A social way to find no-fee apartments and roommates (NYC)

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I have been looking for a socially centered platform like this --- great product
@samir_doshi That means a lot, Sam. Thank you.
Apartment hunting in NYC is an incredibly stressful experience. I am more than grateful for any tools besides Craigslist. Great idea. I can't wait to see this app open up to more regions.
@barihard Couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the comment!
Hey Product Hunt! We built Huthunt to help apartment hunters find their next apartments, and connect with potential roommates all on one social, easy to use platform. A few quick things to note: *There are a variety of different paths to finding a place to call home (specifically in a place like NYC and other urban cities) so we’ve built a product that supports users through their search process regardless of their path. -We support users who have an extra room in their apartment and want to find a roommate to occupy it -We support users who are simply looking for a new place to call home for themselves -We also support users who are looking for an apartment, and a roommate to occupy it with *We offer a “Genie” service (currently 100% free) that matches our users with a real human who works tirelessly to make every one of their wishes our command. We complete their entire search by finding an apartment that matches their preferences, allow them to approve any listings they like, and set up viewing appointments for them. Best of all, there are never any broker fees related to any apartments we suggest. *We make the process of finding an apartment and roommate social. We use a personality algorithm to help you find the best possible match, allow you to get to know all potential roommates via chat on our platform before you have an in person meet up, and have a lot of different social features on our roadmap for the very near future. *Our UI is extremely easy to use, and the Tinder-like interface allows us to simplify an otherwise complicated and time consuming process. You right swipe listings you’re interested in to move them to your favorites, and can communicate with the property manager directly via phone, or email from your favorites screen. You get notifications if any of the listings you’ve liked are no longer available, or if any of the details change at any point. (most notably price) If you have any comments or issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at . Any feedback is always appreciated! (Thanks for hunting us, Eric!!)
@gqrizzy so what are the key things that differentiate this platform from the many our there at the moment? There's a lot of people in this space and they all seem to have similar offerings without a big unique differentiator that makes them stand out.
@bentossell Hey Ben— Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that the market is super crowded (which makes sense because realistically, given the market size we can all coexist) Here’s how we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market: -We curate and verify all listings shown to our users shielding them from a lot of the negative experiences synonymous with looking for a space in urban cities. The apartment search process is challenging enough, so we try to ease the process for our users. -There are a lot of companies that tackle one of the two problems we’re trying to solve really well. Some are awesome at the roommate matching piece, and others are great at the listing piece, but to the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any companies that have been particularly successful at consolidating the two pieces into one product. (feel free to correct me here) We think the two processes should be looped, and we think we’ll be able to successfully do that. -The social element of our product will be extremely important for us going forward. After all, looking for an apartment or a roommate really is a social experience. (I personally wouldn’t move into an apartment that a friend, colleague or someone of significance to me didn’t give a second opinion on) There are a lot of really exciting social features on our roadmap for the coming weeks and months,we hope to differentiate ourselves more and more as we start to roll those out. -We save our users tons of money. The average broker fee in NYC is between one month of rent and 15% of ones annual rent, so with every successful apartment match we save our users roughly $4,000. In a nutshell, of course differentiation is important (it makes no sense to make a product that already exists) but we believe there’s a big enough opportunity in this space for us to claim a solid chunk of the market.
I'll never understand those mobile-first applications. I will certainly never look for an apt on my phone.
@_lr_ Thanks for the comment Laurent-- That's a fair critique (to each his own, of course) I'm sure you're probably aware, but it was reported in 2012 that roughly 52% of Americans search for real estate using the internet. (willing to bet that number has grown) Given the stats of mobile web users in the US vs. Desktop web users, we thought starting with mobile was a smart bet. Additionally, we actually service close to 30% our users through our genie service (which anyone is able to use via our website) Happy to hear any other thoughts you have on the matter. Thanks again for the comment!
@gqrizzy "52% of Americans search for real estate using the internet." That I agree, and I also I think it's more. But taking the mobile stats and applying it to guess the number of people looking for apt on their mobile might be a little too simple, when I look for an apt, I check the address, the subways, I write emails, I use a lot of filters, ... All those are really hard to do on mobile and I'm way more effective on a computer. But maybe it's just me.I usually don't bother installing those mobile only services, too many friction (install, register on mobile), and I feel those services are loosing a lot of potential users by going mobile 1st. Anyway, you certainly have way more information than I do to make this kind of call, so good luck!
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