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by CareyBot

Zilpy is like Zillow for rental properties, with rental price estimates, demographic data and heat maps based on median rental rates.

The new Web site, which launched last week and lists Zillow as a partner company, offers competition to Rentometer.com, another site that allows users to gauge rental prices in a selected area.

Zilpy.com is not a rental listings site. It is a rental research site that allows users to grab automated rental price estimates by address, city or ZIP code, and to refine searches based on type of rental property, a desired rental range, number of bedrooms and a range of square feet. One of the founders referred to the site as “the Trulia for the rental market.”

The heat maps show areas with higher and lower rental prices — red zones feature the highest median rental prices, while dark green shading indicates the lowest rental pricing.

Just launched last week, the company is still finalizing agreements with its data sources, said Bogdan Cirlig, Zilpy CEO. The site’s rental estimates are based on online sources of rental data such as Google Base, he said.

The idea for the site grew out of his own experience as an investor who purchases properties to rent out, Cirlig said. The site’s entry page includes links for investors, renters and landlords.

Yelena Drabkin, co-founder and vice president of marketing of Zilpy.com, said that Zilpy founders are not real estate brokers or agents, though the company has an advisory board that includes real estate professionals, lawyers and entrepreneurs. The company is based in California’s Silicon Valley.

Her husband, Gene Drabkin, serves as the chief technology officer.

The site’s design resembles Zillow and Trulia, with the search bar featured prominently on the page and the interactive mapping tools featured prominently on the search results page. The formula for the automated rental estimates take into account a range of factors, such as property type, square footage and amenities.

Users of the site can view the number of rental properties available for neighborhood areas within a ZIP code. The estimated rental cost is displayed by size of the rental property, and month-to-month changes in the rental rate are also displayed.

Another chart shows rental price trends on a graph and also displays the rental cost per square foot.

Demographic data, supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau, show local statistics including share of renter-occupied housing, vacancy rate, population, median household income, crime, age groups and monthly rent affordability, among other statistics.

Gene Drabkin said that the site contains historical rental data for the past six months.

The founders have plans to open up the site’s application program interface, or API, to allow other sites to integrate Zilpy features.

Zilpy seeks to generate income through online advertising at the site, and may also offer subscriptions to investors who are seeking very specific data.

“Our goal is to provide accurate data and become a comprehensive analytical tool for the rental market,” Yelena Drabkin said in a blog post this week. “So far we have over 1 million listings and are working on adding more. We are working hard to finalize our contracts with the data sources we are using and planning to display data sources for all of our data.”

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