As more and more Millennials are priced out of what would be considered typical “starter home” ranges, long-term renting has become customary for an entire generation. But finding a great apartment with everything you want and need — and at a suitable price — is the modern day trial of Job.
That’s part of the reason why Erin Seeds launched Apartment Fit. Though she was born and raised in Dallas, Seeds moved off after graduating high school. When she came back, all she wanted was to find a reasonably priced apartment for her and her two dogs.
“I quickly learned that the apartment search process was broken. The information I needed wasn’t available,” Seeds said. “Many good-looking apartment sites provided ratings, but I found their ratings to be skewed, random, and not very actionable. There were no objective quality standards.”
But that wasn’t even the most troublesome part, she added. Most apartment search sites showed renters only properties that paid to advertise, even if they may not be the best fit for the renter. “I even found that so many quality apartments were not even listed on the pay-for-exposure websites.”
Of course, most people will naturally suggest working with an apartment locator, but even then they only took Seeds to the same apartment properties that would pay them the highest commission. It was then that Seeds, a Realtor with Allie Beth Allman & Associates, was inspired to create Apartment Fit.
“I wanted to create a website that would serve as the ‘consumer reports’ model, so that renter could run searches based on their own preference in amenities and attempt to show even the properties that don’t pay any commission,” she said. “My one goal when working with a client is to find their perfect fit.”
Considering just how many new apartment communities are springing up overnight in Dallas like mushrooms in a field, it’s a big challenge. But Apartment Fit, which offers real and nuanced reviews of apartment communities — not the typical high-flying ratings or no-star feedback — has become an asset to many renters. Apartment Fit scores properties with a detailed grading rubric.
“For example, we grade pool and outdoor amenities on a rubric that includes more than 20 different factors, while other sites simply indicate the presence of a pool,” Seeds said. “To score all the apartment properties amenities, Apartment Fit grades of over 200 data points.”
For Seeds, she cared about finding a great apartment for her and her dog, Snoop. But the overall pet friendliness of a property wasn’t something that other apartment search sites scored on. And if you want a full-featured kitchen, you have to burn up shoe leather to find out what you need. In these ways, Apartment Fit fills the gap. And it’s getting some rave reviews itself, as Apartment Fit has helped many renters find their fit.
“After two grueling months of searching for the perfect place to live, she was able to find that for me the very day we met!” said Jaki, a client of Seeds’. “I am still shocked at the amount of hours I spent on rental websites every single day, frantic I might miss the perfect place. The rental market in Dallas right now is crazy! I even had a deposit down on a place as back-up, in case I couldn’t find what I really wanted. Oh, and did I mention the place she found me was under budget?!”
When Seeds isn’t busy finding the right apartment fit for her clients, she competes in equestrian show jumping with her two horses, Pudge and Red. If she’s not at Grand Prix Stables with her trainer, Chris Nelson, you can find her fly fishing in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.