Price per bedroom is back! Any other features that are sorely missed?
Hi guys, continuing with the work of bringing the new site back up to parity with the old in terms of filtering functionality, I’ve just released a new version of the site that includes the old No Fee and Max Listing Age filters.
One thing to note on the max age filter, it filters based on the date when the listing was first added, rather than when it was last updated. If something was posted 100 days ago, it may still be available – many big complexes constantly have openings, and just update their listings daily to reflect pricing over time. The max age filter will, unfortunately, filter those out. So, just be careful with the power we’re giving you 🙂
No-Fee filters out listings that we’re sure have a fee, but there may be some that are tagged incorrectly. Please feel free to flag inaccurate listings.
Keep the feedback coming, and we’ll keep improving the new site! Thanks very much for your patience in the meantime.
Hi everyone, fulltext search is back! Next up, no-fee and filter by age. Sorry they didn’t make the relaunch.
A little primer on how the fulltext search works.
If you just put some words into the box, it’ll require that ALL of those words appear in the ad.
If you want to do something a bit more nuanced, there’s a pretty advanced query syntax you can use to get exactly what you want.
To get listings that include one OR the other, put a pipe character | between the words.
ex: bath | tub | garage will get listings that include any of the words bath, tub, or garage.
To only get listings that DON’T include a word, put a minus – or exclamation point ! in front of the word.
ex: -basement will exclude listings that mention the word basement
If you want to match a phrase, like “hot tub”, put quotes around the phrase. Let’s say I want a hot tub, but I don’t know how it’ll be written, so I need to include a couple spellings.
ex: “hot tub” | hottub will get either spelling
If you want to get really fancy, you can group sets of searches with parentheses.
ex: (hot tub) | (basement roof) will get things that include hot and tub, or basement and roof (or 3 or 4/4 of those words).
And you should be able to mix these up in any way you want.
Hi everyone, I’m very excited to announce that PadMapper has joined forces with a much larger (27 person) and much better resourced startup – Zumper!
I’m guessing that many readers of this aren’t very familiar with PadMapper, and there’s no reason anyone would know anything about the company’s inner workings, so I’ll start by saying a little about us.
Our main goal so far has been to provide a search engine for apartment listings, with the long-term goal of going beyond that to Make Apartment Hunting Suck Less ™. It started as a hobby project of mine in the summer of 2008, and grew organically to consume all of my time by winter 2009.
We’re not one of the stereotypical startups you hear about all the time in the Silicon Valley press, raising tons of money, driving around in Ferraris, and complaining about only having three options of catered lunch. PadMapper is a very small company – we had only 3 full timers and 1 part timer when we were acquired by Zumper. Until a year and a half ago, I was the only full time employee. Despite our small size, we have a successful product by most metrics – the website recently passed the 100 million session mark, from 50 million unique users, despite almost no marketing spending. “Pssh. Snapchat gets those numbers every day.”, I can hear you saying. Hold on a second, though – if we do our job well, our users will drop off within a month of first using us, and not come back for two years. The better we are, the less someone needs to use us before they succeed. We’re not trying to gamify addiction here.
We’re essentially bootstrapped – except for $14,000 raised from Y Combinator in the summer of 2010, we had no outside investment at the time of acquisition other than the $20,000 of personal savings I had when I laid down the first lines of code. Our office was some combination of my apartment living room and our local public library. The park outside the library was our call room. We owned our own server hardware that we colocated 10 minutes down the road (it made sense when AWS didn’t offer SSDs and their prices were much higher, plus RAM is still so much cheaper to buy than rent). We had weekly team dinners, but almost no meetings – we spent a very large percentage of our time on productive work. Most years, we spent <$1,000 on marketing. We were all engineers, including our business development person, Ed (who also wrote our iOS app). We survived a 3 year lawsuit brought on by a much, much larger company. We focused on promoting retirement savings for our employees as much as we focused on equity grants.
Not all of this weirdness was unambiguously good. If I was starting this today, I would have focused much more on finding a second person earlier, perhaps even lowering my standards for the second person (which might sound like a mistake, but looking back, my standards basically boiled down to “must be named Rob, have gone to MIT with me, and have the last name Crowell”). I might have accepted the distraction and taken the time to raise money. With a bigger team handling the day-to-day operations, I would have engaged with the industry more in-person. In earlier versions of this post, I thought it’d be useful to readers if I tried to lay out the things I would do differently in greater detail, but having never tried the other route, it’s impossible for me to compare effectively and offer any sort of sage wisdom, and I’m guessing there were aspects of our operation that would inspire envy in most VC-backed companies. Especially my fiancee’s awesome cooking for some of the weekly team dinners.
Fortunately, Zumper has figured out a lot of the things we haven’t been good at historically, and we have very well aligned visions for the long-term. We’re actually, honestly, not-for-PR-reasons very excited to be joining forces with them, learning from them, and sharing our experience with them to help them improve. They complement us extraordinarily well, and one of our big motivations for joining with them is that it will enable us to provide a higher level of service than we have been able to with our relatively meager resources. Having a dedicated mobile team, for instance. Or, actual partner support, instead of just me answering emails when I find time between deploying new HAProxy configs. The site will get a lot more listings as well, thanks to their excellent bizdev team and the Zumper Pro platform, which will eventually replace our aging PadLister platform. It will let us compete at a much higher level, and let us help more people in ways we wouldn’t have been able to support alone.
