The real estate market is very localized. It’s an older industry that requires a ton of in-person showings, discussions and negotiations. In recent years, however, a number of technological innovations have disrupted this typically traditional industry.

Here are a few ways that apartment hunters can utilize new technology to take the pain out of apartment hunting.

  1. Check Out Online Rating Platforms

If you’re living in an apartment building, it’s important to check out current and former tenant’s reviews of the building. After all, who knows what a place is like better than the people who’ve lived there? Of course, be sure to take reviews with a grain of salt. When you have hundreds of people coming and going from your building, there’s always going to be one or two sour apples in the bunch. But the same goes for one or two positive reviews as well. You should pay attention to buildings that garner overwhelmingly positive or negative reviews.

Review platforms like Yelp have been a huge success in the restaurant and hospitality industries and are becoming influential in the real estate and apartment rental industry. Use these to your advantage to understand where you’ll be living and what other tenants have to say about the property.

  1. Utilize Google Street View 

Renting an apartment might mean diving into a neighborhood you’ve probably never been in. But getting a street view of your place can give you a good idea of what your new building will look like from the curb and your surrounding area looks like.

Seeing a place that looks run down and is standing next to boarded up buildings and grungy streets is usually a good sign to stay away. Although you can’t always judge a book by its cover, you’ll have to be a little more judgmental. Unfortunately, there’s no way to really get to know the place better, so first impressions definitely count when trying to rent an apartment remotely.

Use Google’s street view technology to enhance your understanding of the neighborhood before you sign that lease!

  1. Research The Area Using Apps

It’s important to get a feel what kind of neighborhood you’re going to be living in. Hit your city’s local neighborhood associations, forums discussing city neighborhoods, top rankings for neighborhoods in your cities and more. Be sure that you utilize the amazing amount of content that companies are producing in today’s viral age. Lists like this from Livability can be super helpful if you’re moving into a Minneapolis apartment and don’t know much about the area.

Checking crime stats can also be a good idea. And a number of online sources and apps can help you with that. You can visit crimemapping.com Mobile, Lethal, or other crime apps to help during this search.

Once you know the quality of the neighborhood, you can get a feel for what kind of street your apartment or home is on. Is it a busy thoroughfare or a quiet side street? Are there some interesting hot spots nearby? What bothers you and what doesn’t is entirely subjective, but choose carefully.

  1. Matterport Technology

Matterport technology is a great way to see an apartment before renting it out on a long-term lease. Matterport gives 3D virtual tours to potential tenants and provides crisp, in-depth images to make even multi-level apartments come to life. If your potential apartment allows for you to tour using Matterport technology, take it for a spin and get an inside look at the space you might call home.

Being able to see your apartment in virtual reality is a luxury that many of us have not had. Take advantage of this and get an inside scoop before making any final decisions.

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About Cynthia Lopez

Cynthia is the managing editor and a frequent contributor at Watchdog Reviews. She's been writing about tech-focused topics and trends since 2014.

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