New startups and apps are popping up all the time in London. Earlier this year in March, I came across a poster for Movebubble at my Tube station.
Movebubble is an app designed for London renters. Renting in London is usually a tedious process and everyone hates dealing with letting agents, landlords, and all the hassle that comes with looking for a place to live in the Capital. Movebubble, founded in 2014, promises to ‘do it for the renters’ and eliminate a lot of the pain points that comes with renting in London.
Given my curiosity for trying new apps and tech (I’m a firm believer that technology can make life easier for majority of the time) coupled with the fact that I was looking to move to somewhere else, I decided to download and try Movebubble.
I had a positive experience with Movebubble and actually managed to secure a property (where I’m living right now) through the app.
Looking for properties
Searching for properties on the app is done through the usual search and filter function. In this regard, the app doesn’t do anything differently from sites like Rightmove and Zoopla. You set your preferred location to rent, and add a range of filters including price range, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and checkboxes of amenities and features.
You can save properties you’re interested in on a watch list, as well as customise your profile to specify your moving situation and what it is you’re looking for, making it easier for agents and landlords to filter through potential renters. The map view of your desired location shows you the number of potential properties in each area, which is pretty helpful.
Contacting agents and Booking viewings
Here’s where the app really differentiates itself. You can book house viewings directly through the app, saving you the need to call up an agent and arrange a time manually.
I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with agents where I’d call to make an appointment, and they’d forget about our arrangement and not show up. Movebubble kind of keeps them committed and organised, and any cancellations and further communication will take place on the app (note: you can only message Verified Agents directly through the app’s messenger, otherwise you’ll be directed to their email/phone number).
I found it really easy to have all communications with the various property agents centralised on one app. The in-built schedule of confirmed bookings also made it easy for me to keep track of my different appointments.
Making an offer
Perhaps my favourite feature of the app. This was always an annoying part of the renting process â€“ you’d call up an agent with your offer, he’d negotiate with the landlord and get back to you, and you’d never get a clear confirmation on whether you’d secured the property. With this function in Movebubble, you can very clearly negotiate the asking price and see a summary of details of the contract (how many months lease etc), and make the offer directly on the platform. The agent can then confirm or reject the offer, so you know if you have secured the property or not. You can also link your card details to the app so that you can pay the amount needed to hold the property for you, which I found really handy.
The app has a pretty slick look and feel, and I rarely found it clunky or difficult to navigate between the various functions and pages. The colour scheme is very easy on the eyes, and I found it very comfortable to use the app (I find a bad interface or colour scheme really off-putting).
I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to rent in London to try out the app as either a replacement or supplement to the more established sites like Zoopa, Rightmove and SpareRoom. It worked well for me and I found a property which I’m very happy with through the app. Bear in mind that not all agents are on here or have verified status, so not all the functions are going to apply for them.
Available on Android and iOS