Casaswap: Flats go global

March 28th, 2007 at 12:00 am
 


Studying in a foreign country is probably one of the best thrils in the academe. You get to meet a lot of people, learn new cultures, speak a new language, drink a different kind of beer and other stuff. The hard part about doing all those is where to stay in the first place. Setting up your bsae of operations in some other country could be the most diffuclt part of being there. As a foreigner, you wouldn't know if the renters are giving you a fair price or if the neighborhood is safe or accessible. Before even traveling it would always be better to check possible places to stay and at least have somewhere to crash for the night instead of the bus station.

Casaswap is tries to give its users the convenience of having a sneak peek of where to stay in any country. The service is not exclusive to international students alone but it was designed as a tool for foreign exchange students.

Basically it is a community where renters, swappers and home-owners and property managers meet, discuss, and interact. Anybody can sign up for free and can choose a profile as a renter, swapper, home owner or property manager. These filters come in very handy when searching for a flat to stay in. Renters are those who are looking for a place to lease, shot term of long term. Swappers are those who want to transfer from one flat to another for whatever reason, this means they could be looking for either renters or swappers. Home-owners and property managers are those who are looking for people to accommodate.

Since Casaswap is a free online community, its reach is global. Anyone from anywhere can advertise or search for a flat. Though as of now their community has not left Europe much.

The idea of this whole site is nothing new. Real estate websites have been doing this a long time but there are only a few who do it for free. Most real estate directories I find are repositories of property brokers and real estate agents. Casaswap on the other hand is people powered and the forum is really helpful when discussing locations and situations in other countries.

Searching for flats is multiple filtered so only the relevant listing match. Result hits include the location and the profile of the user who posted it. Postings can also include photos. Browsing the site is free but for a fee (39Euros) Casaswap can guarantee students housing abroad.