Will New Site Beat Craigslist as Preferred Apartment Locator?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A service has come to DC that aims to take the stress out of finding an apartment. Urban Igloo just launched this summer with the promise that it can streamline the apartment-hunting process from days to hours. If you’ve ever spent weeknights combing through Craigslist or other listings sites, then weekends schlepping around the city to visit apartments you found online only to be disappointed most of the time, you’ll probably appreciate what the company is trying to do.

    It works like this: You provide Urban Igloo with a set of criteria for your ideal apartment, the company does the research to identify a handful of places that meet that criteria, and then an Urban Igloo agent drives you around to all the identified apartments. When you find one you like, the agent helps out with all the paperwork. The whole thing is free. The company makes money by charging the landlord one month’s commission for a rented unit.

    The model is not unlike a traditional real estate agent’s rental business. The difference, according to the company, is that most agents are attentive to the more lucrative sales side of their business rather than rentals. Urban Igloo focuses just on the rental market, so renters are assured to get the best service it has to offer.

    Being so new, the company does not yet have a strong reputation one way or the other, but it has managed to get some press, including this interview with founder Rick Gersten on NewsChannel 8.

    If you’ve used the company, please share your experience in the comments section.

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