In cities like San Francisco, the word “crazy” certainly applies to the current state of the real estate market. With the inventory of available apartments at all-time lows, and prices at all-time highs, Apartment List was founded to save renters time and money in their search by connecting them to a consolidated listing of available apartments in their area.
The challenge: delivering a great app with locations-based, real-time results
One of the most important criteria when searching for a place to live is location. Looking within a city is one thing, but neighborhoods matter a lot to people when it comes to picking a place to live. The Apartment List team needed an easy way to determine a neighborhood from a street address in order to display inventory for every neighborhood of every city in real time.
Apartment List knew if they delivered consolidated location-based search results with the ability to refine search areas by street, they could provide a significantly more robust apartment hunting experience to their users.
The solution: three teams, one platform
Apartment List selected the Heroku platform from the start, and has grown with the platform over the last few years. The team started out focused on building their small, tightly coupled app — apartmentlist.com. They have since expanded to build a system for in-house rental specialists to interact with renters in real-time.
Heroku allows us to try out completely new things in record time. Matt Nemenman, Vice President, Engineering, Apartment List
Apartment List has a team that works on their native app, a team that works on their web app and a team that works on the in-house rental specialist app — all running on Heroku. By leveraging Heroku, the team was able to offer features that hadn’t been seen by users previously.
Heroku allows you to spin up an app and scale it independently and quickly. Matt Nemenman, Vice President, Engineering, Apartment List
App experience: visually appealing UI with unique, relevant information
The Apartment List app has a high fidelity user experience with a Pinterest-like feel to it allowing you to browse apartments by photo. The app offers deep information about each property, including unique features like real-time availability allowing you to know which exact unit will become available on which exact date. Aside from the basic rental information, the app also allows you to capture your own notes, photos and videos about each listing.