10 Mar 2015

Why Lookup is the 'Now'

After nearly a decade of living away from home, adaptability has become my middle name. It didn’t start out that way though. As a determined, fresh-faced 20 year old, barely a month out of college, I fought my first fight for my dream – to join a company that inspired me and to experience another city on my own. Both these statements were live-wire declarations to my parents, who opposed it firmly. I stubbornly, yet quietly, gave them reasons why I should be allowed to go.

It wasn’t an easy fight. Emotional battles seldom are. The one thing that kept me going was the absolute belief that I wasn’t going to find my way through the world living a sheltered life with my parents. Belief that made me apply for jobs that weren’t in my home city and that led me to
find the one that I prized. With a tangible offer letter, my parents finally saw that it wasn’t a pipe dream, but a real one – the one I was trying to build on my own, stumbling over the first blocks.

Hyderabad, the city of Nawabs, was the first city I moved to. My training wheels were finally off. With two suitcases full of my stuff and temporary living accommodations for a month, I was firm about two things – finding the ideal flatmate and finding a great living space I can call home. I learnt quickly that compatible flatmates are the exceptions, not the norm and pictures from newspaper ads were a big letdown! ‘Cozy’ was synonymous with a space resembling a dungeon, ‘established’ with an old, rotting house with moldy walls and don’t even get me started about specifications that come with being a single girl looking for a house (one landlady asked me not to hang my bras in the balcony because she had grown sons!)

Suddenly, a month seemed like no time at all to find a house! I was scrounging newspapers for classifieds, putting ads in company’s intranet site and proceeded to carry out the time-honored tradition of going from one building to another, asking the security guards if there were any apartments to-let. The sites online were mostly filled with ads by brokers, who demanded unreasonable commissions and I was left wanting something that allowed me a transparent transaction – an impossibility at the time.

Three cities and six houses later, I’m now much better at scoping for locations, cutting through landlord claims and looking for houses without too much of a hassle. I always appreciate developments in the impersonal world of real estate, especially the ones focused on transparency. As a result, while looking for potential properties to invest in, I came across Housing.com, a site that was a fresh and different from all the other real estate sites I’ve seen so far.

I was admiring of their clean digital interface, ease of search and the realistic photographs of the houses (unlike stock imagery). I love their maps feature which shows me the neighborhood of where I’m searching for and the exact location of the houses/apartments and the mobile app that
alerts me when there are new properties in the location I’m interested in. Sure, there are several real-estate specific sites, but this one stood out for its impressive execution that focuses on the user. 

Watch their ‘Meet the new Housing’ video to know what I’m talking about. 

Happy house-hunting!

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