Social media isn't just for posting pictures of dinner at that hip new restaurant you just discovered. Take your apartment search digital with these networks created with prospective and current renters in mind.
As one of the top real estate sites in the country, it's not surprising that Trulia would be a great resource for information about apartments. In addition to apartment listings, Trulia offers a wealth of data about communities, such as crime rates, school systems and demographics, along with an online forum where you can pose questions to experts. Free mobile apps are available for Android and iOS.
Lovely's database is searchable by location, floor plan, price and specific keywords. Each entry is time-stamped so you know how long it's been listed, and you can set alerts to notify you of new listings that fit your criteria. Free membership includes your own individual inbox to track favorites and keep your message history. Lovely has free mobile apps for Android and iOS.
RentHop is a social network that values quality over quantity. Instead of listing apartments by price or other features, they use a sophisticated set of algorithms to generate a HopScore from 1 to 100 that ranks apartments by overall quality. A free iOS app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.
When you enter a location into PadMapper, it generates an interactive map displaying all potential apartments. Simply click on one of the pins to pull up the listing, including photo, rent, floor plans and neighborhood information. Set alerts based on search criteria for an hourly or daily schedule, and you can also choose to let people with matching listings contact you directly.
Nextdoor is a virtual community gathering place that gives you a way to interact with people in your area. The events calendar lists upcoming garage sales, meetings and other activities, and there is a directory of local agencies on the city and county levels. Various "bulletin boards" include Lost & Found, Pet Directory, Crime & Safety and Recommendations for dentists, hair stylists, mechanics and other services.
Apartable goes beyond personalized searches by making it possible to comparison shop with side-by-side displays that let you determine rent per square foot and per bedroom. Rented apartments are immediately de-listed for the most current availability information.