Trulia has launched a new rentals section to its real estate search site, appealing to a growing market of people that may not be ready or particularly interested in buying a home. Given today’s economy and the current housing market, that’s not such a bad idea, even if it does seem a little late to the game. Zillow, a competing real estate search service, has already added rental search options, though they take an approach directly to home buyers that are likely undecided about renting versus buying.
So Trulia’s approach looks to compete more so with Craigslist and ApartmentFinder, rather than Zillow. Though integrated into the primary Trulia site, the new rental search can almost act as a standalone service. Search filters allow for pinpointing properties based on distance, price, and a number of other criteria. That doesn’t appear to be all too different from what you’ve seen from other rental search sites, but the delivery and navigation of the search results themselves are far more appealing and can make your overall search more efficient.
In Venturebeat’s coverage of the Trulia launch, Anthony Ha mentioned that a roommate search option may be something the site would look into, later on down the line. If it’s something that users are interested in, then Trulia may go ahead and add the extra feature to its service. While this may not be the most necessary feature add, it could be something that’s extremely helpful to others looking at rental properties.
Doing so would help to build on Trulia’s growing marketplace set up for individuals in the real estate industry, which provides marketing tools and the ability to receive and extend options for networking and advertising throughout the site. It’s not quite necessary for renters to have these options in particular, but given Trulia’s existing dedication to its self-sufficient network means plenty of opportunities to add helpful features for roommates.
Some others Trulia may want to entice to its marketplace are the property managers and owners themselves. Trulia is currently pulling rental search results from multiple sources, aggregating them according to your queries. But the results themselves are lacking some major local properties that haven’t yet taken to marketing directly on Trulia. Expanding on this aspect is likely in the short list of expectations for Trulia’s new rental search, and will improve the service overall.