Maybe you’ve just gotten out of a relationship or you’re looking to move to a different neighborhood. Whatever the case, you’re on the search for a new apartment. But where do you go? Craigslist? (Hope you have lots of time on your hands.) Zumper has the answer.
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Zumper is coming out of private alpha and jumping into its public beta to help apartment hunters find their next great apartment in New York and San Francisco, with other cities to follow later this year. Of course it’s not all about the tenants. In fact, the landlords, property managers and brokers who are looking for ideal candidates can clear through the clutter by listing on Zumper.
Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades says the apartment rental process is ripe for the picking but that it won’t happen overnight: “This will take years, not months, but we’re committed to making this work and we’re very excited by the early traction we’re seeing.”
So why would anyone want to use Zumper? For starters, it’s free to use and list. Apartment hunters simply need to enter a few parameters (price, neighborhood, etc.) and you’re then shown a flurry of listings that are plotted on top of Google Maps. If more than one unit is available in any given area, they’re clustered together and denoted with the number of units available. Otherwise, you’ll just see the price for a unit. All apartments listed are no more than five days old or as fresh as an hour old. Listings also include a bevy of photos, descriptions for both the unit and neighborhood, along with stats like the number of baths, sq. footage, etc.
You can favorite neighborhoods, for instance, for a customized news feed that’s refreshed every five minutes. Each neighborhood page lists the number of types of units available (studios, 1 bedroom, etc.) so you can skim at your convenience. You can also favorite individual listings to keep tabs on potential new dwellings.
To inquire about an apartment, you can contact the appropriate party through Zumper’s messaging system instead of a random email address the way you do through Craigslist.
Zumper’s listings are up to date and carefully curated to avoid all the noise (read: spam) found elsewhere online. The listings are not scraped either, which is great for all parties involved. The San Francisco-based startup will generate revenue through promoted listings and aggregate sales data of both listed and closing prices for trend forecasting and the like. A mobile app is expected in the next year.
Zumper’s team is comprised of Georgiades who comes from a real estate family; Taylor Glass-Moore, the COO, a native of San Francisco and real estate broker for over seven years; and Russell Middleton and Leah Jones, Zumper’s technical co-founders, who were previously at Google as full-stack engineers.
When asked about the name, Georgiades had this to say: “The name came from a play on a British word ‘gazump‘ which originally had negative connotations about house sellers dealing with multiple offers at the very last minute. We wanted to reinvent it to keep the positive aspects of live time data and offers and to combine it with a qualified rental inquiry platform. We want to empower tenants with as much data as possible to make the right decision in their apartment hunt.”
If only I’d known about Zumper earlier this year, I might not have re-signed the lease on my place for another two years!