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HotPads.com is a map-based rentals and real estate marketplace. The site allows users to search for housing using an interactive map. Listings are displayed at their addresses, allowing you to conduct a location-based search. Through the graphical interface, users click on individual property listings depicted by color-coded building icons. At HotPads, they strive to build the most comprehensive, interactive marketplace of real estate and location-based services, presented with an innovative user interface and a memorable brand. 

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The Good

  • States
  • Agents
  • Offices
  • Real estate options
  • Filtering options
  • License
  • Commission/selling cost
  • Specialities
  • Experience
States

HotPads is available in 51/51 states. This makes them available to people anywhere in the United States and doesn't limit them to one particular state, city or region.

Agents

As a website-based service, there are no agents required. This works well for renters who won't have to pay any agent commissions or go through a middleman.

Offices

HotPads has one main office. Their headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. As of February 2015, they have 47 full-time employees. As an Internet-based site, this is normal and holds no negative impact on business service.

Real Estate Options

HotPads offers services to help you rent. Zillow Rental Manager is the official listings creation tool for HotPads. Your listings will be seen on HotPads and distributed to Zillow, Trulia, MyNewPlace and other top rental sites. Unlike some rent sites that require you to sign up in order to view their listings, with HotPads, you don't need an account to search the site or view property information.

HotPads offers users some great interactive services to help them find apartments, homes, condos, townhomes, and more. They have Android rentals and a real estate app. This app lets you take your housing search on the road, allowing you to conduct a Map-based housing search using GPS location or address, Search apartments, rental houses, homes for sale, and more, see detailed listings with photos, call or email properties with one touch, and more.

You can save listings as "favorites" by clicking the outline of the star in the preview bubble or the thumbs up in the full listing view. The listing icon will turn blue so that you can easily see which properties you like. From the home page, you can also click on "Favorites" to see a list of all properties you have added to your favorites. Save your searches with your location and search criteria by clicking the "menu" button on your phone. Then, click "Save Search" and enter a search name. You can also opt to receive e-mail updates of available properties that fit your requirements

In addition to Android apps, HotPads also has an iPhone App that takes your housing search on the road if you're an Apple user.

HotPads also offers services to help you rent out property. Unlike some sites, they are not limited to rentals and to apartments. You can use their Map interface to search and buy homes, Lots and Land, Condos and Townhomes.

Filtering Options

There are 5 basic search filters, including: State, City, Pets, Price, Beds, and Baths. They also offer advanced search filters such as Search type, Listing type, Property type, Photo count, Listing freshness (i.e. last 12 hours), Square feet and Keywords. This makes a total of 12 filters. Being so specific makes it easier to find a needle in a haystack for apartment seekers.

License

HotPads is an online platform so they don't need real estate agents, realtor or real estate brokers to choose from. For renters seeking a place to live, this allows them to deal directly with the property owner or manager.

Commission/Selling Cost

With no agents, there is no commission or selling cost. This provides access to real estate/rental listings with no fees involved.

Specialties

In addition to offering services for renters and residential property owners, HotPads offers its platform to services for commercial real estate sales. You can sell and purchase Lots and Land through their website.

Experience

HotPads has been in business for 11 years. The company was started in 2005 in Washington DC by three college friends - Matt, Douglas, and John - who were inspired to create HotPads by their frustrating and unsuccessful experience searching for a place to live. As a result, the three friends pooled their resources together and built HotPads.com. In 2011, HotPads' team relocated to San Francisco in the heart of the Silicon Valley, where they were acquired by Zillow Group for $16 Million in 2012. In August 2014, HotPads launched an updated version of the site.

The Bad

  • International
International

HotPads listing do not cover rentals internationally. They are strictly located in the United States. This does not help those seeking to move to other countries.

The Bottom Line

HotPads is a map-based housing search engine worth looking into-especially if you're looking for a place to rent, sell or buy and use your mobile device for doing so. They offer a comprehensive and interactive marketplace of real estate search, combining powerful search tools (i.e.Apps), layers of data, and an innovative user interface. If you want a more simplified process devoid of real estate agents and other third parties, HotPads may be what you're looking for.

For those who are not seeking a place to rent, buy or sell in the United States, this website is not for you since they only cover the United States. They should stay on top of complaints to maintain customer faith and good standing.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

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8 Reviews

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C. Rich
August 20th, 2019 Houston, TX

Useless, frustrating, I could build an apartment from scratch in the time it would take them to contact me about a request to view an apartment they've listed.

