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New real estate site slices, dices rental data

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August Kleimo, a Southern California software engineer and database developer, bought a duplex about a year ago as a rental property. He didn't know much about the rental market, so he started to crunch some numbers using rental prices he gathered from a local Craigslist Web site. Craigslist offers local online classified listings and other community postings for metro areas across the United States and internationally. "I didn't want to play a guessing game. I thought, 'There's this Craigslist data out there ... why don't I suck a bunch of data down,'" Kleimo said. Using this data, he determined the typical going rate for a rental unit in the area, and he priced it accordingly. Prior to this analysis, Kleimo said he had planned to set the monthly rental rate $200 lower. He threw together a simple Web site using the rental data he gathered. "I slowly started adding little features to it, then it slowly started to catch on," he said. RentSlicer.com, which launched early in 2005, at fir...