Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Refer Friends and Win Free Rent

We are giving away one month of free rent (up to $500) for those who share Rent Jungle with their friends (you can use Facebook, Twitter, whatever!). Check out how to win free rent by clicking here.

For each person you refer, you get one entry in the drawing. A winner is selected every month! And you can keep winning over time, so referring a bunch of people can really pay off. You will be givin a unique tracking URL that you can email, share on Facebook, Tweet about, or anything you want! When a user clicks your URL, you get entered.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Feature: Neighborhood Search

This week we rolled out the ability to browse apartments by neighborhood within a city. Check it out on this Chicago Apartments For Rent example. You can filter by Lincon Park Apartments , for example.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Press Release: Best Places To Get Back on Your Feet After Foreclosure

New press release hit the wires today featuring our new apartment market data features. Check it out:

Best Cities To Get Back On Your Feet After Foreclosure

Topping the list of the best places to get back on your feet are Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, and Omaha. All three boast inexpensive apartment rents, low house prices, high average salaries, and low unemployment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Site redesign and lots of new features!

We have lots of exciting news to share from RentJungle.com. We have recently redesigned the site and added a ton of new features, including the ability to see if you are paying too much for rent (or at least see what your neighbors are paying)! Please take a look at the following new features and let us know your thoughts:

Compare Your Rent Using our New Rental Comp Tool
See if you are paying (or charging) too much for rent by using our new rental comparison tool. It instantly mines millions of historical apartment listings to see where you stand vs. what is for rent in your area.

Search Results Now Include Neighborhood Market Data
See current average rents and demographic info (avg. income, % single, etc.) for the neighborhoods you are searching. The example linked is from Chicago.

New Apartment Search Homepage
We have a great new homepage that includes our apartment blog postings, historical rent trend data from our data warehouse, and a search box to launch our rent comparison tool. And we also doubled the page load speed!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great Feedback on Our Facebook App

Some great feedback from an early user of the new apartment search facebook application. Believe it or not, I don't even know this guy:

Oh my god, I don’t say this often and I hate facebook apps out of principle (if you ask me then facebook should’ve never allowed highschool kids or applications) but:

LOVE IT LOVE IT.

a) it is simple

b) it is blazingly fast (faster than apartment website)

c) it is intuitive

d) you can save apartment to look at later

e) makes searching for a place with roommates super easy because you can share it over facebook

This is the new cragislist of apartment hunting. Seriously. I wish I had this when a few months ago. Once again, I can’t believe I’m saying this about a facebook app, but I LOVE IT

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Facebook Apartment App Beta Test Launch

Thank you again for your help and support testing our initial version of the Rent Jungle site back in May! We have integrated your feedback. We are excited to announce a new product and could use your help again.

Next week we will be launching an innovation that is first of its kind in the apartment listing industry: a Facebook application that allows you to search for apartments and share them with your friends without leaving the Facebook site. Before we open up the application to the public, we need some help testing it. Please visit the application at http://apps.facebook.com/rentjungle. You will need a Facebook account to access all the features. Once you have taken a look, please comment here with any feedback and improvement ideas. If you like what you see, please become a fan of the application by clicking “become a fan” on the application homepage.

In addition to the new Facebook application, we have significantly increased our inventory (e.g., we now have over 17,000 listings within 10 miles of Manhattan ). We have added many new features including the ability to search for points of interest (e.g., Starbucks, Whole Foods, gyms, etc.) next to your desired apartment. Best of all, we are now receiving ~1,000 unique visitors a day and growing! If you have not visited the site recently, please do so by clicking here.

Thank you again for your help and support!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Site Version 1.2 Rolled Out Today

Launched the following features / enhancements today. We are through the majority of the beta tester feedback, finally!

Front end:
  • You can now edit your email, name and password
  • Browse by universities as well as states
  • Ability to see streetviews and add to favorites while browsing the map
  • Outbound listings will now open in a separate tab/window
  • Houses for rent can be filtered out of the search results
  • Distance from the center of the search location are shown on the search results
  • Displaying the cities alphabetically going down the columns rather than across (harder than you might think!)
  • Redirect back to where you came from if you are forced to log in
  • Check for browsers to make sure they have cookies and active x enabled
Behind the scenes:
  • Moved to an on-demand cloud hosting environment at Mosso/Rackspace so we can easily scale
  • Implemented server-side and client side caching and a content delivery network to really get these pages loading faster. We have already cut our bandwidth out by 75%

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Site Version 1.1 Launched!

