Which source to use when looking for an apartment/housemate?

The old rules of the rental housing market are getting evicted. We live in the digital age where most of our queries can be answered at the click of a mouse, and dealing with people in suits is exhausting and outdated.

The Renting Trend

Today, the housing market is showing us that first-time buyers are getting older and more working households are receiving benefits – trends pointing us down the path of renting rather than buying. That isn’t to say, of course, that the rental journey doesn’t hold its own set of hurdles along the way:

• High fees – Payments at practically every step of the bureaucratic process
• Real estate agent commissions – Offers not being made in tenants’ best interests
• Lack of transparency – Agents choosing to withhold certain information from tenants

The Present Possibilities

With these, and other problems encountered during the renting process, individuals are taking to much more creative alternatives when it comes to managing their lives within the rental housing market:

• Subletting – Renting out additional rooms to help cope with costs
• Social Media – Sharing experiences and available spaces around the world
• Rental Housing Platforms – Simplifying the process between tenants and landlords

Your Choice of Sources

So, that just leaves this final question, which source should you use to ease the rental journey? This, of course, depends on your objective. Let’s say that, for example, you have just moved to Barcelona in search of work without any previous knowledge of the local housing situation.

If your intentions are short-term then a common tool that will fulfill your needs is AirBnB, this site provides rental listings around the world for travelers seeking to experience various cities like a local, and is also a good way of renting out additional space for people leaving for vacation but still needing to cover rent. An intuitive tool but, regarding the short-term, AirBnB is mainly targeted towards people on the move. Discussing longer stays is a possibility, but any sort of documentation and fiscal responsibilities will be up to you.

A much more local option in this scenario would be renting/leasing via Idealista. Idealista is a little bit like the wild-west of renting in Barcelona, it is what you make of it. A numbers game, Idealista provides a large selection of living options that come-and-go like the wind, so don’t get frustrated if it can sometimes take up to a month before you find your place in the capital of Catalunya. Also, similar to AirBnB, you will be responsible for taking care of the documentation and finances with the owner/landlord.

Tried and true, white on blue, Facebook. Social media has affected much more than our ability to send messages to friends and families around the world. Keep in mind that accountability and a little bit more luck is needed as there may not be as many options as on Idealista, but where Facebook shines is in its communication capabilities. Direct messaging with landlords and leasers in groups gives the user the ability to develop dialogue, and comments from other users can help shed light on potentially shady situations.

Lastly, if assured peace-of-mind without paperwork is what floats your boat when looking for your new home, think about checking PapayaPods. A younger company than the formers, PapayaPods provides a free service to tenants in search of long-term rentals and housemates. Though having a smaller list of listings than Idealista, PapayaPods goes beyond the rest in their push for changing the market with instant-messaging transparency, policies based security, and automation of the entire rental journey.


Going back to the beginning, which source should you use to ease the rental journey? Well, what are you looking for?

• Vacation? – AirBnB
• Local delicacy? – Idealista
• Crowdsourcing? – Facebook
• Simple long-term solution? – PapayaPods

And, if you do choose to stay in Barcelona, just remember to bring your sunscreen!