Hopefully my saying this doesn’t earn us an entry on Our Incredible Journey someday, but the current long term plan is to keep PadMapper itself separate and true to its roots, and expand its capabilities. We’ve just launched a long-planned upgrade to the desktop website that adapts the mobile website to take advantage of the additional screen real estate of laptops and desktops, and should let us make apartment hunting suck less across all platforms in a more unified way. Please let us know if there’s anything from the old desktop site that you sorely miss – I hate gimped mobile/console-first experiences when I have a real computer and a huge monitor, so please help us not be that by dropping us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also, please feel free to just say hi, send us photos of places you’ve found with PadMapper, pet photos, etc. – we enjoy all of it). There are some bits that we’re planning on bringing back soon, and just haven’t had time to rebuild.
And we have some incredibly interesting and unique things planned for once we solidify the new site. Zumper’s actual roadmap reads very much like the wish list for making apartment hunting suck less that I’ve had banging around in my head for years. I think this combination makes it much more likely that we’ll actually pull it off. It’s been a crazy adventure so far, and I’m really excited for the next few years.
Please excuse a short Oscar speech to thank people who’ve helped us out. I’d like to thank Rob Crowell, Ed Jiang, Hendrik van de Bruggen, Mary Nguyen, Stephanie Curley, Molly Rosen, Greg Kidd, Meg Nakamura, Bryan Springmeyer, Jason Kwok, Venkat Balasubramani, Sean McChesney, Andy Hecht, Tri Hoang, Pete Kruskall, Colin Gilboy, Wil Chung, Scott Stram, Josh DeSeno, Sean Quinlan, Rekha Doshi, Denise Pitterle, Rodney Knight, Gang Huang, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Brown, Miguel Hernandez, Tracy Osborn, Louis DeMenthon, Natalie DeMenthon, Paul Graham, Jessica Livingston, Harj Taggar, Jon Levy, Kirsty Nathoo, and everyone else who has played a part in the first leg of this adventure. Special thanks to my fiancee, Shan Huangfu, for putting up with me throughout our many ordeals, counseling me, feeding the team, and generally being the best partner one could ask for.
My thanks also go out to everyone who has used our software, told their friends about us, and sent us their feedback for making it possible. Please keep using our sites, telling your friends about it, and sending us feedback 🙂
PS: Check out the new site! PadMapper – Apartments for Rent
After 3 years, we settled our lawsuit with craigslist today. As part of the settlement, we’ll no longer be including craigslist users’ listings in our search results.
However, PadMapper is not going anywhere, and we’re excited about what we have in store. PadMapper has over 100 sources of listing data, and over 700,000 non-craigslist listings on our map at any given time, representing many millions of apartment units. PadMapper will continue to help our many millions of users find a place to live every month.
In the past year, our team has grown quickly, and in the coming months we’re preparing to release a large update for our Android app, followed by a revised iOS app and a fresh look-and-feel for PadMapper.com.
If you are an owner or property manager, we’ve made it easy to post your listing directly to PadMapper. It’s free and can be renewed after 30 days.
We’d like to give a big thank you to all who have supported our legal battle – 3taps, Greg Kidd, Focal Law, the EFF, and the thousands of you who wrote letters of support.
We still wake up every morning excited to make apartment hunting suck less.
Eric and the PadMappers
Here at PadMapper, our servers automatically screen emails that go through PadLister, to monitor for scams, and ban listers who send scammy emails. Before we ban them, though, we have to review them by hand to make sure we don’t ban a legitimate person by accident. Because of this, we get to see a lot of pretty fun emails from various scammers, like this gem, from a “Robotic Programmer&Welder/Fitter” who is looking for a tenant who is a “clean freak and does not tolerate anything that has to do with dirty”.
We are pleased that you have an interest in our house, Our lovely home is
still available for lease and we want responsible adults/family who are neat and also believe that they have what it takes to take care of our house as if it were theirs. My wife and I initially had it up for sale but had a change of mind in leasing it out ourselves because the agent that was in charge of our rental property was asking too much of an agent fee and also making it difficult for people who cannot afford the rent, stay away from renting my house.
The reason why our house is up for lease is because I got transferred
from my place of work to Texas, I will be away with my family for at least 4 years because of the love I have for them, I have decided not to sell our house and also assuring them that we only have few years to spend here and will be willing to lease it out to person/family who is willing to assure us of taking absolute care of our home and pay their rent on time. I will start by telling you more in regards me and my family. I have a daughter named Leslie (20yrs) who attends University of Texas as a medical student, she has a lot going for her and she is also down to earth in all that she does to keep us happy and when she is back home on vacation, she also assist her mom in the house work when am at work. I work as a Robotic Programmer & Welder/Fitter here in Texas and got married to a lovely wife who is a member of Joyce Meyer Ministries. We will be very pleased if we can find the right tenant to rent our home, a person who is a clean freak and does not tolerate anything that has to do with dirty… We also would like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience and how long and when you plan moving into our home.
We see a lot of emails that look almost exactly like this, with some minor variations. The big giveaway, besides the long rambling story meant to make you trust them, is that they tell you that they’ve been transferred, which means that they’re not around to show you the house. If you see that in an email, that’s almost always a dead giveaway that it’s a scam. In the next email, if you respond, they’ll ask you to send them money, in exchange for sending the keys, often through some service that they try to pass off as a reputable source. They’ll even offer you a substantial discount (30%) if you pay for 3 or 6 months up front. Sounds like a great deal, but in reality, you don’t get anything out of it except a lighter bank account.
As a rule of thumb, you should never put down money to rent a place without seeing the inside of it first – if you live far away from the place you’re moving to, it’s almost always worth it to rent a place on Airbnb for a week to live in while you tour around and pick a longer term place to live.