About one year after launching and becoming a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist, apartment rental startup Zumper is expanding beyond New York City, San Francisco and Chicago and is going national. Along with all the new places where users will be able to find listings, it's also launching an iPhone app that is designed to help renters find their next apartment.
For those who might have forgotten, Zumper launched as a platform to simplify the way that real estate brokers and apartment managers listed and managed available apartments. It then added Pro features and launched an iPhone app for real estate pros to help them create beautiful listings for their apartments on the fly.
Now it's ready to connect renters with those listings with an iPhone app aimed just at consumers.
The new Zumper iPhone app gives users all the tools they need to search for and discover properties that have been listed through its platform. They can scan a map of nearby properties and drill down apartments based on location, or they can search by neighborhood. For finicky renters in San Francisco, for instance, you can choose to only look at apartments that are in the Mission, or Castro, or Noe Valley areas, for instance.
Once you've narrowed down the acceptable neighborhoods you'd live in, you can refine your search further based on price, number of bedrooms, how recently the space was listed, and whether or not it accepts pets. That'll give you a listing of places that fit your criteria, and you can look at individual listing pages to learn more about the apartments or the properties themselves.
Found something you like? You can favorite a listing or you can share it, either by email, SMS, or Twitter. You can also send a message directly to the rental company within the app, which speeds up the time to get a response, and could speed up the time it takes for you to ultimately find an apartment.
That's part of why Zumper wanted to build a consumer-facing iPhone app in the first place, according to CEO Anthemos Georgiades: It wanted to close the loop on mobile-to-mobile communications between real estate professionals and prospective tenants. With mobile users on both sides, neither has to wait to get back to a computer to reach out or set up an appointment.
Since all listings come from its own management platform, apartments found in the Zumper app are accurate and up to date, at least in terms of availability, which is not something you could say for last week's Craigslist ad. That said, while Zumper has a number of listings in cities where it's been operating, Craigslist will have more but then you have to deal with Craigslist.
With the launch of the iPhone app, it's also expanding nationally, enabling apartment owners and potential tenants to connect no matter where they are in the U.S. While it had previously been focused just on New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago, it will now target the 100-million-strong apartment rental market in the country.
Zumper has raised a total of $1.7 million in seed funding from an impressive list of investors, which include Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, CrunchFund, NEA, Dawn Capital, The Experiment Fund, and the DeWilde family trust.
Disclosure: Can you believe this is the second time today I've had to point out that neither CrunchFund nor Michael Arrington pay me or tell me what to write about?