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Property Portal Interviews

April 19 2010

Property Portal Watch is part of the Classified Ad Ventures group and is an online publication specifically designed to serve the owners and operators of property portal sites around the world. They often conduct interviews with key real estate industry leaders.

Alice Allen, editor of Property Portal Watch, recently interviewed Dan Daugherty, CEO of is a Rental Property Search service. Get to know more about this service by reading this in-depth look at this company through the CEO's eyes.

rentbits logoTell us about the business model and the people behind it. launched to the public in 2008 with a mission of organising all of the world’s rental information. Internal and third party data shows that over 90 percent of all renters search multiple rental sites looking for their ideal rental. solves the problem of fragmentation by giving renters a tool to search multiple rental sites from one place.

Feedback from renters said they wanted a search experience that was fast, comprehensive, free and didn’t require them to login. offers all of these features. monetises in two ways: cost-per-click advertising (sponsored results) and rental distribution advertising (a monthly fee to distribute rental listings to over 100 rental sites).

The management team consists of ex-Googlers, technologists, and real estate gurus. indexes over 500,000 rental properties each day and over 400 websites. What was involved in building the search engine?

Vertical search is a difficult problem to solve. Unlike other search engines that crawl the web in a generic way, vertical search needs to collect structured data that often varies from site to site. says its mission is to organize all of the world’s rental information. Does this mean we can expect to see an expansion outside of the US in future?

Yes, you can expect to see outside of the US shortly. saw a huge spike in traffic in January according to Hitwise – it went up 51 places to land at number 75. What do you think contributed to this? Do you expect to maintain that position in the market?

Our technical and advertising teams have done a tremendous job evangelizing and ensuring exceeds expectations with our users. We anticipate our traffic to continue to climb as we add more features that make the rental search experience better.

What are some of the websites that offer a similar service to What does offer that makes it different? is 100 percent focused on the rental market. There are other similar vertical search engines that either focus on many verticals like jobs, cars, or real estate as a whole. Our plan is to be the best we possibly can be within the rental vertical. This has allowed us to roll out features like the average rental rates data that collects historical rental rates from over 8,000,000 rental listings and tracks rental rates from over 4,000 cities in the US monthly.

The website has just been redesigned and a neighborhood search capability added. What’s next on the to-do list?

Our users are going to continue to see improvements within the search functionality on an ongoing basis. Renters should be able to find a rental home or apartment anytime, anywhere on any device. is working hard to ensure this vision becomes a reality.

Our advertisers can also expect to see an increase in distribution and other services to help get their properties rented as quickly as possible.

To read the original interview, click hereclick here.