1. Why is RentHop the “smarter apartment search”?
Lots of sites have endless pages of apartment listings. Each of the listings purports to be wonderful – but how do you know which ones are real, much less which one is best? Worse, how do you know whether the person who posted the listing will get back to you, or if they’re even a real person?
We’ve developed a proprietary algorithm (we call it the HopScore) to help answer these questions. The HopScore sorts and ranks apartment listings on our site based on several different factors. Those factors fall into three categories: (1) the quality of the listing (e.g. its completeness, its accuracy); (2) the “freshness” of the listing, which refers to how long it’s been on the site and how many times other users (“Hoppers”, we call them) have clicked on it; and (3) the performance of the manager (the person who posted the listing) on our site. The score goes from 0-100. The higher the HopScore, the better the listing!
2. How do I know what a listing’s HopScore is?
Wherever you view a detailed listing for an apartment, you’ll see a number in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. That’s the HopScore!
Also, when you look at search results obtained at our search page, the HopScore for each listing will be prominently displayed on the listing. If you roll your cursor over the HopScore you’ll see the components of the HopScore (quality, freshness, manager), so you can get a better understanding of how we arrived at the overall HopScore.
3. Does the HopScore change over time?
The “freshness” component of the HopScore for a listing goes down over time. This reflects the fact that the longer a listing has been on the site the likelier it is that either it’s been rented already or that there’s something off about the listing. The lower the HopScore the further down in the search results the listing will be.
4. I’m confused. Does the Hopscore apply to each manager or to each listing?
Good question. Each listing has a HopScore; there is no HopScore applicable to an individual manager. That said, information about the manager who posted a listing is used to compute the HopScore applicable to that listing.
5. That’s all very interesting, but I need an apartment. How do I find great listings?
You took the first step by coming to our site (good job!). You can look for apartments either from our search page or from our map view page. From the search page, you can specify which neighborhoods you’d like to search, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, minimum/maximum rent you’re willing to pay, and which amenities you’d like. Your results will appear in list form sorted by HopScore. From there, you can click on any listing and get more detailed information, including photos, the manager’s description of the apartment and additional information from RentHop about the listing.
The map view page works similarly – you can enter a location, a zip code or a landmark, or just search for a specified number of bedrooms/bathrooms or amenities. You can also use the map itself – just zoom in on the areas you’re interested in, and click on the little houses (each of which represents a listing!). From there you can get more detailed information about the listing.
6. What’s “Appointments on Demand”?
We’re glad you asked! Appointments on Demand allows renters to see in real time which managers are available to show apartments and where. If you roll your cursor over a flag on the map you’ll see the name and company of the manager, how recently the manager checked in, and buttons that you can use to see all of the manager’s listings on our site and to contact the manager directly. Give it a try!
7. I found a listing I like! What do I do now?
In each listing there’s a big green “Contact Now” button. Click on that, and you’ll be able to email the manager who posted the listing on our site. Be sure to provide your contact information (and when you intend to move) so the manager can respond to you! The manager should respond to you through our site using the contact information you provided.
8. The manager didn’t respond. Now what?
First, we apologize. We know that apartment hunting is hard enough already. Second, send the manager another email through the site (or call them, if they’ve provided additional contact information). If you still haven’t heard from the manager after a couple of days, send us an email. We’ll attempt to get in touch with the manager and see where things went wrong.
9. The manager told me that the apartment I liked cost more/wasn’t available!
Unfortunately the apartment rental market (especially in New York) is extremely competitive – often apartments in New York will be rented within hours after a listing appears online. We use advanced algorithms to judge the quality of apartment listings (this is what the HopScore does), but we don’t control the content of listings or whether a listed apartment is actually available. It’s up to the managers who post listings on our site to remove listings for apartments that are no longer available, and to update listings to reflect changes to price/amenities.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam let us know as soon as possible.
10. How do I learn more about where I want to live?
We’ve got blog posts about several neighborhoods throughout the New York area (Boston and Chicago to come!). As you’re thinking about where you want to live, make sure to check our blog frequently to see whether we’ve got some info for you!
11. What’s with the mascot?
Wally the Wallaby came to us after a long, lonely sojourn in the Australian Outback. When we met him, it was love at first sight, for all parties. We’re pleased to have Wally as our mascot and friend. Wally loves to travel and to learn about new apartments!
12. Do I need to sign up for an account to use the site?
Obviously, we’d love it if you did. If you do, you will soon be able to save searches and set alerts so that we can help you look for apartments while you’re doing other things. However, you don’t need to do so, at least not right now.