83 per cent of flatmates look for people who could become lifelong friends. That’s according to Ideal Flatmate, a new platform based on an algorithm similar to that of dating websites.
Designed by Cambridge professors, Ideal Flatmate prioritises tenant compatibility in an effort to encourage long term rental relationships and tenancies. The algorithm technology, which is functional after the user completes a 20-question survey, focuses primarily on the living habits and sociability of users. Questions asked were found to be the most important when assessing living suitability in a study by Cambridge Psychologists Dr Paula Banca and Professor Mark P Haggard.
Founders of Ideal Flatmate, Tom Gatzen and Rob Imonikhe came up with the idea for the platform following years of becoming increasingly frustrated with the revolving door of flatmates they had found through listing websites.
Gatzen said, “Both myself and Rob have lived in flat shares that ended up in disaster because we didn’t get along with our flatmates. We thought that there must be an easier way. For landlords and letting agents, it’s the perfect solution as the site is free to list and it offers a great opportunity to get more visibility in alternative areas of the market, particularly amongst tenants with the right intentions – in search of long term relationships which ultimately facilitates longer term contracts.”
The two are confident that the emphasis on compatibility will reduce rental turnover rates on properties significantly and attract house proud tenants wanting to make the property a home.
“We’ve tried to make the site as user friendly as possible, which will make it more attractive to prospective tenants as well,” Gatzen added.
The free trial for landlords and letting agents is in place until Spring. Since its initial soft launch phase in November, the site has had more than 30,000 users. Over 3,000 people have registered and over 1,000 properties have been listed on the site.
“We’ve had overwhelming positive feedback from letting agencies thus far,” Imonikhe said. “We recently heard from a letting agent who had a property listed on a well-known listing site for three weeks with no interest, he put it on our site and after two days had found a full group of tenants and a 12 month contract.”
Launching initially in London, the founders have plans to roll Ideal Flatmate out nationwide throughout the course of 2017.