Looking for a rental has changed a lot in the past decade. No longer is the search confined to reading through classifieds or chasing after real estate agents. In the digital world, there are a lot of sites available to search for your apartments online. There are sites that offer a simple search, while others give map-based results of your search. Looking for a rental property is easier than it ever has been, as long as you know what services are available for you to use.
Some useful sites to find apartments online
One site that is great and simple to search for a rental apartment is Apartments.com. According to the site’s homepage, the services offered include creative search. This allows users to create potential neighborhoods using their Polygon search tool, and has a Plan Commute tool to help you search for a rental that gives you results based on how long the commute to work takes and the method of your commute. The site is integrated with property management companies’ inventory systems, which gives users the most current prices and availabilities for rental properties. There is also a rating system for apartment communities that is independently maintained, so users can know more about the area before moving in or wasting time looking at places. An app for Apartments.com is also available on Android and iOS, perfect for people who are searching for a new place in their spare time or on the move.
An interesting site to use while searching for a home is Socialisting.com. This site combines searching for apartments online (As well as jobs, services, workplaces, community activities and stuff for sale.) with a social element. Users sign in via Facebook, and are connected to their friends and friends of friends. This is good if you’re a part of a community to stay within the community when you move. It means that you’re connecting with people who are part of your social circle, and this adds an element of trust to any agreements or transactions. It also means that you’re able to ask a friend for their opinion on an apartment or future landlord. Anyone who is a member of Facebook can create an account, make posts and reply to listings.
PadMapper uses a map to make “apartment hunting suck less”. The homepage is a map that has location pins where apartments are available. Users are able to search based on a range of criteria, such as price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, full leases, sublets, rooms and vacation properties. The map feature allows users to see where the property is located, and what other rentals are available in the same area. Users are able to get email alerts on searches, make an account and use an app on their smartphone.
There are a lot of different ways to search for apartments online, on your smartphone or tablet. Some sites are better for specific cities and it’s recommended that you look at more a few different ones. Using one site would be a mistake, as no site has it all. The Huffington Post has a good article that lists online services for renting a property, looking to buy and sites for moving and packing that can be found here.
Whenever I’ve searched for apartments online, I’ve often used a range of sites and services in conjunction with one another. I’ve used sites dedicated to real estate, searched areas using Facebook groups, looked through online classifieds like Craigslist.com and made inquiries to a few different places. I’ve had different experiences using the range of methods, and I found that it more depends on the person offering the apartment than the site when it comes to a positive experience. Having a bad experience from someone on a site doesn’t always reflect the site itself – One site I used one of the people I contacted ended up being a hassle more than anything, but I ended up finding a place due to continuing to search despite the setback. I’ve been in a few rental properties, and don’t think I’ve used the same site to find a place more than once.
A tip for searching multiple sites – Take notes of what searches you do, what areas, zip codes, price ranges and such. This will help you to search a variety of sites and to remember your searches. Utilize email alert services, as they will give you up to date information straight to your inbox, which is great if you lack the time to constantly search.