NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 26, 2012) - RentHop, the smarter apartment search marketplace, announced today that it is expanding its free service to the Chicago metro area, providing renters in the Windy City with a better way to find the apartment of their dreams at Chicago.RentHop.com. The site's key innovation is the HopScore, a set of sophisticated quantitative algorithms that ranks and sorts available listings by quality. RentHop is already well established in the New York City and Boston areas, where it has become a trusted source for local apartment hunters, landlords and brokers.
Unlike existing apartment search alternatives that simply sort by price or posting date, the RentHop ranking incorporates dozens of factors that can be categorized into three distinct dimensions: publicly available information gauging the quality, timeliness, and completeness of the listing; the internal track record of the listing within RentHop; and the previous behavior of the broker or landlord offering the apartment. The three dimensions combine to form a holistic view for identifying the most appropriate apartment listings and displaying them in search results.
For example, listings with recent price drops often rank higher. Listings still available after 10 rental inquiries are likely to be low quality or already rented and thus incur a rank penalty. Landlords consistently responding to apartment seekers within 12 hours experience ranking bonuses applied across all their listings. These are just three factors considered when computing an apartment's HopScore.
Moreover, parts of the scoring formula evolve separately for each city RentHop serves to accommodate local differences in the apartment hunting experience between various metropolitan areas. For example, the prevalence of open listings in New York City requires more emphasis be placed on the timeliness of the listing. For its Chicago site, RentHop ported many factors from the New York and Boston HopScore models and partnered with fellow Y Combinator backed company YouGotListings to help seed and calibrate the initial scoring. Over time the site will train and adapt based on usage patterns specific to Chicago searches.
RentHop is free for apartment hunters in every city. For a limited time, landlords, brokers and property managers joining in Chicago can earn a free lifetime basic membership. RentHop has also partnered with real estate technology vendors YouGotListings, RealtyMX and RentJuice to provide special promotions for their clients.
How RentHop Works
Using RentHop, apartment seekers can search by apartment size, location, price and specific amenities. As renters filter through the results, the site continuously displays the highest-ranking apartments that meet the search criteria first. Though it is still possible to access the entire database of available listings, most users only have time to read through a few dozen listings. After reviewing the results, users can save interesting listings or contact landlords and brokers through the site to schedule showings.
Because a large portion of the renter and landlord interaction occurs on RentHop, the site continuously builds a quality and trust profile for each listing and landlord account. As the site observes more interactions between the marketplace participants, the proprietary scoring models adapt to ensure the most successful and desirable landlords and listings quickly stand out.
"The apartment search process can be incredibly challenging. In large cities there are far too many listings advertised but only very few genuinely worth taking the time to view. Our unique data-driven approach simplifies the process so that apartment hunters can make highly informed decisions and cut through the clutter," said Lee Lin, CEO and Founder of RentHop. "RentHop provides a new way of looking for an apartment, and we are thrilled to be expanding our service to Chicago."
Founded in 2009 by Lawrence Zhou and Lee Lin, RentHop simplifies real estate decisions using technology and data analysis. It offers the most sophisticated apartment quality ranking algorithms, helping apartment hunters quickly sift through large pools of inventory to find the most appropriate listings. RentHop is funded by Y Combinator and currently serves the NYC, Boston and Chicago metro areas. For more information, please visit www.RentHop.com.
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