Rental Site HotPads Gains Funding, Features

The image “https://i2.wp.com/hotpads.com/images/map_logo_text_up.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Rental real estate site HotPads has announced $2.3 million in financing and a range of new features:

  • New Maps including Microsoft Satellite Mapping Integration
  • Neighborhood and City Demographic and Housing Stats with Wikipedia Articles
  • Political Party Affiliation Mapping
  • Demographic and Housing Heat Maps
  • Points of Interest Mapping including Schools, Universities and Public Transportation

HotPads is bringing many of the tools and content features available on home buying sites such as Trulia and Zillow to the rental market. Co-founder Douglas Pope told me in an email:

The main visual difference is integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth for satellite imagery. I think you will find it to be a very graceful mash-up. We also re-built the site from the ground up for performance and scalability and worked to get rid of some of the clutter on the search interface.

Over the last 6 months our listing base has doubled to around 44,000 active properties today (for perspective, Apartments.com has around 14,000 properties).

What’s very interesting to me is that Real Estate, which has been a relatively mature category and fairly stable for a long time, is being disrupted by lots of innovation from the “Web 2.0” crowd. But unlike other categories, the tools being added here are quite valuable to consumers and not merely novelty.

Take it with a grain of salt but here is a traffic comparison (from Compete) of Move.com, Zillow and Trulia. Move is the old Homestore and owner of Realtor.com. It’s the category traffic leader according to comScore and Nielsen (click to enlarge):

Move Traffic

All these sites will tell you these figures under-represent their traffic, but for purposes of trends and directional comparison it shows that the consumers are valuing the new functionality.

 


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