How Reddit’s HomeRenters.com went from being the front page of the web to the front pages of the world
Reddit has a problem.
The site, which launched in 2008 as a way to share and collaborate on content about the Internet, has a large and loyal following.
But the platform has had its share of problems, including abuse of its features and lack of community.
But one Reddit user is trying to fix that, with a new service called Reddit HomeRental.
HomeRents is a site that lets users rent out their homes to others, essentially using the power of Reddit to offer them space to stay.
“You can use your Reddit account to rent out your home, and your friends can rent out the other houses in your neighborhood,” co-founder and CEO Matt Britton told TechCrunch.
Users can also post their plans for the space, and Britton said the company plans to add more rental listings later.
“We’re going to expand that to include the entire city of San Francisco, the entire state of California, the whole country,” Britton added.
In addition to being a site for sharing content about living spaces, HomeRenter is also a tool that lets people rent out other spaces.
Users who rent out a home to a stranger will also get the opportunity to post a list of their neighbors in that same space.
Britton says the site is “a little bit of a gamble,” and the first users will likely be people who want to rent a home that’s “close to their work, and it’s in a relatively good location.”
“You’ll see that the first batch of users, who are relatively new to Reddit, will come in and see that this is a really great option,” he said.
Brittons plan to add a “free” option to the site in the future, so that users can rent a room at home for free.
“If there’s a room that’s really close to work, they can take a nap, and they’ll be in there for a couple of days, and then they’ll leave,” Brittons said.
Reddit Home Rental is free, but the site does require a credit card to be used.
Brittson said he plans to have the service launch sometime in 2018, though he wouldn’t say when exactly that might be.
Home Renters is currently running on a shoestring budget, with $30,000 in funding raised through Patreon.
He also hopes to raise more funding, as the platform continues to grow.
“The way we’re going is that we’re taking a very small amount of money and we’re building it up very slowly, because the money will come later,” Brittan said.
“This will all be funded through donations.”
HomeRrentals.com was originally a community site dedicated to posting photos of homes and asking users to suggest new ones.
But after a number of problems with the site, the community decided to try to turn it into a real-estate search engine.
The company launched in 2012, but has been slow to gain traction.
“When I first started, it was sort of a weird little experiment,” Britto said.
After all, when the site launched, the only people who could rent out homes were those who had already purchased them.
“A lot of people were just doing that because it was a way of giving back to the community, but there was this other side of it, which was that it was kind of a joke,” he added.
“There was a lot of spamming, and there was a whole bunch of things that were really inappropriate and unprofessional.
People were sending people inappropriate images of their homes.”
Home rentals were also not an easy option to get people to rent.
“It was really difficult to find a roommate for a year,” Britt said.
That led to the creation of Reddit Home Rentals.
“Our idea was to just do this thing where we’d show you what’s available and then give you the option of whether you’d like to rent it,” Brittano said.
The first group of users was “very, very limited,” he continued.
“They were basically just like, ‘I want to find an apartment and live in it, and I don’t have a roommate.
I don [want to] rent it.’
And then a bunch of people came in, and the idea started to grow.”
Today, Britton estimates that HomeRates.com has about 200,000 active users, and has about 30,000 listings.
“That’s a lot more than I was able to get on Reddit,” Britt, who is also the founder and CEO of social analytics company SocialCast, told TechBeat.
“At the end of the day, Reddit is a community of more than 3.5 billion people.
And I think that’s just about 1 in 5 of those people are actually going to be on the site.”