The Hemavi Journal ep.1 - Introducing Photo Highlights

A quick product update on Hemavi, where we're heading, and what we would like to fix in the room rental market.

The Hemavi Journal ep.1 - Introducing Photo Highlights

Hi fellow Hemavi'ers ๐Ÿ‘‹

Matt here (one of the co-founders at Hemavi).

The Hemavi Journal is the beginning of an unfiltered, light-hearted, and non-AI-generated series of monthly-ish blogs where I will share some updates on โ€“

(a) The Execution โ€“ How we're delivering solutions aimed at changing the room rental game for the landlords and tenants of today.

(b) The Vision โ€“ Our perspective on how we can really address the problem on the long term, and build something there's no real comparison to.

Photo Highlights ๐Ÿฅณ

Editing a Photo Highlight

Photo Highlights on Hemavi are a combination of โ€“

    1. ๐Ÿ“ท One photo โ€“ This can be a photo of you playing guitar in your living room, your favourite book, the time you took a photo next to the Eiffel Tower, or your pet cat called Garfield. Go wild! The more you share, the more compatible a roommate you'll find.
    1. ๐Ÿ’ฌ A description (optional) โ€“ Sometimes a photo doesn't give enough context. A few words and an emoji can go a long way.
    2. ๐Ÿ“Location (optional)โ€“ Our experiences are often shaped by where we've lived, and where we've been. Over half of our tenants move from abroad โ€“ so we wanted to make it easy for them to showcase their experiences properly.
    3. ๐Ÿท๏ธ Smart Tags (optional) โ€“ We use some fancy image recognition AI to help us understand the context behind your photo. This will be come really useful as we integrate this into our matchmaking algorithm. So in the near future, we'll be even better at finding you like-minded roommates โ€“ Looking for a vegetarian brazilian salsa dancer in their 20's who also loves cleaning the house every Sunday? We got you.

But why? ๐Ÿง

So one of the problems that we deeply care about โ€“ and the whole reason we started this company in the first place, was that no one out there really focused on allowing potential roommates to share more about who they are โ€“ their personality, their lifestyle and their interests.

For a very long time, we assumed that being different from other housing platforms was enoughโ€“ we had lifestyle questions, we made age/gender mandatory, and we asked people about their interests.

Yet, after attending hundreds of video calls with our users, we realised that the thing that people really bonded over was the 'little quirks' that they had in common. Maybe they both had a peculiar taste for knitting, were strangely addicted to house plants, or just really loved german house music.

As as user, there was so much of the human-aspect of your 'future roommate' that couldn't transpire only through a text-only profile, or even via a short 20-min video call.

The Vision ๐Ÿ”ฎ

On the short term, what we're picturing for the feature, is a way for people to take their profiles to the next level and find better matches.

As a landlord โ€“ you would be receiving applications from tenants that are already confident that they're compatible with your lifestyle. That could mean less applications (in terms of volume), but much higher quality ones โ€“ which has been part of our whole approach. Quality > Quantity.

As a tenant โ€“ you would now have a clear way to stand out from the crowd. During a peak season, we can get as many as 8 new tenants per new room listed. We want to give you a way to get ahead and showcase your best self โ€“ let the people know how interesting you are, and skyrocket your chances of finding a fantastic room.

On the long term (if it turns out people actually enjoy using the feature๐Ÿคž) we're planning on doing two things โ€“

(a) improve the matchmaking algorithm so that most of the heavy lifting when it comes to seaching for a roommate is done by us. You've told us what are your interests & things you care about โ€“ let us do the work and find quality matches for you.

(b) look beyond the room-rental problem, and facilitate the building of communities of like-minded people. Consider something like this โ€“ "Remember when you told us you loved salsa? Well here's a free salsa class hosted every Wednesday only 2kms from where you live, and there's two people I think you should meet โ€“ Jerry and Sandy. Weirdly enough, they also love to knit!" โ€“ the Hemavi algorithm

Got any great product ideas you'd like to share? Feel free to reach out at