Despite the amount of money that is invested into our housing situation, renters actually have very little information about a place before they sign a lease. Is the landlord always this nice? Is the building well-maintained? Have there been any robberies or bug problems?
Without a full investigative report (which no one has time for), there’s really no way to get at this information. Until now, of course.
Today, a company called Swapt launches out of beta to provide the biggest database of apartment and property reviews.
Here’s how it works: Once you log in through Facebook and get verified, you can look up your old apartment listings and post reviews. Then, users who are on the market can use those reviews to make a more informed decision.
Swapt makes sure that you’re verified on Facebook and that the apartment you’re reviewing has accurate listing info (pet info, design details, amenities, etc.) pulled from sites like Craigslist, etc., as well as directly from trusted landlords. It’s pretty simple really.
Obviously, Facebook verification doesn’t prove that you lived in a certain apartment, so there very may well be an issue with bogus reviews, but Facebook verification certainly curbs that and Swapt reports 80 percent of users are verified.
In two months of beta testing, the service already has 500,000 listings on the platform, with 200,000 coming from the New York city market. Swapt is available nationwide with major markets already growing in San Francisco, NYC, and Washington D.C.
Not only does Swapt keep landlords honest, but it keeps renters in the loop in what could traditionally be a very opaque experience.
In terms of monetization, it’s not a huge priority for the company right now, but they do see Lead Generation as a viable option.
Swapt has raised a total of $700,000 in seed funding from a group of undisclosed investors.
To learn more about Swapt, check out the site here.