WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Apartments.com named Martin Hudak of Woodbridge, New Jersey the winner of its "Rent for Life" sweepstakes today, presenting the lucky renter with a check for $545,000 in recognition of his helpful apartment review.
A utility contractor and engineer and New Jersey native, Hudak noted that he planned to use some of his winnings to improve the lives of others in turn – mentioning his mother as well as charitable endeavors.
Hudak was randomly chosen from a group of more than 155,000 entrants – each of whom submitted a review of his or her apartment or community. Reviews designated as "helpful" were eligible for the grand prize. In addition, during the 12-week run of the sweepstakes, one winner was selected each week to win "Free Rent for a Year."
More than 1,700 new reviews were generated daily during the sweepstakes period.
"Authentic, first-hand user reviews are critical to the search process. They help prospective renters make informed choices about apartments and neighborhoods that can change their lives," said Andrew Florance, CEO of CoStar Group, which owns Apartments.com along with ApartmentFinder.com and ApartmentHomeLiving.com.
"Since the launch of the new Apartments.com site eight months ago, our mission has been to reshape the online rental search experience by offering the most sophisticated search tools, a rich media library, real-time availability and ease of use," he explained. "Combined with user reviews like Martin's, we're helping renters find their next home quickly – and driving faster leads and leases for our advertisers as a result."
Hudak's review included property, neighborhood and community insights. The review was deemed "helpful" by a number of site users, making him eligible for the Rent for Life grand prize, and illustrating the fact that reviews are relied upon, and trusted.
"It's always been important to me to try to influence people's lives in a positive way," said Hudak, who describes himself as a mentor and a counselor to friends. "Winning Rent for Life means an amazing opportunity to do a lot of the things I've always wanted to."
When asked exactly how he'll use his winnings, Hudak said he didn't want to make any rash decisions yet. "I'll invest some money toward retirement and help out my mom, and will donate some to charity as well."
"And maybe I'll buy a new bike," he added.
Improving the Lives of Renters; Improving Results for Property Owners and Managers
The 155,000 reviews generated through the sweepstakes complement the site's renter-focused features, which include:
- Accurate Availability. Real-time information on nearly 690,000 listings found in a single, comprehensive database.
- Sophisticated Search Tools. Using the site's Polygon™ tool, renters can interactively set parameters to outline exactly where they want to live – and view availability within those boundaries. More than 33 million Polygon™ searches have been made since the site's launch.
- Rich Media Library. 3D, HD video tours and high-res property and neighborhood imagery allow users to see exactly what their new homes will look like from nearly every angle. More than 1.2 billion images have been viewed and 36 million 3D tours have been taken since the site's launch.
- Plan Commute Travel Time Calculator. The site's Plan Commute tool helps renters choose a place that's in the right proximity to work, school, family and friends. Since the site's launch, more than 6.3 million commutes have been planned.
CoStar Group operates the largest and fastest-growing network of apartment marketing sites, which includes Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com and ApartmentHomeLiving.com. CoStar also provides the most timely, accurate and granular information and analytics on multifamily properties to property managers, owners, investors and lenders – helping them make the right decisions quickly with information about rents, comps, and trends that affect their business.
For additional information about the "Rent for Life" sweepstakes and contest winners, visit http://www.apartments.com/free-rent-for-life/winners/.
Apartments.com is the leading online apartment listing website offering renters access to information on more than 500,000 available units for rent. Powered by CoStar, Apartments.com is supported by the industry's largest professional research team. Apartments.com researchers have visited and photographed over 400,000 properties nationwide, and make over 1 million calls each month to apartment owners and property managers to collect and verify current availabilities, rental rates, pet policies, fees, leasing incentives, concessions, and more. Apartments.com offers more apartments than other apartments websites, and innovative features to help renters refine their searches, including map searches, a Polygon™ tool to draw their own search area on a map, and a "Plan Commute" feature that lets them search for rentals in proximity to a specific address. Apartments.com creates easy access to its listings through a responsive website and iOS and Android apps, and provides unmatched exposure for its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements and innovative emerging media. Apartments.com reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. For more information: www.apartments.com.
Apartments.com is a subsidiary of CoStar Group, Inc. (http://www.costargroup.com), the commercial real estate industry's leading provider of information, analytics and online marketplaces. CoStar maintains the largest database of commercial properties in North America and the U.K., including over 459,000 U.S. apartment communities and 20 million units. In addition to Apartments.com, CoStar Group's network of apartment rental websites also includes Apartment Finder (http://www.apartmentfinder.com), one of the fastest-growing sites in the multifamily industry, offering innovative marketing solutions to reach prospective renters at all stages of their apartment search, and Apartment Home Living (http://www.apartmenthomeliving.com), a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live.
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" including, without limitation, statements regarding Apartments.com's and CoStar Group's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These statements are based upon current beliefs and are subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. The following factors, among others, could cause or contribute to such differences: the risk that Apartments.com site features do not produce the expected results, including faster leads and leases for advertisers. More information about potential factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those stated in CoStar Group's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in CoStar Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, each of which is filed with the SEC, including in the "Risk Factors" section of the filing, as well as the company's other filings with the SEC available at the SEC's website (www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements are based on information available to Apartments.com and CoStar Group on the date hereof, and Apartments.com and CoStar Group assume no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.