Planning a move to another city? The Internet portal feelthecity helps you to find residential areas that correspond to your personal tastes and preferences. UW/H students Theresa Matlage and Axel Scherger came up with the idea of this time-saving and free service for all who want to make sure they move to the right location: be it trendy districts for students, or well-ordered neighbourhoods for security fanatics.
Four million people change their place of residence in Germany every year (source: Immobilienscout 24). Trying to find out which district, quarter or street might be suitable, until now they had to rely on hearsay from acquaintances and friends. Conventional real estate portals use statistical search criteria exclusively, such as square meters and price. But who can say in advance which area in Stuttgart, Celle or Donauwörth is “liveable”? Theresa Matlage and Axel Scherger, two students at Witten/Herdecke University, had a simple and brilliant idea: ask the people living there. They give ratings for a number of criteria: background noise, security, entertainment, public transport connections, cost level, trendiness, and originality.
Users looking for a suitable residential area must specify priority criteria. Axel Scherger describes the procedure: “Our software determines on the basis of residents’ ratings and user priorities which areas are suitable and which are no-go. Search results are marked in red, yellow or green on the integrated Google map. The closer the user zooms in, the more accurate the average calculation.”
About 1000 ratings for residential areas in Germany have been submitted so far. Theresa Matlage on the current state and expected development of the project: “At the outset large cities are better represented than small towns. The service will improve with incoming ratings.”
Axel Scherger says feelthecity collaborates with Germany’s leading professional real estate agency and shows their offers on the map, so that users who have chosen a district can see at a glance whether suitable accommodation is available there: “More detailed questions concerning e.g. the availability of wholemeal bread rolls at the baker around the corner, or the educational concept at the kindergarten three streets away, may be left on the map with a marker, or just ask a user of the feelthecity community; it should be easy to find someone nearby who can answer your question.”
Matlage’s and Scherger’ feelthecity project was the winner of the UW/H competition “GründerWerkstatt”.