Trulia, which is ranked a Top 7 real estate site by comScore, has followed the lead of Realtor.com and Zillow and added rentals to its site. The rentals section features all Trulia’s functionality, such as neighborhood information, mapping and ratings information, and filters for relevant searches such as “pets allowed.”
The site also offers “search on the go.” Roughly 10 percent of Trulia’s usage now comes from mobile devices. Trulia’s mobile Web site is compatible with the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android platforms.
Trulia rentals covers the gamut from multifamily to houses. Listings will come from Independent Listings Services, as well as from brokerages and landlords. There are “millions” of units on the site at launch, with more than 25,000 in New York City.
One advantage of Trulia rentals, per CEO Pete Flint, is Trulia’s ability to assume hosting duties for listers including the hosting of contact info, images of units and floor plans, and other information. That separates Trulia from some of the rentals aggregators in the market, such as Oodle, he says.
Flint notes that 30 percent of the site’s visitors are typically looking to either rent or buy. The market trends are “absolutely in favor of renting,” he says. Overall, rentals “are as large as the ‘for sale’ business.”
Separately, in an interview with BusinessWeek, Flint deflected rumors that Google has been looking into buying the company. Trulia uses many of Google’s features and it would seem to be a nice fit. But Flint told BusinessWeek that the real estate market isn’t strong enough to appreciate the site’s full value this year.
As an alternative, the company is looking for an outside investor that would let employees and owners cash in their shares without waiting for an initial public offering, similar to Facebook’s arrangement with Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian company, and Yelp’s arrangement with Elevation Partners.