Most Expensive Yearly Cost, Worst Consumer Experience
When you order a coffee, the consumer experience is wonderful. First, you have plenty of options, forcing the competitors to give you a great price. You know what you’re supposed to pay for a coffee, and how much the “upgrades” (lattes, mochas, etc.) should cost as well. If anyone charges more than this, they won’t get your business. The quality of the coffee and the service you get must also be great, because if its not, you won’t come back, and you’ll tell your friends not to go either. If you are in a different country, you know that big brand names like Starbucks will give you the same quality that you received at home.
A coffee is a small expense in average person's yearly budget, yet we receive a great consumer experience when we search for, order, buy, and taste our coffee. That’s what makes it so frustrating that our largest yearly expense – rent/utilities – provides us with the worst consumer experience, maybe of all time.
Searching for coffee is simple: maybe you use yelp, maybe you just walk around, no matter how you look, it’s not hard to find. Searching for an apartment on the other hand is like having a second job. You must be constantly searching for the best options, going on walk-throughs, speaking with landlords and roommates, and ultimately settling for something that you might not even like, because you need a place to sleep soon! Granted, the decision-making process for coffee and housing is drastically different, but you would think that because the cost of housing is so high, the search would be easier. There’s no centralized search for housing like yelp works for coffee.
This intentionally tough search process makes it incredibly tough for the consumer to assess how much they should be paying for housing. Real estate agents are hired to show you the best parts of the property, and avoid the negative parts that you only discover while actually living at a property. There’s also no big brand name that you can rely on for an assurance of quality.
Then there’s the process of being approved for a lease by a landlord. It’s up to their discretion; they accept and/or deny anyone they want, and their decision to deny you can be lawfully arbitrary. Background checks and credit checks might not accurately reflect your ability to be a good tenant, and for international tenants, these things might not even exist for you, meaning you might not be able to provide the documents necessary for renting an apartment.
Finally, once you’ve chosen a location to live at, and have committed to a lease, you find out that the service is most likely terrible. You don’t know who to call when there’s a broken power outlet, or when there’s water damage creating mold. The worst part is that your landlord might not care at all; you’re locked into a lease, and if you want to move out at the end of the lease, they’ll just find someone to replace you. They’re pros at the renting process, and since you only go through this consumer experience very infrequently, you’re most likely… not.
In the end, a couple simple facts are present: to get want you want, you need to be an extremely savvy renter in a market that you need to interact with very infrequently. Unlike coffee, you need housing, and the sellers know that, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be this way.
At Outpost Club, we make housing easier by addressing each of the pain-points of acquiring housing. We provide you with our options, give you transparent, all-inclusive pricing, we provide month to month leases, and provide an easy application process unlike your average renter.
If you need extra encouragement, see what our members think. They tell us that becoming a member and living at outpost club is as easy as buying a coffee.