Two Man Operation -Inhabi- Offers Up eHarmony for Renters and Landlords

Posted by Soren Sorensen

At last week’s Betaspring Demo Day, Inhabi CEO and cofounder, David Friedman told the audience to remember two things during his presentation: “Everybody needs a place to live and technology is supposed to make our lives easier.”

September is a month when seemingly everyone is changing addresses.  Whether it’s the beginning of the school year or the end of the busy summer real estate season, it’s difficult, especially in cities like Boston and Providence, to travel more than a block or two without seeing the ubiquitous, double-parked truck, trailer or van.  With the high concentration of colleges in the area, many of the moving masses are renters.

We can all set our watches to this late-summer condition.  What we can’t predict, if we’re among the 33 million renters who will move this year alone, is how we might find our next abode.

Sure, there’s always Craig’s List, for those looking to avoid a realtor’s fee at all costs, and Facebook for finding friends of friends with rooms to rent.  Either way, the renter is doing all the work.  Looking for a place to rent, irrespective of location, can be a frustrating process.

For realtors and landlords, on the other hand, the burden is financial.

Despite the fact that Craig’s List and Facebook are free, Mr. Friedman added, the apartment industry still spends $2.2 billion annually on generating rental leads.  “This number has continued to increase every single year.”

Inhabi, a two-man operation from Philadelphia, seeks to change all that and already has in Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho.  Mr. Friedman and his partner, cofounder Jameel Farruk, created Inhabi in order to take some of the burden off of irritated consumers by creating an eHarmony of sorts for renters and landlords.

“Inhabi,” Mr. Friedman continued at Betaspring, “is the easiest way for renters and landlords to connect.”  With Inhabi, renters create profiles complete with detailed information and receive personalized custom offers from landlords, real places that meet the needs of each user.

Inhabi, Mr. Farruk told the New England Post, intends to launch in Boston and Philadelphia in the beginning of October.  “We’re from Philadelphia, we started the company in Philadelphia so, as of the end of the [Betaspring] program, our immediate intention was to come back home, regroup and see what happens.”

Of Providence’s $50,000.00 pledge to 2011 Betaspring businesses willing to stay in Rhode Island’s capitol, Mr. Farruk said, “That was something that we found out about very recently and we still need to examine the opportunity.”

Mr. Farruk added, “It’s nice to know that there are options out there for us.”

The New England Post will continue to follow Inhabi and each of the 11 startups from last week’s Betaspring event.

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Posted by Soren Sorensen on Sep 13 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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