RadPad: A Mix Of Instagram, Craigslist For Home Hunting In Santa Monica

Monday, 1 Jul 2013, 9:18:00 AM

Chaya Himmelman

A new iPhone app and website called RadPad combines the best of Instagram and Craiglist functions to connect landlords and prospective renters across Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
Courtesy Images
A new iPhone app and website called RadPad combines the best of Instagram and Craiglist functions to connect landlords and prospective renters across Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

Desperately searching to find the perfect place to live is a plight all too common for most people. After experiencing this predicament himself, Jonathan Eppers decided to do something about it.

“I was frustrated by how difficult it was to narrow down awesome places in the area I wanted to live” Eppers said. “I didn’t understand why the process had to be so complicated and why I had to pay so much money just to look at places.”

Coming from a tech background after previously working at eHarmony and MySpace, Eppers set out on a path to make home searching and home renting painless. By combining the functionality of both Instagram and Craigslist, the mobile app and website, RadPad was born.

After downloading the free RadPad app (only iPhone compatible currently), the user can immediately begin searching apartments, houses, condos, or bedrooms for rent.

Since RadPad is location based, it will automatically display renting options close to the user’s current location. Of course, there is also an option to specify a certain city. Currently, RadPad is the only rental app that allows users to rent a place using an app.

RadPad does not require a fee or an account for either renters or landlords. It is completely free for users because at this point the company is focused on creating a thriving community for its product.

Eppers said RadPad was unique as it’s a mobile focused product.

“We think the future in the rental market is going to be mobile and we are moving in that direction,” Eppers said. “We want to help landlords create a listing and make it look good in the process.” Every listing on RadPad requires a minimum of three photos, which allows the customer to get a good idea of what the home or apartment looks like.

“Most landlords are putting up seven photos because just as on a dating website the more photos the better, so more photos allow the customer to make a decision easily,” he said.

Another key difference between RadPad and other home renting and listing products: RadPad will syndicate a listing on all other listing networks.

This means that landlords only have to list their space once on RadPad to attract renters on Craigslist, HotPads, Realtor.com, and Westside Rentals.

RadPad is devoted to weeding out any dishonest or bad listings.

Landlords on RadPad must keep listings current by renewing their listings every two weeks.

Furthermore, RadPad has recently required landlords to use verifiable names to make sure they are real.

“We focus on how we can help landlords find a great renter for a landlord,” Eppers said.

Eppers explained that in order to build an efficient marketplace, it must be done deliberately.

“We are focused on a key demographic – college students,” Eppers said. “We are focused on college communities because we think by going into the college market it will naturally proliferate outside the college community.”

So far, 35 percent of RadPad’s users are aged 18.5 and fit into this young demographic.

RadPad was initially launched exclusively in Los Angeles because not only is this where Eppers lives, but also because LA has the second biggest rental market after New York. Since launching six months ago, RadPad has been downloaded by 25,000 people. Most users are based in Santa Monica, Venice, West Hollywood, and downtown LA.

Even though these areas of Los Angeles are the most popular locations, RadPad still has listings all over the city.  

Eppers attributes the success of his product to word of mouth.

“We have just under 3,000 active rentals within the Los Angeles Metro area and we recently announced that RadPad will expand to Austin, Texas, in addition to being available in San Diego, and San Francisco,” he said.

For more information, visit onradpad.com.

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