There are a couple of online services available today to help you find a place to rent in Zimbabwe (well, Harare). Our favourite is Dipleague, mainly because of its active community of users. But if you’ve used this giant classifieds mailing list, you also know that the super charged activity that makes it an attractive market place, is often so loud you dread opening the emails. So, like many other services today that the internet and mobile phones can improve, properties discovery and advertising online, remains largely unsolved. And that’s what Rent-Or-Buy.co.zw is out to do.
Rent-Or-Buy Zimbabwe came online some several days ago. The platform basically allows people looking for properties to search and filter out a list of properties posted to the site by owners and real estate agents. It also allows users to submit their requests if they can’t find what they are looking so that they can be notified when something close is posted to the site.
We generally like Rent-Or-By’s no frills simplicity and the social media integration allowing account creation in a few easy clicks. The site however leaves out some necessary information like an about page to tell visitors what the site is about and what they are trying to do. We also found the 3 random properties that show on most pages by default to get in the way of what the user is trying to view. When I search for and don’t find a flat to rent in Mbare for example, the 3 random properties almost look like there are my results. Another thing is that it’s not easy to figure out, before you click, what most of those menu items at the top do.
Rent-Or-Buy’s success will depend on them convincing people (and Real estate agents) to post their properties and when they do, to ensure they actually receive calls from prospectives, otherwise they’ll leave. The founder, Sam Chipangura, says they’ve been in direct contact with real estate agents to invite them to list their properties and so far they are getting some positive responses.
On how they built the platform, Chipangura says it was developed using used F3, the PHP Fat-Free framework. Chipangura is the lead developer.
Full Disclosure: Sam Chipangura, the founder of Rent-Or-Buy is a paid contributor to Techzim.