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Sara Weylman
April 17th, 2019 Jacksonville, FL DETAILS
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It's a shame you don't proof the rental companies on your site any better than you do; specifically Main Street Renewal out of Orlando. I accepted a contract job in Jacksonville and spent hours looking through Craigslist, Hot Pads and Zillow before finding what I thought would be a good home for the next 18 months for my dog and me. I found what I thought would be perfect on HotPads. I paid the application fee and provided bank statements along with a copy of my NYS driver’s license and SS card so that I’d have a place to land in Jax, and not have to find temporary housing as well as storage for my furniture. After being congratulated by an agent on being accepted it sounded like a done deal. I had a friend drive by the place for me and it was vacant. This is when the real headaches began; you can never reach a real person to actually speak with about the details (i.e.: exchange of money for keys). I must have left at least a dozen messages and sent tons of emails but I was in Georgia before my “agent” called me back to inform me that there was a lot of competition for this house and she was doing me a huge favor by letting me move in. And (the real kicker)…it would be 14 days before I could move in. When I asked her why 14 days? She told me it had to be cleaned and re-keyed. I’m not a mechanical guru but even I can change the locks in about 15 minutes, and as for cleaning…it makes you wonder if they were showing it when it was dirty? The ad is still out there and it states available 3/30. So what does available mean to them? As a result, I ended up having to scramble to find temporary housing (furnished apartment) until I can find a house and yep…..moving everything into storage. This all happened on the Sunday before I started my new job. I don’t even look at Hot Pads, they’re the only ones that carry MS Renewals and I’ll take my chances with Craigslist.

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Sheryl Pettaway
July 30th, 2018 Lawrenceville, GA

The Many many times I contacted Hotpads.com I never received a response so I’m done with them

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Laura G.
July 24th, 2018 Riverside, CA

Do Not Use this website if you looking to rent a place. I drove all the way from Riverside, CA to Oceanside, Ca to see a condominium for rent, the agent Frank in Oceanside was nice to show me the place, unfortunately he lacks time management and attentiveness to people's concerns. It was a Saturday went I went to see the rental, that following Monday a decision was to be made. Frank supposed to send me the application but after numerous texts I sent to him for the application, he never bothered to assist me on time nor with the application. I even emailed HotPads for assistance, their reply to contact the listed agent, unfortunately it was Frank! so end of story, I wasted my time and lost my chance to apply for the rental because of Frank incompetence and HotPads lack of assistance.

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Jaqueline Bagdonas
July 16th, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL DETAILS
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The info that you give saying that renters save money dealing direct with the Lanlord is completely false . As you know tenants don’t pay comission to realtors that represent them. Also there are lots of dishonest landlords who will take advantage of naive and uniformed tenants. We as realtors are licensed, insured and have a code of ethics that we have to abide by. Without a realtor tenants or buyers are exposed to scams and fraud out there . Please review your false statement !

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Robert C. Ray Jr.
July 16th, 2018 Purcellville, VA

The only reason I gave 1 star is because I wasn't given the choice of "0" stars. I called about a home for rent. Lori C, and She told me the property was not available. Fair enough. She said they go fast. Understood. So I asked if she could keep my info and call me when something became available. She told me that she got over 100 replies to this home and she couldn't tell 100 people she would keep their info and contact them. A lot of times it's not what you say but how you say it. She made me feel like she didn't want to work with me. I mean, isn't that their job to help people find a home. No wonder there are 1 star reviews. They've lost my business. Thousands of dollars.

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David R Stansberry
January 22nd, 2018 Charlotte, NC

Put my house on market so I called it took two weeks to get back to me I had already signed up with reality company was not impressed with this group and would stay away

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LaVonne Collette
May 22nd, 2017 Pomona, CA

I have been a landlord about 40 years. I have seen the trend to advertise more on the internet to get the word out when I have a vacancy. However, there are dangers in doing so. Scammers pick up the listing and try to persuade potential renters to get their personal info. They even make appointments to show my place and dont have the keys! Amazing! Hotpads is part of Zillow and Trulia (and you cannot choose to advertise w/ only Zillow or only Trulia.) You put the ad on one and it shows up on all 3 sites. What do I not like as a Lanldord about Hotpads? 1) I do not like that they show the days on market ( I am very choosy who I rent to and my other Tenants are grateful) 2) I do not like those arrows that show if I lower the rent or I decide to raise the rent during the procurement period. 3) I do not like that fact that a disgruntled past Tenant can "review" my property. (and that , that review sticks with the property address FOREVER) I contacted Hotpads about this and they told me their goal is transparency. For who? Do the renters contribute anything to Trulia, Zillow or Hotpads? No, it is your Landlord. I know they make their money from the Real Estate Agents who advertise w/ them (One very sarcastic young man told me from Zillow) BUT WHO DO THEY THINK HIRE THOSE REAL ESTATE AGENTS? Lanlords. If i was Zillow, Trulia and Hotpads i would kiss the Landlords butt! Sincerely, I am undecided if i will ever advertise with them again. I pulled all advertising, left the sign inthe yard and it was rented within 3 days. So maybe we dont need them after all!