How can Facebook data be used in a housing search?


Facebook is rife with the kind of data that could be useful in a housing search, such as marital status, education and interests. There’s a way to utilize that data to find the perfect neighborhood for anyone.

RentalRoost uses Facebook data in a unique manner, trying to match renters with an apartment or house that would be the best fit for them, utilizing the information that the person has already provided on the social network.

RentalRoost let InsideFacebook peek inside its database to find out what rental aspects are most important to Facebook users — and the results were a little surprising.

The data is sorted by relationship status and it shows that the most important aspect for Facebook users in a relationship is shopping, while married people want to make sure that there are quality schools and a high Walkscore. Single Facebook users were also very interested in the quality of nearby schools, as well as easy access to fine dining.

Relationship Status In a Relationship Married Single
Shopping 75% (50 – 75) 70% (50 – 75) 75% (50 – 75)
Fine Dining 60% (50 – 75) 85% (40 – 60) 80% (50 – 100)
Arts & Culture 70% (50 – 75) 82% (40 – 60) 46% (40 – 60)
Walkscore® 60% (>80) 90% (>70) 70% (>60)
School Quality 55% (50 – 75) 100% (50 – 75) 100% (20)


RentalRoost CEO Nitin Shingate wants to take some of the randomness out of finding a place to live. Users can sign up for a RentalRoost account through Facebook login, and then use that data to gather advice from Facebook friends and find their perfect neighborhood, based on the info they’ve entered into their Facebook account.

Shingate discussed how Facebook data can be very important to finding a neighborhood or city that would be a good fit:

I think finding roommates is almost like, but having to rely on sheer luck to find roommates. We think data could be a great way to extrapolate that. … You can look at how patterns are changing and you can examine Facebook data as a whole and you can look at Facebook trends to get a very interesting view. When you look at Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, two years ago I noticed that people used to check in at coffee shops and things like that, but now, you see a micro-community movement. They’re supporting a lot more local shops. It gives you a real living, breathing pulse within a city.

Readers: Have you ever used Facebook in any way to get information about a place you might move?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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