Melbourne startup The Room Xchange has launched a mandatory verification feature on its house-sharing platform.
Founder and CEO Ludwina Dautovic said the new ‘Verified’ feature also ensures that all profiles are real and current, with the site’s search algorithms simplifying the matching process to make it easier for people to find the right housemate based on personality, values and lifestyle.
In an era when finding somewhere to rent is getting harder and more expensive, and especially disadvantages older women, Dautovic is looking to make it easier for like-minded people to share a home.
“The house-sharing market needs a shake-up. It’s no longer the domain of 20-year-olds,” she said.
“With soaring house prices, more and more people are now renting. Conversely, there is a broader group of people opting to rent their spare room who are seeking a high-level verification and matching process.”
She said The Room Xchange’s Digital iD provides comfort to households knowing that their new housemate has been verified using a form of government identification. The platform as also introduced a rent offset function that give boarders the option to offset part or all of their rent by doing additional jobs around the house such as cooking, cleaning or walking the dog.
Dautovic said the platform also provides extensive resources for both households and housemates, from FAQs, to templates and a podcast to help everyone rent better.
PRD Real Estate chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said The Room Xchange reflects the shift in Australia’s house-sharing and rental demographic
“There’s a new kind of renter and they’re looking for more than just a temporary place to stay. They’re looking for a home with people they’re compatible with,” she said.
First National Real Estate CEO Ray Ellis said The Room Xchange “deals with the age-old problem of finding the right housemates, but with the application of modern personality and lifestyle matching as well as the option to receive rent for a room or offset the rent with household help. Its appeal is universal.”