Last fall, Disrupt Battlefield finalist Zumper promised to make finding an apartment in San Francisco and New York City not quite so painful. With a map-based interface and easy-to-use filters, the startup sought to differentiate itself from the status quo (*ahem* Craigslist) by providing a better way to search for, and find, available apartments.
But as with any marketplace, it needed to provide incentive for the supply side of the equation to populate its apartment rental portal with their listings. To that end, Zumper is improving the toolset that real estate brokers, agents, management companies, and landlords can use to post their available rentals. In particular, it’s releasing an iPhone app for real estate professionals that will enable them to quickly create beautiful apartment listings on the fly.
Zumper co-founder Anthemos Georgiades told me that while setting up the startup, he and his team spent weeks with brokers and apartment managers trying to understand what their pain points were. One of the issues they saw over and over was in the way that listings were created, which usually involved an agent going on location, taking photos with a point-and-shoot camera and then returning to an office to import them to a computer, all before a listing could be created.
The Zumper Pro iPhone app simplifies the whole process, providing everything a real estate professional might need to add a listing directly from his or her iPhone. That includes the ability to create a listing, enter address and relevant information (# of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, etc.), and add pictures.
They can then publish the listing or keep it private. Once posted, they can later distribute flyers on Craigslist as well through the Zumper Pro web interface. All of that can shave the whole process of listing an apartment down to under five minutes, which frees them up to do other things, like list more apartments and make more money.
Zumper was one of the finalists at Disrupt SF 2012 and has listings in San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago. But it hopes to open up nationwide in the next few months. The company had raised $1 million in seed capital from Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, CrunchFund, NEA, Dawn Capital, The Experiment Fund, and the DeWilde family trust last May.
Oh, hey, and if you’ve read this far. We have Disrupt NY next week, with a whole new class of startups in the Startup Battlefield. Who will win this time around? Come find out!