Zach Martino - Stepping aside from the technical side of native apps and the market (check out the full report in Sumu’s 2016 Housing Report), we want to talk about an essential part of renting a little further down the road from the initial use of one of those platforms.

Apartment viewing has always been an essential part of the hunt and for a long time, it’s been a relatively uniform experience. It hasn’t been until recently there has been some variety in the way that people view apartments. Technology has even made it possible for viewing without being in the apartment at all. Our renters had something to say about their experiences and the system as a whole.

Key Findings

  • Apartments hunters felt it was too difficult coordinating a viewing and specifically, synching up calendars with multiple partners
  • There was this feeling if they weren’t able to see the property in person there could be something hiding they wouldn’t know of
  • Reminders were the most important component to scheduling showings

Our focus groups held at Sumu HQ Viewing came down mainly to understanding and flexibility among our renters. First of all, viewing was overwhelmingly seen as a hassle. Apartments hunters felt it was too difficult coordinating a viewing and specifically, synching up calendars with multiple partners. The whole process was too complicated to them and they also felt a lack of transparency with some of the other parties.

Another thing becoming increasingly more common with viewing today is the use of viewing technology such as Skype or VR. This was something that our respondents did not like. There was this feeling if they weren’t able to see the property in person there could be something hiding they wouldn’t know of. Our renters thought a virtual experience as “awkward”, however in a sublet scenario, the peer-to-peer relationship could remedy an awkward situation.

We also asked our renters what they would do to improve viewing as a whole. As for coordinating viewing, they suggested using a synchronized calendar in the way that many businesses do. The ideal platform would integrate all calendars and have slots and reminders available. Reminders were the most important component to schedule showings. Just like a google calendar will do, people want reminders for the viewings to accommodate their busy lives.

We explored that topic and much more in our last post, and if you’re interested in learning more, check out the full report in Sumu’s 2016 Housing Report.

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