I spent months going apartment hunting in New York City for my sister a few years ago, and it wasabsolute hell. Not only do you have to look at an endless array of places, there is so much demand thatyou barely even have time to think about it before you have to agree. Wait a day and POOF, it's gone.
In her case, not having time to do research put her into a building that was infested with bed bugs, whichwas gross, time consuming and expensive to deal with.
That is why I have a natural inclination toward any company whose entire mission is to make theapartment renting process any quicker and/or easier.
Founded in 2008, Apartment List has quickly become one of the top destinations for apartment huntersonline by being kind of like a Kayak for rental properties.
The company consolidate millions of listings from across the Web to deliver it all via one site. The site offers an array of unique features forcomparing and sharing properties, as well as information on individual neighborhoods, such as“workability” and “stroller index.” Posting, and answering, listings is free for users on the site.
The way that it makes money is through the partnerships it has with listing services, includingRent.com, ForRent.com, Apartment Finder, List Hub, ApartmentSearch and RentWiki.
"We feel that would take away from the elegant user experience. We are compensated when we deliver appointments and signed leases from our renters to sponsored properties and brokerages."
The company does not reveal what percentage of your listings are sponsored, how much it gets paid for these listings, or what the compensation is that Apartment List receives for appointments and signed leases.
In all, Apartment List's 2013 revenue was $18 million, which represented 75% year over year growth.
The company has raised $22 million in three rounds of funding: a seed round of $1 million, a $15 million round of Series A funding, led by Matrix Partners, in November, and a $6 million round, led by Glynn Capital and Passport Capital, in February.
The San Francisco-based Apartment List has been busy over the last nine months or so. In August of last year it launched a new roommate matching app called Roommates.
The app uses Facebook connect to help people find each other. By adding this social component, it is able to matches potential roommates based on similar interests, friends, age, likes, as well as neighborhood and budget preferences.
In October the company made its first ever acquisition, buying up rating and reviews platform RentAdvisor in an all stock deal. Apartment List picked the company up to begin incorporating reviews and rating for the properties listed on the site, something that the site had previously lacked.
The company now sees over 2.5 million monthly visits to its website.
(Image source: blog.apartmentlist.com/about)