Live streaming an apartment open house

- Sit on your couch on a Saturday afternoon and find the apartment of your dreams. Sound too good to be true? Thanks to Periscope, a Harlem real estate agent is making it easier than ever to see your next home.

Rick Hernandez of Bohemia Realty Group says New York is such a busy place that it's difficult for potential clients to see properties on the weekends or their lunch break. Hernandez's solution? He's bringing available apartments to them, using Periscope to host Scopin' Houses right on his phone.

We went along with Hernandez on three Scopin' Houses in Harlem in just one afternoon. When he does an open house on Periscope, Hernandez says, he gets a lot of people very quickly, and can easily separate the people who aren't really interested from those who are. That saves time for prospective renters and for Hernandez.

Hernandez says he can show dozens of people an entire apartment in just a matter of minutes, walking around and letting them see details like a newly renovated bathroom or beautiful kitchen backsplash.

The first apartment we visited was a studio across from Morningside Park for $2,100 a month. Hernandez described the apartment as a space you can do a lot with.

Hernandez says he even has time to answer specific questions. Can you open the fridge? How big is the closet space? How involved is the super? Afterwards he can connect directly with serious renters, so they can see the place in person.

Hernandez has been hosting Scopin' Houses for about 8 months and has nearly a thousand Periscope followers. Some are seriously shopping for their next home. Others are just checking out the cost of local real estate.

He says has apartments on both ends of the market, ranging from $1,500 a month all the way up to $25,000.

The second apartment he showed us was a 3-bedroom, 4th-floor walk-up on 116th for $3,000 a month.

The final apartment was a swanky 3 bedroom, 2.5-bath on Saint Nicholas for $6,000 a month. It has an elevator that opens directly into the apartment. The master bedroom has its own private terrace. Overall, Hernandez says it's an amazing apartment in an amazing neighborhood.

Hernandez says Scopin' Houses aren't just for busy New Yorkers. He's also helped out-of-towners see potential homes before they move here. He even used Periscope to rent an apartment in Washington Heights to a member of the military serving in Iraq.

As great as these Scopin' Houses are, Hernandez says, once you're serious about a place, you should see it in person before putting down a deposit..

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