Let’s face it. Apartment hunting is one of the most miserable things in existence. Sure, if you’re filthy rich the problems may not seem as dire, but for the average person finding a place to live means tons and tons of work and time.
One of the worst parts of finding a place to live in NYC is dealing with brokers and landlords. On top of every other detail, renters have to worry about getting ripped off by fast talkers, pushing their budgets to the limit. I can’t trust these people to charge me a fair price and the whole situation could use some damned transparency for once.
Well, it turns out this tool exists after all. Going by the name of RentHackr, this site bypasses landlords and brokers altogether so anyone can find out how much people are actually paying in at any given apartment building. The recipe, so it seems, is to crowd source the whole thing.
To start using RentHackr, sign in with your Facebook account, submit your monthly rent and your address (this is all anonymous). Then, you can optionally add extra information, like saying if you’re planning on staying or leaving after your lease.
After that, you’re presented with a map of your city and the cost of apartments in every neighborhood (*Note: This is new, so it may be in your city yet*). Once I saw this, I got the magic. I now have real, transparent information to keep close by whenever I move. This way, I’ll know if I’m about to be royally screwed, or if I’m getting a deal.
On top of that, some users told the site if and when they are planning on leaving their apartment. This gives renters immediate insight on what’s available, even before it’s ever listed by landlords.
From the creators:
The apartment rental experience is broken. Let’s fix it. With RentHackr, you’ll see how much apartments are currently rented for, use tools to discover + track your best apartments and see ahead of time what apartments will be available.
The site is already growing in NYC, but the best results have yet to come, because the more people who join, the better the system works. It genuinely makes sense to cut everyone else out of the equation. Just one renter sharing with another, bringing transparency to the hell that is apartment hunting.