Apartment List wants to build a better end-to-end experience for people looking to find apartments. That will come as a welcome departure from the current apartment hunt process, which involves Craigslist and filling out applications in front of a dozen other people also filling out applications and hoping to get a place even though it’s too small and the rent is too damn high.
To help solve those issues and push forward what it hopes will become an end-to-end platform for renters, Apartment List raised $15 million in funding led by Matrix Partners a few months ago. It also acquired RentAdvisor to add reviews to its listings.
But there’s more that Apartment List thinks it can do, and so it has raised an additional $6 million in funding led by Glynn Capital and Passport Capital. Other investors in the follow-on round include Rothenberg Ventures, Hotel Tonight founder Sam Shank, Scott Stanford and Shervin Pishevar of Sherpa Ventures, Indeed founder Rony Kahan, BranchOut founder Rick Marini, MyTime founder Ethan Anderson, Chegg founder Aayush Phumbhra, and Karma founder Lee Linden.
How does Apartment List hope to change all that? Well, for one thing, it’s hoping to provide a lot more detail about the places that people are looking at. That includes trying to ensure there are more photos available so that apartment hunters know what they’re getting into, and even providing 3D floor plans for some units.
It’s also been focused on ensuring there’s a quality mobile experience, since so much of the apartment-hunting process happens on the go or when a user isn’t exactly in front of a computer. It has mobile apps for finding apartments — and finding roommates! — that enable users to directly connect with landlords, property managers, and potential roommates about available listings. That mobile focus has paid off: About 65 percent of its monthly visits in January came from mobile devices.
It has 2.2 million visits last month, according to CEO John Kobs, and it’s hoping to boost that to 5 million by the end of the year. Doing so should help get more listings on the platform, which should attract more renters, and the glorious cycle will lead the company onward and upward!
In the meantime, Apartment List hopes to continue adding new features that will help it move beyond just offering listings for renters and highly qualified leads for property managers. That includes the ability to sign contracts and pay rent all through the platform, which will simplify not just the process of finding an apartment, but staying in one.
[Image: Flickr / Rob Young]