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Online reality check for rental prices

Property & Construction

Home buyers typically have relatively easy access to a wealth of information on house prices in an area—even by text message, as with HouseFront, which we featured recently—but for renters, such comparative data can be harder to come by. Now Rentometer offers a map-based tool to shine a light on rent prices by neighbourhood. Rentometer was launched by Massachusetts-based Investment Instruments’ iiProperties site about a year ago to give property managers a way to calibrate the rents they charge, but it may be even more useful for consumers. Users simply enter the rental address, monthly rent, number of bedrooms and units in the building, and Rentometer tells them if they are paying too much, too little or just the right amount according to the local market. It uses data already available from public sources, but it mashes it up with Google Maps to make it conveniently accessible and useful. A set of application programming interfaces (APIs) lets property managers and others put the Rentometer tool on their own sites, and listings can be advertised on the Rentometer as well, free of charge. Rentometer currently serves just the United States, Canada and London, but the potential for this type of service clearly extends worldwide. It’s a great illustration of how combining the right pieces of information in the right place can make them infinitely more useful than they would be otherwise. It’s becoming a mashed up world out there—next, how about combining Rentometer with something like Hubbuzz for a 360 view of the rental climate…? Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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