Use Facebook to help you find the perfect rental property

Use Facebook to help you find the perfect rental property

Facebook is increasingly used as a sounding board for people to get some opinions from their group of friends. They might ask about a great Thai chicken recipe or for thoughts on the benefits and disadvantages of moving to a certain neighborhood. It’s a great way to discover who you really are and what interests you.

For those who are looking for a place to rent, it can be difficult to find a spot that best matches their particular needs. Can you walk in this neighborhood and feel safe? Are there activities nearby that interest you? Utilizing Facebook can help you find your ideal rental based upon other’s lifestyle information.


Do

Do explore your neighborhood fully

Use an advanced rental search site to look at crime data, walkability, and a host of other factors. Don’t have kids? Living in a good school district can be a predictor of a solid and safe neighborhood, so consider all of the data before you make a rental decision. Have an active Golden Retriever? Then you need to include pet-friendly options.

Do leverage the built-in demographic data found on Facebook

You have created a lot of interesting data through years of using Facebook, so put that information to work by helping you find the best rental. Allowing a site to securely and anonymously use your data is much easier than manually typing in different criteria. Technology is smart, and might be able to match you with an area that you wouldn’t have previously considered.

Do use a service that keeps your data anonymous

You don’t want to disclose when you are moving and where, even though your audience is all of your friends. It’s easy for people to make inferences about what you are doing, and using the right search platform that safeguard your information means you get personal recommendations while maintaining a certain sense of privacy.

Do look closely at school data

Advanced rental sites will include school ranking information, which is crucial for parents who want to find the best education for their little ones. For many renters, they might sacrifice some other benefits for the sake of a good school. It’s also important to look towards the future. If your child is in fourth grade, then you should check reviews for the middle and high school options.

Do locate other Facebook friends that live near your desired rental location

Sites can show you on a map the location your Facebook friends who can provide you with thoughts on your selected neighborhood. Reach out to your friends and ask them how they like the location.
 


Don't

Do not pick a rental location blindly

Take your time and use information to narrow down your search. Consider the things you like to do recreationally. If you need fresh air and a good walk, then search for local parks. Do you crave good food? Look for a restaurant row nearby or other collection of well-reviewed eating spots.

Do not neglect the rental company’s reputation

The beauty of the Internet is bad service and poor business practices are often captured online. Do some searches on your building’s rental company to see if they have a rash of complaints against them. Finding very few reviews isn’t a red flag necessarily, as people will typically only post a review/comment when something goes wrong.

Do not conduct transactions through Facebook

To set up schedules to see apartments or homes, don’t use Facebook. You want to keep your financial information separate, and also don’t need to broadcast your new address to a large audience. Facebook will likely evolve to be a transaction hub, but for now take it offline.

Do not forget about public transportation

If you consistently ride the bus or train, then pay attention to how convenient these option will be at your new location. You don’t want to live next to the train tracks, but you want it to be close enough so getting to work is not an unreasonable journey.
 

Do not ignore broader demographic data

Look at your selected area’s demographic data to see if it fits within what you want in a neighborhood. Review crime information to gauge the risks of property threat or physical violence.


Summary
Jumping cartoon

A significant shift is occurring with how people are using Facebook to give them more personalized user experiences. They are already sharing details about their daily lives, so the next logical step is to let companies use their aggregated data to help them find the best things that fit their needs. Using Facebook data to guide the home or apartment rental decision is a great way to narrow down what can be a nerve-wracking and time-consuming experience.


More expert advice about Renting Real Estate

Photo Credits: © Sergey Peterman - Fotolia.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Nitin ShingateCEO

Nitin Shingate is the CEO and co-founder of RentalRoost, as well as the co-founder of GrayRoost Real Estate. Prior to RentalRoost, he was a distinguished technologist with experience building scalable platforms that leverage open source systems ...

View Full Profile