Original Article: Rental websites are hot properties. Search services are in demand as New York City apartment market surges.
"Lately, sites promising to make landing an apartment easier and cheaper are becoming hot properties themselves. Within the past 18 months, at least a half a dozen websites have launched. All face the same challenges: convincing renters to ditch brokers, while at the same time standing out in a field that now boasts 30 sites...
Even some in the industry's brick-and-mortar crowd are seeing opportunities online. In June, former broker Alicia Schwartz co-founded Rentenna. The site uses a proprietary scoring system to rank the landlord, neighborhood, local amenities and other elements that help make an apartment desirable. By using Facebook alone to attract users, the site has drawn more than ***2,000 registered users in two months, according to Ms. Schwartz.
Most of the startups are focusing on being either the best listing aggregator or displaying listings, she said. Our site actually takes objective criteria to show people in an instant if a home is worth living in. "
***Crain's New York: Corrected statistic