Trulia Reaches Further Into the Rental Game

  • October 24, 2011

by Shilpi Paul

Trulia Reaches Further Into the Rental Game: Figure 1
Trulia-for-Rent app. Photo courtesy of Trulia.

Real estate website Trulia launched two products this fall aimed at renters: the Trulia-for-Rent mobile application and the “Post-to-Craigslist” cross-listing feature.

Trulia-for-Rent, an Android app for rental hunters, launched on September 29th. The San Francisco-based company already has a rental section, and the app will take listings from that section and share them with those on the move. According to The New York Times, 25 percent of the company’s traffic comes via mobile applications.

UrbanTurf spoke with Divya Bhat, Senior Product Manager at Trulia, who said that the company has adjusted their model from just for-sale properties to suit those on the hunt for rentals.

“The short shelf-life of rentals, especially in cities like DC and San Francisco, is one of the things that really differentiates the rental market from the for-sale market,” Bhat told UrbanTurf. “Renters don’t need nearly as much data as homebuyers, but they need it quickly and in an easy-to-digest format.”

With Trulia-for-Rent, users can search for rentals, identify which are new versus ones they have already viewed, save properties they like, and hide properties that they’re not interested in. Bhat also said that users can sign up for search alerts so that they get an email as soon as new properties that fit their criteria are listed.

Of course, the value of the app depends largely on how many rental listings are in the database for a given city. A search for DC apartments on Trulia yielded about 1,500 listings, mostly in big apartment buildings.

Post-to-Craigslist launched about a week ago with the hopes that landlords and renters will post their rentals to Trulia with the knowledge that the listings will then be cross-posted to Craigslist. Once a poster submits a listing on Trulia, they can choose to use the automated “Post-to-Craigslist” feature, which will then post the rental to Craigslist. However, unlike a lot of rentals on Craigslist, the company hopes that their listings (here’s an example) will have more visual appeal than the site’s usually minimalistic ads.

“With our posting tool, ads can include larger photos and more well-organized information than if someone posted directly to Craigslist, making a more attractive ad offering for renters,” Bhat said.

To keep the site updated, landlords must manually refresh their ad after 14 days, and Trulia is working to improve their technology to post listings as soon as they hit the market. If you get the chance to try it out, let us know how you think it works.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/trulia_reached_further_into_the_rental_game/4418

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