Trulia.com launches rental search engine

Long a mainstay in the for sale space, renters can now search millions of units across multifamily buildings, agent-represented rentals and landlord submitted properties.

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Trulia.com recently launched an advanced search tool for rental listings. Trulia users can now take advantage of its smart search engine to find the perfect home to rent or buy. In addition to more than 3.5 million homes for sale, the site now offers access to millions of rentals across the United States.

“With the burst of the housing bubble, more consumers than ever are considering renting as a housing option,” said Pete Flint, Trulia co-founder and CEO. “Currently 6.5 million unique visitors a month are visiting Trulia.com, actively looking for a new place to live. We look forward to introducing rental listings to our audience and providing consumers with the tools to make the best decision for their lifestyle.”

Consumers shift toward renting
Recent data indicates that the economy has significantly impacted consumer views on the rent versus buy equation:

Thirty percent of self declared “home buyers” are considering both renting and buying at the same time, and need more tools to help make better decisions (Trulia research).

One year ago only 3 rental sites were in the top 20 for the real estate category. Now there are 7 rental sites (Experian Hitwise Feb 2009, Feb 2010).

Sixty percent of adults strongly/somewhat agree that renting currently makes better financial sense at this point in their life according to recent survey from Trulia/Harris Interactive.

Market rental listings on Trulia
Trulia is partnering with property managers, brokers and ILSs to market communities and properties nationwide, and connect qualified renters with the individual properties that best match their requirements. Property managers or brokers marketing a large number of listings can automate the process by submitting a data feed to the site. Those with one or a small number of listings can submit their properties, free, through Trulia’s single listing submit program, which allows users to submit, manage, edit, and track their properties.

Post launch, Trulia will roll out a number of opportunities for property managers to highlight the unique communities and properties in their portfolio, via innovative advertising solutions.

Advanced search
Consumers want flexibility when searching for a place to live. Trulia allows users to search by keywords found in property descriptions (ie. pool, waterfront, covered parking), multiple locations at the same time, and to use custom price ranges to help users target properties that best meet their needs. Users can also search by location, map and radius.

Smarter decisions
To help guide consumers through this process, Trulia not only offers its leading search functionality, but Expert Renters’ Guides such as: 10 Questions to ask a building manager when touring a rental, and how much rent can you really afford? Consumers can also post questions in the Trulia Voices community to get answers from the largest real estate community on the Internet.

Local ratings and information
Users can rate local areas on 12 different traits including walk-ability, parking, cleanliness, safety, public transport and weather. They can view information about nearby schools, local amenities and businesses provided by Trulia partners, Greatschools.net and Yelp.com.

Search on the go
The ability to search anytime, anywhere is critical today. Consumers can easily search for a place to rent or buy on Trulia’s mobile Web site, which is compatible with iPhone, Blackberry, Android and other mobile devices.

Personalization
Finding a new apartment or house is a personal decision. Trulia customizes searches by offering the ability to save communities and individual rental listings, easily send favorites to friends and family members via Trulia or Facebook, and sign up for real-time email alerts about new rental properties that match their saved search criteria.