If people can swipe their way through Tinder in search of a playmate, why are they not able to do so when looking for a housemate? Two Dutch brothers who until recently were students themselves decided it was time to change this. Therefore Sebastiaan Smits (27, graduated in engineering management) and Viktor Smits (24, graduated in real estate studies) have launched their startup RoomEasy with a handy app by the same name.
Like, Match, Move in
The founders chose to launch their product as an app as it is easy and quick: students can use the app on the go and do not require a laptop to use RoomEasy. If students see a great room pop up on the app, all they have to do is press like. If the landlord or housemate thinks the applicant is a suitable candidate they will be a match. The potential housemates-to-be can then start a private chat and plan an inspection. For the landlords this eliminates the process of lengthy inspections and getting-to-know-you sessions with countless eager renters.
“A must-have for all students”
The app will be linked to each user’s facebook-account, so anyone can see straight away who they’d move in with, effectively preventing any single white female situations. It also enables users to see if they have any friends in common with their prospective tenant or housemate. RoomEasy emphasizes that no other housing app has this functionality yet. Therefore they consider their product “a must-have for all students”.
The app itself is free, and searching for rooms on the app is free as well. Students with a room on offer get ten credits for free and then start buying credits, starting from 10 credits for 4,99 €uro. The app has been available through the Google Play Store and the Appstore for a little while but the official launch is on Wednesday the 31st of August. This may seem a tad bit late as the biggest time of year for house-hunting students is always just prior to the start of the new university year. The Smits brothers wanted to ensure they properly tested the app and removed any bugs before launching it, which is why the launch is taking place while the university year is in full swing already.
Exchange students welcome
The startup has received an undisclosed amount of funding from a private investor who for now prefers to remain anonymous. Although RoomEasy will initially focus on the Dutch housing market, the image of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge on their homepage looks like a giveaway that the company has international ambitions. Or maybe it just implies that RoomEasy housemates will become such fantastic besties for life they will even go and travel the US together? Roomeasy explains neither is the case: the image is to show that students can also sublet their room if they go travelling or study abroad, while exchange students coming to the Netherlands are welcome to use the app as well.
Living room student image by Shutterstock