Renting out a house or apartment is a gamble: Nightmare tenants abound. Second Porch for Facebook aims to make subletting or renting a little safer by overlaying your for-rent ads onto your social graph. This is a great idea, assuming, of course, your friends are not the type to smash things up.
When you create a listing, it goes out on your wall and appears as a News Feed item to friends. Presumably, that increases the chances for a “friend of a friend” tenant who’ll be a safe choice. Should none of your friends bite, you can use Second Porch like a regular listings service, with the option of making your ad viewable to all of Facebook. If you use Second Porch’s for-pay service, available soon according to TechCrunch, the app will let you link to information like Flickr albums, other Facebook pages, property Web sites, and other promotional sites.
Second Porch seems aimed more at second properties than subleases, which raises a few issues. If you use Facebook as a professional tool, you may want to think twice before advertising that your second home is for rent–or that you even have a second home. On Facebook, appearances are everything, and publicizing your real estate dealings might just be giving away too much.CD