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As a part of the Zillow Group, Hot Pads has a wide variety of opportunities to help customers find the perfect new home. Their number one goal is to help renters shop smarter for a new apartment by providing them with as much quality information as possible. With five mobile apps and many other services, Hot Pads’ customers can conduct their searches anywhere and anytime. There is something for every renter through Hot Pads.  

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The Good

  • Verification process
  • Walk Score partnership

One of Hot Pads' main goals is to provide their customers with all the information they need to make a good decision about their new place to live. There are several ways that they work to make the process of searching for a home easier, but one that stands out from their competitors is their verification process for information posted on their listings. With many of their listings, they talk to landlords and/or management of the apartment complexes to make sure the information that is given in the listing is actually real and accurate. Once they have verified that the listing is real, a red check mark is placed on it to show customers what has been done. That red check mark takes a lot of the guess work out of the searching process for customers because then they know they can trust the information they have been given and be more confident in the listing.

Since valuable, accurate information is so important to the Hot Pads' team their partnership with Walk Score is a perfect fit. Walk Score is a company who analyzes neighborhoods to see how conducive they are to different types of transportation. After their research, they assign a score to the neighborhood that helps customers know how easily they can get around the area. The score, a number between 0 and 100, shows the customer how many amenities there are within less than a half hour walk from the property. The higher the number, the more amenities there are within walking distance. Along with the walking score, the customer can view the transit score and biking score. These are the same idea but with biking possibilities and public transportation. This company also provides crime rates for areas so that the customer can see how comfortable they would be walking around in the area. All of this combined information really shows the customer what they neighborhood is like and how well it would or would not fit into their lifestyle.

The Bad

  • No agents
  • Third party information

Finding a new place to live can be a daunting task for many customers, especially for those that are moving to a completely new area or city. It can be really important and helpful for the customer to have someone to help them through the process of finding and then renting or buying that perfect new place. For those customers that would like something like this, Hot Pads might not be the place. There are no agents available to help them through the process, other than the agents who are connected to selling or leasing the properties in the listings. Many customers might also benefit from a place on Hot Pads where agents could be reviewed in order to help them find an agent to help them through this sometimes difficult process. In order to get this help, if wanted, the customer will have to go to a third party but that may not work in conjunction with Hot Pads.

Some of the most valuable information on Hot Pads' listings comes from the Walking Score. This information gives the customer a really full vision of the surrounding neighborhood that they might be moving into, which is a very important part of the decision-making process. But this information comes from a third party instead of straight from Hot Pads. The information is accurate but it might be a small issue for some customers that it comes from other sources.

Another small issue with the information provided in the Walking Score is that they do not give specifics. The score is based on how many amenities the customer could get to in less than a half hour by walking but they do not share the actual places that the customer could get to in that time frame. They might say the customer could do all their errands within that distance, but without saying which errands it could not be accurate for the customer specifically. A little more specific information would make this feature even more helpful to the customer.

The Bottom Line

For customers who are looking to move into a metropolitan area, Hot Pads is an especially good choice. Their partnership with Walking Score really helps the customer to see what type of neighborhood they will be moving into and if that type of area will support the kind of lifestyle they are looking for. The verification process takes the guess work out of searching, as the customers can trust what they are finding and be confident in their decisions based on the information provided.

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