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Major Apartment Owners Equity And Fairfield Adopt Roommate-Matching Service

Equity Residential, Sares-Regis Group and Fairfield Residential have all inked deals with HomeShare, a roommate matching service platform for renters that is so far operational in a handful of properties in five high-rent markets. 

Apartment, multifamily

HomeShare's platform uses proprietary tech to find compatible housemate groups for would-be renters, based on personality and lifestyle habits. Landlords realize that home-sharing is a growing trend, especially for renters in expensive markets, HomeShare founder and CEO Jeff Pang told Commercial Observer.

The landlord partners typically start out small with HomeShare, testing the service in a single property before expanding to other properties.

The young company, founded by Pang only two years ago, is in growth mode. Besides its hometown of San Francisco, HomeShare matches roommates at properties in Silicon Valley, New York, Seattle and, most recently, Los Angeles.

It is no accident that the company is growing in markets that are the least affordable, especially for millennial renters, Pang said.

"LA makes so much sense for HomeShare because it is the nation’s worst in terms of rent affordability,” he told CO. 

Early this year, the company received $5.7M in seed funding, largely from Lightspeed Venture Partners.

HomeShare finds renters for single bedrooms or living rooms converted into bedrooms within an apartment building, interviewing potential tenants and creating housemate profiles by using algorithms to match roommate compatibility and preferences. The company also services the residents' leases for the property owner.

The platform makes its money by charging a small percentage of the rent, not through upfront payments by would-be tenants. 

According to Pang, the company has plans to expand to other markets, including the expensive but not quite astronomically priced Washington, D.C., and Boston.

CORRECTION, JUNE 5, 3:40 P.M. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed a company as a HomeShare partner. The story and headline have been updated.