If you’re over the age of 35, when you think back to when you rented an apartment, you probably have memories of a long, tedious process.
You spent countless hours searching classified ads, driving around looking for the ever elusive “For Rent” sign in a desired area, and making phone calls to real estate agents and landlords to schedule tours of potential rentals. However, thanks to technological advancements that have hit the apartment market recently, the days of this time-consuming, frustrating process are behind us.
The future of renting
Technology is changing every aspect of the rental process, and this includes searching for, leasing, and even touring apartments. Smartphones have changed the way we live, and it’s no surprise that it’s affecting how people are conducting their apartment searches.
Mobile apps, such as Oliver, Rezi, and Zumper are catering to our on-demand society. There is an ever-growing desire for instant gratification in today’s tech-savvy world, and these mobile apps are allowing renters to schedule multiple apartment showings at the touch of a button. Gone are the days of calling landlords and brokers. A process that used to feel like a 9-to-5 desk job is now more of a 24/7 shopping experience that can be done from just about anywhere, at any time.
Tour your next apartment from just about anywhere
While mobile apps are changing how we search for apartments, virtual reality is changing the game when it comes to touring them. New technology developed by Apartments.com is giving prospective tenants the ability to tour multiple apartments without ever setting foot into the actual property.2 This type of technology finally puts the renter in-charge of the showing experience. Prospective renters can take a tour when it works best with their schedule. For a workforce family, it may be at 9:00 p.m. after they’ve put their children to bed, or for a tech-savvy Millennial, it may be 7:30 a.m. while they’re riding the bus to work.
Additionally, it’s providing proof that renters are not just getting the “best” view from traditional photos. Many career changers have the nerve-racking task of choosing apartments sight unseen when relocating to a new city. However, this new virtual reality technology gives them the experience of walking around any part of an apartment as if they are physically there.
Look for even more technology to come
It’s no secret that the apartment industry has been slow to embrace technological upgrades. However, as the homeownership rate continues to fall and more people look to renting an apartment to fit their lifestyles, look for the flurry of technological development to continue.3 Leasing agencies will be looking to capture more renters, especially Millennials. Millennials, the largest demographic in the U.S., are in their prime renting years, and are a tech-savvy generation.4 As their wants and needs evolve, so will the technology.
Apartments are a growing part of American culture. Solutions for making the apartment hunting process even easier are overdue. There’s a big audience out there just waiting for the next “Uber” or “Venmo” to show up in the apartment tech sector, and at the rate that technology is evolving, it may not be all that far away.