Will a New Service Replace Craigslist as the Preferred Apartment Locator?

by Will Smith

A service has come to DC that aims to take the stress out of finding an apartment. Urban Igloo just launched this summer with the promise that it can streamline the apartment-hunting process from days to hours. If you’ve ever spent weeknights combing through Craigslist or other listings sites, then weekends schlepping around the city to visit apartments you found online only to be disappointed most of the time, you’ll probably appreciate what the company is trying to do.


It works like this: You provide Urban Igloo with a set of criteria for your ideal apartment, the company does the research to identify a handful of places that meet that criteria, and then an Urban Igloo agent drives you around to all the identified apartments. When you find one you like, the agent helps out with all the paperwork. The whole thing is free. The company makes money by charging the landlord one month’s commission for a rented unit.

The model is not unlike a traditional real estate agent’s rental business. The difference, according to the company, is that most agents are attentive to the more lucrative sales side of their business rather than rentals. Urban Igloo focuses just on the rental market, so renters are assured to get the best service it has to offer.

Being so new, the company does not yet have a strong reputation one way or the other, but it has managed to get some press, including this interview with founder Rick Gersten on NewsChannel 8.

If you’ve used the company, please share your experience in the comments section.

See other articles related to: renting in dc, real estate technology

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/will_a_new_service_replace_craigslist_as_the_preferred_apartment_locator/1403


  1. renter said at 9:13 pm on Monday October 12, 2009:

    I went to see an apartment through urban igloo. They quoted me a price on the apartment. When I got home I checked craigs list—the same apartment was listed for more than $150 less a month.

  1. John said at 8:22 am on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    renter, I think you were duped by the person renting the place. I used urban igloo to find my last apt and was initially skeptical, but found that there was never a discrepancy in rental price between what they quoted and craigslist.

  1. Just Curious said at 12:38 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    How do they charge a landlord one months rent if the property is already listed in MLS?  Does that mean they are acting as a dual agent in most cases or do you mean they are only using for rent by owner as their pool of properties?

  1. Loganer said at 4:28 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    I want an apartment in the Logan Circle area.  It is not offered as a neighborhood to search.  Not very useful.

  1. Loganer said at 4:33 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    Actually took another look—they do not offer many neighborhoods to search in DC…otherwise you have to fall back on the quadrant.  NW is a big place if you are targetting a specific neighborhood.  Same for VA and MD jurisdictions….but then I guess people drive a lot in the burbs and do not care as much where they live.

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