The following features/fixes were rolled out today. We're starting to plow through that user feedback. Lots more to go
  • Email your list of favorite apartments to a friend
  • Delete your favorites once you add them
  • This blog!
  • You can search by college/university name in the search box
  • A major upgrade to the query syntax and database indexes that should improve apartment search speed by 90% based on preliminary testing
  • Ability to auto import structured datafeeds (XML) of listings from companies that make them available to us
On the map interface, we made some major improvements:
  • Map loads dynamically as you scroll around, so even if you go far away from your original search, you will still see listings
  • Map bubbles only open if you click. The auto-open feature was not fun to use in crowded markets like new york and chicago
  • You can search using the Google Bar in the lower left for points of interest (like "starbucks") near your apartment listings
  • We are now color coding houses for rent vs. apartments on the maps
Next version coming soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Early Feedback

Thank you beta users for your early feedback. First, the positive response has been amazing. Multiple people mentioned Rent Jungle was the best site in the category they had ever used. Great!!

Here is the feedback in no particular order. Please add additional comments if you have further suggestions:
  • I'd like to see a search summary somewhere on the page that lists the distance of each of the apartments from the location specified in the search. (James G)
  • Can you leverage the Google Street View API to show what some of these properties look like from the outside in the map view? (James G)
  • Can you include the option to search for pet-friendly apartments? (James G)
  • Make sure all the apartments have addresses (Joe H)
  • How can I get my Gulf front condo on this site? (Joan D)
  • Bug: Go to Ohio Apartments and click on Bedford Heights, it takes you back to the States listings (Jerie G)
  • The Map View can be quite "jumpy" and can move independent of holding the left click button down. And the pop-up descriptions seem to appear without an action (blocking part of the map), somewhat difficult to close the pop-ups. (Rick F)
  • Populate the map view for neighboring areas. Right now the map loads up a dense area, then as you scroll there are no more listings (Norman W)
  • I've been working with a real estate agent in Chicago who created another interesting search engine (http://www.intochicago.com/). The slider bar is pretty slick and something that I haven't seen others do. You should borrow some of that UI (Mark O)
  • It would be helpful if you could open links in a new tab or new window so you could easily refer back to map. (Edd H)
  • Bug: When I click on listings linked to realtor.com, the host website seems to zero out all of the source data on some of the listings in NYC (Edd H)
  • When I log in or click on a different tab (like tips and tricks), etc, it’d be nice if the map view and listing view remembered my latest search so I can go back to it after I’m done browsing around the site. (Claire L)
  • In “listing view”, the smallest distance limitator is 5 miles, which is too large for NYC (Claire L)
  • Is it possible to enable the businesses around you functionality on google maps once I’ve found a listing I like so I can see how far the closest supermarket / school etc is? (Clarie L)
  • I thought some of the banner ads were a little too prominent (Garrett L)
  • My natural tendency is to search through alphabetical listings by column instead of by row, the way you have it displayed. (Garrett L)
  • It would be great to choose the categories more widely. Price: allow people to enter min/max values rather than just picking predefined ranges Bedrooms: allow multiple selections, ie. 1 AND 2 bedroom units Same for bathrooms (Marius R)
  • I would really recommend is allowing the user to select bedrooms, baths, distance, etc. and then having them click on a "go" button. I say this b/c otherwise the map tries to reload after you change one of the fields and this takes some time (Andy M)
  • And then about 20 things from Joe B that I can't even list here (Thanks Joe!)

And then, our favorites:
  • Its actually the best rental comp tool I’ve ever seen. Better then Zillow and Truilla (George R)
  • I was so frustrated by apartments.com after I clicked over to there, that I had to come back to Rent Jungle (Brendan K)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Welcome to the company blog!

Welcome to the company blog. We intend to use this Blogger site to share news, updates, features, betas, etc. We love comments, so please contribute!