Industry NewsNews Brief

Rental sites feed listings to FEMA

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With thousands of displaced storm victims searching for homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, boutique rental listing services have teamed up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to supply the agency's housing portal with thousands of listings.The partnerships have proven a savvy business move for some listing services by providing them with a revenue boost and positive media exposure. In addition, the partnerships may help listing services discover creative ways to integrate FEMA data into their portals. New York was one of several cities that FEMA sought to aid by beefing up its FEMA Housing Portal, said Lee Lin, co-founder of RentHop, a rental website that offers listings handled by brokers and landlords in New York, Boston and Chicago. So to enhance its FEMA Housing Portal, the agency solicited bids from portals interested in supplying it with additional listings. RentHop and UrbanEdge, a no-fee rental website specializing in landlord-handled listings, both won contrac...