Apartment List understands that the quest for a roommate is a lot like trying to find a significant other, so it took a page out of dating apps’ playbooks with its new Roommates app for iPhone and Android.
Roommates, which is available first in Boston, LA, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, first draws from your Facebook account to build a profile and then users can add specific neighborhoods and a monthly budget. Similar to dating app Tinder, roommate seekers then tap their way through others’ profiles, which will note if they have any mutual friends. Once two users have expressed interest in each other, they’re matched up and connected via chat.
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Apartment List CEO John Kobs said in an interview that the goal of the app is to establish a foundation of “trust and transparency” for roommates. The company, which recently passed 1.2 million renters on its apartment hunting site, performed its own tests in searching for a roommate on Craigslist and found that just 5 percent of inquiries received a response.
Daily active users of earlier versions of the app rated about 40 profiles on average.
The app is free and lacks any monetization scheme, so Apartment List is hoping that roommates will turn to its site, which draws commission from sponsored communities, when they start looking for a place.
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