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7 Ways Renter Technology Will Improve Your Life

With 33 percent of the country renting their homes, smart companies are improving the quality of life with renter technology. But fear not homeowners- if you’re one of the 67 percent locked into a 15 or 30 year mortgage, some of these apps and tips could prove to be just as useful to you.

Between finding the perfect place, splitting bills amongst roommates and getting to know the best slice of pizza within walking distance—any figurative cup-of-sugar offered can help renters feel like their semi-permanent, leased space is a home.

Described below are a variety of apps and sites that will improve your life, and your rental experience.

  1. Finding the (rental) home of your dreams – Sites like PadMapper and Realtor turn apartment hunting into a precision-style sport. Realtor is frequently updated, so you’re not spinning your wheels contacting apartments that have been leased. The downside? It only lists apartments that realtors represent, which could mean a finder’s fee may be necessary.

If you’d rather go straight to the source, PadMapper combines lists from eight major sources. Red flags are spotted all over a Google map, which allows you to search by neighborhood right down to your favorite street, block or coffee shop. As you scroll over the listings basic information for each place pops up and you can follow a link straight to the original posting. The best PadMapper feature is the option to filter your search. Tailor your search by price, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

  1. Bill-sharing – If you have roommates, you know what an uncomfortable experience dealing with divvying up monthly bills can be, especially if one person usually finds a way of cleverly dodging their share. Let an app keep the paper trail for you. SplitWise connects users who want to organize bills and other shared expenses. The interface is easy-to-use, and allows you to pay off your debt instantly by connecting with PayPal or Venmo.
  2. Getting to know your new neighborhood – In Mr. Roger’s idyllic neighborhood, everyone already knew each other so meeting people and getting the lay of the land was easy. But these days a new neighborhood can be more difficult to navigate.

NextDoor is a hyper-local message board that allows users to send message blasts to their community about anything: lost pets, events, crime reports, restaurant recommendations and much more. The site is user-generated so if your neighborhood hasn’t drummed up many active participants yet, the app can access your contacts. You can invite friends and neighbors to join as soon as you sign up.

  1. Eats – Stack up points and earn free meals while you get to know your new neighborhood’s bars and restaurants with OpenTable. Check out the ambience, menu, and price before you make your reservation.
  2. Do-it-yourself repairs and design – Landlords are notoriously slow to make repairs, and your lease may leave some of the responsibility on you. Sites like BrightNest tailor home-improvement projects and tasks to your needs. By filtering the types of rooms in your house and interests, the app will suggest projects and tasks that can beautify, clean and simply repair your living space.
  3. Don’t do-it-yourself – Sometimes doing-it-yourself means outsourcing-it-yourself. For those jobs you simply don’t want to do or just can’t seem to figure out, try TaskRabbit. Whether you need a major, deep cleaning, or your new IKEA furniture assembled, just post the task along with your price and watch as the bids come in. Before you know it, your rental will start to feel more like home.
  4. Decorate a bit – If you love art, but are living on a shoe-string budget, ARTtwo50 provides authentic, one-of-a-kind art that will make your space uniquely your own. Simply snap a photo of the wall you’re looking to decorate in your home and scroll through a huge variety of original and classic styles to try on for size.

By using these seven apps, renting a property can become more efficient. Modern technology can be of use to homeowners and renters alike. Your renting experience should not feel like a temporary living situation, it should feel like a home.

For more information on renter technology and real estate, please contact the attorneys at Elzufon Austin Tarlov & Mondell.

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