We’ve lived in three different places during our four years in Beijing and house-hunting here is up there among my most loathed pastimes. Who doesn’t love over inflated house prices, only being shown the most ‘foreigner friendly’ compounds and being completely at the mercy of the rental agents.
Here it is, the biggest secret that no house rental agent wants you to know about… the Lianjia app.
This app revolutionized my apartment-hunting journey. You are able to see exactly what apartments are available in the area you want, filter by bedroom requirements and floor size, and the price for each. You then take the app into the nearest Lianjia office and point to the apartments you want to look at, and then negotiate lower than the listed app price. No more getting ripped off!!
- Download the Lianjia app, you should be able to find it just by searching for ‘lianjia’ in the app store.
- Tap on rentals.
- Tap on the map.
- From here you can filter using the icon in the top right, or you can zoom in on the area you want using the map.
- You can see what is available in different compounds, including compounds that your agent probably wouldn’t show you.
- Scroll through the photos and find your dream home! Go to the nearest Lianjia office to the apartment compound you want to look at. Bargain hard! Remember that landlords will often replace furniture if it’s old or buy you things that are lacking. I have even heard of landlords buying a whole new range of furniture upon the renters request! You can also request for the landlord to take out any furniture you don’t want. Landlords will also sometimes lower the rent if you sign an extended lease of 2 years. Happy House Hunting!
Photos: Rebecca Archer, davidthornton.com.au