domu Provides Chicago Renters With Better Apartment Search Options

Oct 27, 2010, 10:24 ET from domu

CHICAGO, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Only six short months after its launch, has become the most talked about internet-based apartment listing service in the City of Chicago. Propelled by an aggressive and highly visible marketing campaign that has driven hordes of would-be renters to its easily searchable, map friendly website, domu offers a robust alternative to the traditionally overwhelming and complicated process of finding a new apartment.

Its immediate success owes in large part to the unveiling of a new and improved business model that greatly simplifies the apartment renting process for landlords and tenants alike. Landlords pay a nominal fee to list either individual units or entire buildings, and the service is entirely free to tenants. At the height of the rental season, domu typically includes well over 4,000 listings, and each listing appears on an easily navigable map of the city.

"We're delighted that owners, property managers, realtors, and apartment locators have all seen the benefits of listing with us," says domu CEO Noah Schatz. "We have consistently received excellent feedback from both landlords and tenants, and we take enormous pride in the sleekness and simplicity of our website."

Since its April 2010 launch, upwards of 200,000 users have perused more than two million pages of content, and domu averages 1,600 unique visits every day. More than half the users come directly to the website, having seen one of the company's ubiquitous and distinctive advertisements, which have abundantly populated the city's buses, el platforms, bridges, billboards, movie trailers, and street fairs.

While tenants enjoy the benefits of easy searching and convenient mapping, landlords have an array of useful analytical tools at their disposal, allowing them to monitor the popularity of their listings. These tools allow them to track the number of times that users view, print, or share their listings, or even save those listings as "favorites."

Although a few national websites make listing information available to prospective renters, domu Vice-President Andrena Rodgers notes that "our own survey of apartment renters revealed that Chicagoans prefer websites that are exclusively locally focused."

domu also answers the hopes of landlords and tenants who are seeking a viable alternative to post-for-free websites which are notoriously replete with redundant and stale listings or, worse yet, deceptive listings posted by aggressive brokers prospecting for clients. "Websites that allow free posting ultimately destroy their own utility," says Mr. Schatz, "because competing brokers with non-exclusive listings often advertise the same exact apartments several times a day, resulting in mass redundancy and confusion for renters." These problems, he notes, can be avoided by using domu.

Mr. Schatz also serves as CEO of Schatz Development, a diversified real estate development company with roots in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago extending back more than 60 years. Following the successful completion of its most recent project, a 212-unit, luxury high-rise condominium building at 600 North Fairbanks, Mr. Schatz set his sights on the apartment sector and resolved to improve the inefficient and outdated apartment-finding model. The result was domu.