We’ve got some exciting news! Yesterday our friends at TechCrunch broke the news that we are now nationwide!
We’re looking forward to helping renters across the country find great apartments and high-quality, responsive brokers and property managers. Want to learn more? Come see our press release, or go take a tour of the nation!
Want to see some of the city’s best art? Why bother with the museums when so much of it is available for just $2.50, underground, day or night? There are 267 works of art within the New York City subway system — and that’s just the MTA’s official count. While checking out all of them would likely exhaust even the most loyal subway rider (though it would certainly justify the cost of an unlimited MetroCard), we’ve selected the top five must-sees — plus a bonus that any true New Yorker won’t want to miss.
Hive (Bleecker Street), by Leo Villareal (6 at Bleecker Street / B/D/F/M Broadway-Lafayette Street, Manhattan). This 2012 installation consists of a honeycomb of lights, over the passageway between the 6 train and the B/D/F/M lines at Bleecker and Broadway-Lafayette. The rainbow of colors flickers and changes, creating patterns and the illusion of movement. The website Mommy Poppins recommends it for kids, but we like it as an artistic experience for all ages.
My Coney Island Baby, by Robert Wilson (D at Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, Brooklyn). Debuting in 2004, this exhibit of Coney Island images silkscreened onto the glass walls of the station is a bold, beautiful bit of art from Wilson, who is known for his work in experimental theater. The pictures — of a Nathan’s hot dog, of the famous carousel, and more — seem to glow as the sunlight streams in through the glass. It’s not the only reason to go to Coney Island, for sure, but it definitely adds something unique to your trip.
Respite, by Jason Rohlf (A at Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue, Queens). There’s at least one reason to venture to the last stop of the Queens-bound A train. A 2011 renovation of the station unveiled an incredible work of art by Jason Rohlf that encompasses the entire space — a brilliantly-colored set of glass panels depicting birds perched on branches, letting the light shine through, visible both inside and outside the station.
Masstransiscope, by Bill Brand (can be seen on board Manhattan-bound B and Q express trains just after Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn). Originally designed in 1980 in a now-abandoned Myrtle Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, in 2008 this exhibit was restored to make it visible out the windows of the express trains heading from Dekalb Avenue into Manhattan. Two hundred and twenty-eight panels rush past, creating the illusion of a moving image that twists and twirls. (Of course, if your train is slowed by traffic, the twisting and twirling may happen more slowly than intended….) A must-see, even if you don’t ride the train — you can watch the video on YouTube.
Carrying On, by Janet Zweig and Edward Del Rosario (N/R at Prince Street, Manhattan). This exhibit of almost 200 silhouettes of New Yorkers carrying “stuff” along the city streets — backpacks, trash bags, boxes, and more — was unveiled in 2004, with the idea that after 9/11, city life must carry on as usual, with the daily business of New Yorkers as alive as ever. The steel and marble images were created based on photographs of real New Yorkers on the streets and in the subway station, and, taken together, the dozens of pictures tell a story of a city still vibrant and busy.
City Hall Station (abandoned at the end of the 6 train in Manhattan — ride the train past the Brooklyn Bridge stop to the turnaround in order to see the station, which was in use from 1904 to 1945). This magnificent station, beautifully preserved, can be seen either from the 6 train past the turnaround, or occasionally as a special tour through the New York Transit Museum. The station was, in its day, an elegant showpiece for the subway system, a mini-Grand Central with vaulted ceilings and beautiful chandeliers. Most New Yorkers born since the 1940s have never seen it — but by riding the 6 train past the final stop, you can take a glimpse into the city’s past.
We’re very excited to announce that as of yesterday (December 15) we now accept Bitcoin as payment for listing apartments on the site!
Currently, landlords and real estate agents pay $2 to post a rental listing and to keep it active on the site. However, for those paying in Bitcoin, a listing will only cost 0.833 milli-bitcoin (1/1000th of a bitcoin). At today’s exchange rates, that means a discount of about 60%.
We feel strongly that Bitcoin’s secure, low-friction payment protocols will benefit both RentHop and the landlords and property managers who use us. We also believe that Bitcoin is a good store of value for the medium- to longer-term. (We intend to hold Bitcoin rather than converting immediately to USD.) We think it’s a win-win for us and for the industry and we’re excited to be at the front of the charge.
We’re very excited to announce that we’ve entered into a partnership with Citi Habitats, one of New York’s leading rental brokerages, to list their exclusive listings on RentHop. Citi Habitats has some of New York’s best and most exclusive apartments and we’re thrilled to bring them to our renters!
Citi Habitats brokers can also participate in our Appointments on Demand system, which gives renters a live map showing real-time locations of brokers and property managers available to show apartments. Renters can schedule immediate viewings using RentHop’s integrated email and SMS messaging tools. This is a great new tool for both renters and managers and we believe everyone will benefit from using it.
The press release is here. Stay tuned for more exciting news!
Recently our CEO, Lee Lin, wrote a guest post on VentureBeat about his experiences presenting a case study on RentHop to a group of 90 Harvard MBA students. Here’s a link to the post.
Some of Lee’s key insights:
1) Hearing something you already know, articulated from a different vantage point, can be just as valuable as hearing it for the first time. There is a benefit to concisely formalizing concepts that you already know. You’ll have an easier time processing the topic in your head and communicating your thoughts to others.
2) Instead of worrying about big competitors, startups should be afraid of (a) defeating themselves through bad execution and (b) disruptive startups that haven’t yet entered the spotlight.
3) Startups that address relatively small and homogeneous target groups may monetize more successfully by charging people who are clearly gaining measurable value from the service than by using ad networks and affiliate programs.
4) The “Yelp for X” business model is popular, but it’s hard to create a comprehensive review service when “X” is not food or travel. Very few people will happily praise their landlords for collecting rent on time each month and promptly calling the exterminator.
As much as we love a good roommate story, we almost love a bad roommate story more. If you’re willing to share (and change names to protect the moderately guilty), we’d love to hear about it. Go on over to our FB page (and like us while you’re there!), or tweet us at @renthop. (You can, of course, email us at [email protected] – we’d love to hear from you.) The winner gets a fantastic RentHop shirt!
Rental property managers now have an easy way to connect with renters searching for quality apartments, to update their listings data, and to “check-in” using our new mobile app. With the check-in feature, managers can broadcast their location in real-time and instantly schedule showings with interested apartment seekers. Listings available for appointments on demand receive a higher HopScore and so will appear further up in the search results at www.renthop.com.
Our site also features a live map for consumers in the NYC area displaying where all rental property managers are checking in so they can immediately reach out to schedule an office consultation or view a specific property.
The mobile app includes:
Messaging – to send notes and communicate with renters in real-time from a mobile device.
Listings – to repost and update listings from the mobile device and reflect instantly on RentHop
Check In – to notify renters that managers are immediately available to show listings. This is then reflected in real time on our site.
We’re really excited about this new development and we look forward to serving you!
We gave Boston.com some advice on the apartment hunting process. Check the piece out here!
“When it comes to apartment hunting, most people have a checklist of items that their future living quarters must entail. Two bedrooms? Check. One bath? Check. Proximity to public transportation? Check. But there are many more subtle features that often get overlooked, but can be just as important once the renter gets settled into his/her new digs.
Lee Lin, CEO of RentHop, the smarter apartment search marketplace, offered advice of other apartment “essentials” to look for.” Read more…