site visits.
The app spits out email alerts to you and your potential roomies by the hour or by the day (you can set it to whichever you prefer). Another really cool feature is that you can add in your contact information, so users that have searched and liked the same places as you can contact you directly.