The current options for sourcing a quality furnished home for a few months simply do not allow a tenant to discover and book a home online in a few minutes. Many platforms allow real estate professionals and tenants to search for a home, but they don’t offer the ability to book the home online—and none of them specialize in monthly apartments or homes.
Finding a temporary home for a client relocating from a different city continues to be a challenge, and sometimes, a nightmare, as the available options are mostly offline.
Take Josh for example. A REALTOR® in Los Angeles who needed a temporary home for a family he helped purchase a house in Hollywood Hills, Josh had to make about 30 calls and exchange about 40 emails to find his client the perfect home with all the relevant amenities for a three-month stay. The amount of work Josh had to put in to find a home with a washer and dryer required him to send multiple emails to landlords to request the information and then await responses.
Technology holds the key for a global transient population seeking such turnkey housing, as technology is empowering landlords and property managers who are offering furnished rentals to bring such inventory online and be discoverable. Tenants with short-term housing needs are increasingly discovering such online platforms as they seek alternatives to hotels and the traditional cookie-cutter corporate housing options.
Some technology companies have created solutions to reduce the friction associated with sourcing and booking a home online. The websites created by these technology companies are offering a 21st century solution to an age-old problem by innovating and automating the administrative component of the search and discovery process, followed by online booking engines. For example, websites allow you to filter options by setting important parameters such as price, parking, pets, apartment size, appliances and amenities, to name a few.
Trusted marketplaces will be the winners in the future as such housing is commoditized and quality standards are established to provide tenants with a hotel-like experience in a home. Full price transparency and establishing trust in such marketplaces are already underway as operators take the initiative to verify each home listed online to capture every microscopic detail about a home your client will be occupying temporarily. The advent of such marketplaces is truly a win for all stakeholders involved, and learning how to leverage such marketplaces to service clients will make some real estate professionals stand out when offering temporary housing options to clients in between home sales or for those who are relocating.
Manu Bhagatjee is the founder and CEO of HouseStay. For more information, please visit www.housestay.com.