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Home Search Tools for Back To School

Trulia offers a suite of tools perfect for first time renters

It’s the end of intern season here at Trulia, so back to school they go – and for students that often means finding a new home. Looking for that perfect place to live can seem daunting and stressful, especially when searching remotely, looking miles from the comfort of a parent’s home. In fact, a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia found that among those who have ever searched for a home, 85% of students, aged 18 and above, used the Internet as part of their search.* It makes sense. Today, we expect to do everything through technology, including shopping for a home, no matter how far away we’re looking.

“When I started looking for my last place, I knew I wanted to use an online tool,” said 2017 Zillow Group Product Manager Intern, Erin Stahmer. “I didn’t want to reach out and meet with a landlord until I knew the unit had all my specifications. In a place like NYC, you need to be able to filter for many different factors, like commute time and safety, and online tools provide those filtering options.”

Tools and information from real estate resources like Trulia are simplifying the way we search for homes. In the spirit of back-to-school season, let’s look at how students can find the right off-campus home for them – and their roommates – without ever stepping foot in the neighborhood:

Rent Near Transit
For starters, prospective renters will need to figure out where they want to live. Our research finds that a majority of Americans (62%) say accessibility, as defined by proximity to places like work, restaurants, grocery stores and activities, is important when it comes to the neighborhood they live in. No one loves a long commute, especially students who must get up “early” for an 8 a.m. class, and Trulia has a solution: Rent Near Transit. Available in 13 major markets, Rent Near Transit lets prospective renters filter for homes within a 15-minute walk of a given transit station, helping them quickly weed out listings that are just too far for them.

Rental listings near LA Metro stops, courtesy of Trulia Rent Near Transit.

To help renters quickly understand an area’s affordability, Trulia layered an interactive tool on top of Rent Near Transit that illustrates the median rents near major transit stops in several large metros, including Chicago, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.

Trulia’s interactive display of median rental prices along major transit stops.

Rental Resume
In competitive markets, renters need to stand out to landlords as being responsible and reliable – especially young students who might be renting their first-ever apartment. This is especially true in the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City, where listings move quickly, and renters can miss out if they don’t differentiate themselves and highlight their qualifications from the get-go.

To help with that, students can use Trulia’s Rental Resume tool to present themselves as a qualified candidate to landlords, highlighting vital information upfront, like their income, move-in date or whether they’re a pet owner, among other things.

Trulia Rental Resume.

This might be more of a must-do for seasoned renters, but let’s say a student finds the perfect apartment complex in their dream neighborhood – maybe its tenants host the best gatherings, there’s a pool and it’s close to school (#winning) – but there’s no availability. In the case of landing that dream rental, sometimes the only course of action is to wait. However, constantly monitoring for unit openings can be exhausting. The solution: Join a waitlist. Trulia recently rolled out a waitlist option that notifies hopeful renters through email when a unit opens in a complex they’re interested in.

These are just some of the tools Trulia offers that can help anyone find their next home. Check them out and let us know what you think in the comments below.

*This survey referenced was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Trulia from April 3-5, 2017 among 2,159 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact