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Holiday Mailers and Tipping Reminders
Updated 2 weeks ago
Yesterday we discussed the mechanics of how to tip your doormen, and answered: Is it better to tip in cash, checks, or gift cards? Our rental guide also mentions how much you should tip your doormen. Today we move from the How to the Who and When. Do They Expect A Tip? A ritual among all…
How To Tip Your New York City Building Doormen
Updated 2 weeks ago
What is the customary tip for your luxury high-rise doormen? or for that matter, your super, your porters, and housekeeper? Every other guide simply defers to the non-advice of "it depends." So we will try to be more concrete. First, check out our guide on how MUCH to tip doormen. Most people…
Ghost Banning To Stop Real Estate Broker Spam
Updated 2 weeks ago
Back in 2009, Lawrence and I were speaking with one of our early investors about spam messages. Specifically, Craigslist postings at the time were full of low quality ads, and for anyone with a legitimate apartment, they would find their inboxes quickly filled with unsolicited offers. "Getting…
RentHop Completes The Ultimate Heist
Updated 2 weeks ago
Today we had our annual RentHop Secret Santa gift exchange. We upgraded from the old "names in a hat" method to the much higher tech Elfster (because one employee was tired of getting the same recipient 3 years in a row, which Elfster can prevent). Photos from the gift exchange and drinks will…
Two Sigma Ventures to Grand Central Tech
Updated 1 month ago
Last time we discussed the very early days. From mid-2008 to 2010, RentHop used co-founder Lawrence Zhou's apartment to write code on nights and weekends, while the founders held day jobs at Traxis Partners, D. E. Shaw & Co., and Two Sigma Investments. The doormen must have assumed we were…
RentHop BitCoin Appreciation Exceeds Boston and Chicago Profits
Updated 1 month ago
In December 2013, began accepting BitCoin as a form of payment for landlords and real estate brokers to advertise apartment listings. The company initial l y offered a 60% discount off the prevailing USD to BTC exchange rate to encourage adoption of the new technology, and RentHop…
RentHop Office Spaces: The Early Years
Updated 1 month ago
Our original office was Lawrence's apartment on West 43rd Street and 9th Avenue. This was back in summer 2008 - Lehman Brothers was still around, I was still a quant at D. E. Shaw & Co. by day, and the only 99-cent pizza contenders were "Two Bros" and "99 Cent Fresh". Michael Grynbaum from…
Rental Listings - Feeds, Syndication, Aggregation
Updated 1 month ago
Lawrence made a bold prediction 10 years ago, back in the Wild West days of online apartment marketplaces and listing portals. He said in the future, all that would be left are syndication websites and aggregation websites (alongside brokerage firms). Attempting to play in more than one role…
Bad Brokers: Charge Fine or Ban Account?
Updated 1 month ago
Today we had a discussion as a team about how to deal with brokers behaving badly. After posting a fake or misleading listing, we have many algorithms and support staff in place to catch or flag the bad advertisement. Unfortunately, it becomes a cat and mouse game as rotten agents find new ways…
Craig Releases New App!
Updated 1 month ago
Speak of the devil, we just mentioned the former massive network effects from old sites, in particular the NYC loved and hated Craigslist. Researches and professors at the Harvard Business School have studied the phenomenon at length - or at least they wrote a case study about Lawrence Zhou and…
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