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By Your Neighbourhood, 10 Novmeber, 2016.

HouseME launches as SA’s first online bidding and tenant screening app for home rentals

HouseME, a new mobile application and web portal, is the first to launch in South Africa with an online auction mechanism where landlords receive bids on their rental properties from prospective tenants eager to secure their ideal accommodation. Through its growing database of registered users, HouseME also offers tenant-rating scores to give landlords peace of mind, while promoting ideal tenant conduct through a novel incentive scheme.

Developed by Cape Town-based entrepreneurs, Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley, HouseME has been launched in the Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas.

Shaw, HouseME’s CEO, believes the home rental market in SA has remained relatively unevolved over the past 20 years, despite the advent of technology. “The market is locked by a process where landlords advertise their properties for a set rental, and often accept the first tenants to put a deposit down. It’s clear that both landlords and tenants will benefit from a transparent bidding mechanism, particularly where a property is in high demand, and a fair price unknown,” he says.

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In desirable areas like the Cape Town Southern Suburbs and Stellenbosch where large student communities are looking for private accommodation, there are additional issues that HouseMEaims to remedy. “Tenants come from all over the country and don’t always have the means to view properties before they arrive, which is why we verify every property listed and provide up-to-date photographs on the app,” says Shaw.

Landlords often experience anxiety about the quality of tenants they attract, and the condition their property will remain in.

Bradley, HouseME’s Chief Technology Officer, says it was imperative to address these anxieties by developing a tenant screening component, where over a period of time, those who are registered on HouseME can establish their reputation as solid, trustworthy and responsible tenants. “We’re democratising the home rental market by incentivising and rewarding good conduct, just as one would rate a trip with an Uber driver. We’re hoping this will also reduce discrimination that takes place on the basis of gender, race, or culture.”

Read The Full Article Here: HOUSEME: AN SA FIRST