The Market

MoveMent App: iPhone geo-tagging means what you see in a rental listing is what you get

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | May 29, 2013 - 10:26AM

Finding a new apartment in NYC is no easy task. Less-than-scrupulous brokers regularly post listings to sites like Zillow, Trulia, RentHop and Craigslist that seem to depict paradise on earth, but are actually more like holes that aren’t fit for human habitation.

It's tough to tell whether what you’re seeing online is what you’re going to get, and that is exactly the problem MoveMent—the focus of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—is designed to solve.

In a nutshell, MoveMent is a new iPhone app (soon to be offered on Android as well) that aims to take the uncertainty out of apartment-hunting by using a cellphone's GPS to verify that uploaded photos were snapped at a particular address.

The two-month-old app already has nearly 1,200 listings and averages 300-600 downloads a day, says Ran Refaeli, a onetime broker who launched MoveMent just last month with app developer Adir Genish. Approximately 250 brokers are actively using the app daily.

Unlike many rental site behemoths full of outdated listings, “we showcase apartments that are really on the market," says Refaeli. "And we do it in real time—the second they hit the market.”

At present, MoveMent only posts listings for New York, but Refaeli and Genish plan to expand to other metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, as the app’s popularity grows.

And Refaeli is confident it will grow. He urges frustrated apartment hunters (and brokers) to download it ASAP.

"You’re going to fall in love with the beauty and simplicity of it," he says. "There are no other apps like it.”

How it works

Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment or to rent one out, begin the process by downloading the MoveMent app for free onto your iPhone from the app store.

If you're the broker or landlord, take photos and/or videos of the apartment and upload them to the app while you're physically present in the apartment. The iPhone’s geo-tagging technology can verify when and where the pictures were taken.

Once verified, the listing will instantly go live to anyone who’s downloaded the app. Apartment hunters can immediately contact the poster (by text, phone or email) to arrange a viewing of the place—perhaps even at that very minute since MoveMent has already established that the poster is in the apartment.

And to make sure New Yorkers aren’t wasting time looking at photos of locales that have already been rented out, MoveMent requires that brokers click the re-post button every five days in order to confirm that an apartment is still available.

After the app helps you find the perfect place to live, use it again to find a roommate. The process is the same as posting an apartment—with one slight difference. Simply upload pics of your available room, but click “Roommate” to note that you’re searching for someone to share your pad, not someone to rent it out to.

Check out The Real.Est. List, the ultimate real estate guide and resource directory for all those who buy, rent, sell or dwell in NYC. Want to get listed and put your business in the Spotlight Gallery? Click here to get started or email us.       

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