Video-sharing app disrupts property rental market

27 Jul 2017

In the U.K., a peer-to-peer video-sharing app is disrupting the way users search for potential housemates online.

Founded in 2013, RealEstateTube is making it much easier for users to suss out their future housemates from viewing videos that those potential housemates have uploaded.

The novel idea can be distilled down to a proclamation made on the company’s website which reads: “a picture paints a thousand words, but a video shows a thousand pictures“.

The app initially functions in a similar way to Tinder, matching users and potential housemates from which a dialogue can be initiated.

Users can thereafter, by the medium of video, meet their future housemates, walk through the property and listen to a narration that highlights the various features of the house. RealEstateTube has enjoyed a good amount of success so far, having amassed 16,000 video listings since its inception and having attracted 21,000 users in the last 12 months alone.

The company’s foray into an increasingly crowded property tech space has evidently connected with a public frustrated by the existing system for property rentals. Founder Steve Makris came up with the idea when he was working with a group of Chinese businessmen who wanted to invest in real estate in Australia.

Instead of hiring translators to describe the property to the businessmen, Makris decided to take photos and videos of the properties and send those to his clients instead.

“Language barriers were challenging, so instead of trying to find translators to describe the property, I used my phone to take photos and send videos,” he told Property Portal Watch.

Despite RealEstateTube predominantly being a video-sharing service within flatmate search, Makris envisages the business entering into the vertical real estate sector.

“The reason we’ve begun with this market is to target young millennials – the early adopters of technology. If we can get them to use it, they can socially proof our platform and get our name out there,” he said. “Then we’ll start adding other categories, such as ‘houses for sale’,’ businesses for sale’, et cetera.”

RealEstateTube raised a cool $1 million U.S. in its seed-funding round, and is looking to garner a further $2.5 million of Series A funding.

Looking forward, the company plans to open a New York office in order to target the dense U.S. east coast rental market.

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Jesse Cox