Property, Technology, UAE

Renters searching for homes online surge amid coronavirus fears

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, UAE renters are making decisions about their next rental home from their digital devices, according to proptech startup Urban.renters online coronavirus, UAE renters

Urban, a mobile/web application that brings the entire rental journey online, has recorded an 87 percent leap in daily active users across its platforms over a period of 10 days from March 8th, marking a significant shift in behaviour from renters. In the period from 8-21 March, the company has experienced a 60 percent surge in daily active users.

As UAE authorities urge the public to adhere to social distancing guidelines and take precautionary measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, UAE residents are turning to their mobile devices to perform essentials tasks.

In response to social distancing and quarantine measures aimed at combating the spread of Covid-19, renters are choosing to search for and secure homes online, with the company noting a 92 percent rise in the number of offers submitted for listed properties on its app in the week to 19th March 2020.

In line with this, Urban is encouraging landlords to list their properties, as despite the cautious environment cause by coronavirus, renters are still on the hunt for homes and embracing new ways in which to view and rent them.

With users able to view virtual tours of every listing, visit homes using their phone to open digital locks, submit paperwork and pay rent online, Urban is providing renters with a compelling and safe way to find their new home during this challenging time.

Rashid Al Ghurair, CEO and founder of Urban, said, “As authorities in the UAE admirably continue to combat Covid-19, landlords and renters are being forced to adapt to this new reality. People are looking to rent, but rightly concerned that viewing properties will mean contravening social distancing guidelines. Landlords are worried that the virus will dampen rental demand. This is where Urban comes in. Urban is a platform that connects landlords to tenants online, ensuring that renters can views quality homes through virtual tours and independently conduct viewings, while landlords can find quality tenants hunting for new homes.”

Tala Nsouli, General Manager of Urban, added: “Urban is built on tenant-centric values and empowers renters and landlords throughout the rental journey. As renters try to navigate the current Covid-19 environment, Urban helps them find their new home entirely online from the comfort of their own homes. Landlords need to adapt to this digital-first environment and consider innovative ways to market their properties.”

To further protect the health and safety of renters making in-person visits, Urban has taken the following steps:

  • Thoroughly sterilising door handles upon installing digital locks
  • Cleaning homes before each viewing, and setting up hand sanitising stations
  • Equipping its field teams with masks and gloves and briefing them on precautionary measures
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