Real estate search and marketing company Trulia.com has launched a comprehensive rental properties search. With a significant number of consumers losing their homes and others debating whether to buy or rent, the site’s rental search offers a variety of information to help consumers make that choice and live in a home that fulfills the varying requirements of their individual lifestyle.
"There are 6.7 million people on Trulia and we know that some percentage of them are also looking to rent. We’re taking the best of the Trulia (for-sale home) search experience and bringing it over to rentals," said Heather Fernandez, the company’s vice president of marketing.
In a recent internal study, the company found that 30 percent of about 600 prospective homebuyers are also considering renting and "need more tools to make better decisions," the company said. In another recent survey performed by Harris Interactive for the company, 60 percent of about 1,000 surveyed adults at least somewhat agreed that renting currently makes better financial sense for them.
The company also pointed to the top 20 real estate sites as compiled by Web metrics firm Hitwise in February 2009 and 2010 — while three rental sites made that list in 2009, seven made it to this year’s February list. That indicates a rising interest in rentals, Fernandez said.
While Craigslist comes to mind for many consumers looking to rent, Trulia hopes to attract renters by offering a more expansive set of features that were previously only available for users looking for homes to buy.
"Ultimately, we want renters to know that you can have an advanced search experience and get to exactly what you’re looking for with all of the tools that make your life easier: you can have it on your mobile, get (saved search) listings pushed to you, give you a map view … A lot of things other sites don’t have that will make searching for home a lot easier. Craigslist is a great site but its very limited," Fernandez said.
The site’s new "Rent" tab allows users to filter their searches by location, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, property type, and whether pets are allowed. Users can further refine their results by a given radius, minimum and maximum square footage, and amenities like air conditioning or an in-unit washer/dryer, among other features.
Users can also search home descriptions for keywords like "pool," "garage," or "public transit." Results include home details, photos, schools data, and a Google map of the location with the ability to see important community resources like banks, schools, grocery stores, and gas stations.
Where available, users can also see properties through Google Street View or an aerial "perspective" view. In the "large map" view, users can see their listings on a map and see their results populated as they click and drag the map around. Under "More neighborhood options," Trulia offers the ability to choose multiple neighborhoods to search at the same time.
The site gets its rental listings from third-party property listings aggregators Rentwiki, For Rent, ApartmentGuide, and Rentals.com. Trulia also receives feeds of listings from multiple listings services. Trulia gets listings from hundreds of brokers that have existing partnerships for for-sale listings, including Prudential Douglas Elliman, Long & Foster, Coldwell Banker Previews International and RE/MAX Greater Atlanta.
Companies that have current partnerships with Trulia can submit rental listings at no cost. Those looking to set up new feeds to Trulia can do so through those third-party aggregators or contact the company at email@example.com, Fernandez said. …CONTINUED