This academic year, HSE University has introduced a new student accommodation solution. The ‘Business Ru.Style’ team decided to develop its own platform, based on HSE students’ preferences and financial capabilities, enabling them to rent apartments or rooms safely within the HSE community. Project coordinator Mikhail Popov told HSE University Life more about the features of the Homeet platform.
Homeet helps HSE students and staff find tenants and landlords among HSE community. We believe that HSE University is one big family and renting appartments from or with community members is not as daunting and expensive as venturing into the Moscow real estate market.
Soon we will upload a standard contract, prepared by our lawyers, so that students can use and trust it. We recommend that our users adhere to this agreement. Every ad on the platform is moderated, and we check the accuracy of the information.
This service was developed by the student organization 'Business Ru.Style'. Four MIEM students are currently working on the project: Mikhail Popov, Olga Rudakova, Maxim Bolshakov, and Daria Makarenko. Yuri Klimenko, HSE University alumnus and a businessman, is guiding the project and helping the team choose the right path for development.
Our colleagues from Student Initiative Support Centre and the HSE Student Council have also helped us a great deal. The Student Council Dormitory Committee coordinated the project with the university administration and conducted an initial survey of students and graduates about how the project should work . The Digitalization Committee promptly conducted two rounds of testing, which helped find and eliminate critical vulnerabilities and many development bugs.
The development of this project also required a lot of effort, nerves and coffee. And we shouldn’t forget about the cost of developing this service: servers, HTML templates, wiki pages and so on. At a recent defense at the MIEM project office, we estimated the costs at about 800 hours, taking into account all the interviews, versions that did not fit, tests, development and software protection.
During the test period 224 users registered on Homeet. We also launched a Telegram channel so that users could see new apartments without constantly logging into the service. At the same time, only authorized users are able to view the contact details of landlords — these might HSE students, graduates or employees.
I think the service will be an excellent addition to the HSE University housing ecosystem. Students can rent an apartment together, eventually they will move out, but are then replaced by new tenants – HSE students and staff who have seen an ad on Homeet.
Right now, the PR team has joined the project, and we also plan to update the design of Homeet. In the next couple of months we aim to introduce a flatmate search service for co-rentals (something like Tinder).
The developers of Homeet are waiting for those who rent apartments or are looking for a flatmate to share a rented apartment. Letting agents are also welcome — applications will be moderated, and if successful, given access to post ads.