The Redfulia of Apartments announces it has $20M to burn., another web 2.0, google map, ajax ridden, pathetically slow Internet startup announced a $12M VC round the other day – bringing the total up to $20M.

So what are they going to do with the $20,000,000?  That’s easy, give it away to anyone willing to use their website (sound familiar?). 

Need an apartment?  Get $100 cash back (your choice – a check up to 10 weeks later –or- the coveted amazon gift certificate) when you locate your next apartment using their website.  After scrolling down the search results and waiting for the pages to load, I think you could break it down to about $6-$6.50/hr.

Oh…did I mention you are not allowed to actually look at an apartment until you provide them with your email address?  Genius!  (Note to self: the next time you launch a website with $20M, make sure to build in a guaranteed loss of users)

So this is the point where I give this startup, and the VC’s that backed them, some insight.  It is the same advice I have offered up before.  As a consumer, you will only get one chance to bog down my browser and piss me off by asking for my email address to use your site.  It’s a simple frick’n recipe folks – it’s called the path of least resistance – simple is always better.

Oh…one more tip – the next time you announce a major round of VC, make sure your blog has been updated within the last 40 days. 


9 Responses to “The Redfulia of Apartments announces it has $20M to burn.”

  1. Jesse Says:

    I am far too lazy to actually visit that Web site, but based on the information you provided, the service sounds similar to that of

    You see, when somebody leases through, the apartment community pays something like $500. In turn, rebates a portion to the user.

    These keeps the apartment communities on the up-and-up…if the user wants to claim their rebate, they have the send proof of the rental to goes back to the apartment community to collect their commission and then rebates a portion to the user.

    Why is that so hard to wrap your head around? It’s actually a wise way to do it…otherwise the user has no incentive to report the lease and is out of money fairly due to them.

    As for the email address, that’s what SPAM email accounts are for. Sure, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s the price you have to pay for having all the information you need presented before you in a few seconds.

    You’re trying to pick apart every model out there. Meanwhile, I’d bet a dollar (no more, as I’m not certain) that you have no or limited experience in the industry.

    Besides sitting behind your monitor and picking apart other companies, why don’t you go do something to make things right?

    Jealousy is not an endearing quality.

  2. new condos Says:

    We have not got our arms around this either. With, and … all succeeding and doing well! Am I missing something? What is bring to the table thats worth 20M+???

  3. galen Says:

    First, Jesse, entering your email address IS a pain. If you’re looking for an apartment, you want to do it as easily as possible. That includes NOT signing up for spam or another account. You were too lazy to visit the site, but you aren’t too lazy to sign up for an account? Crazy!

    Second, I was going to make fun of you, Mr. 2.x, for having a slow computer (or being a crybaby), but that site is Awesomely Slow. When I pan down the page the map crawls like a snail down the side to keep up. You could read the property information faster than they are loaded onto the map! That said, I suspect that your favorite web 1.0 real estate sites (are there any?) actually take a few seconds to load each page. You’re just more aware of the lag when most of the page stays there and a loading sign pops up.

  4. Jeremy Says:

    To clarify, there are actually 3 different models:

    Model #1:,, and now,

    Offer renter $100 rebate when they report a lease. Website gets $375 (sometimes less) from property for each less. Net profit, $275. This is the online version of the brick-and-mortar apartment locator business. It’s totally a variable business… users : renters : dollars. With 19 million leases in the US, of which approximately 1/3 (6.2M) are for apartments, if every apartment renter uses these sites, there is $1.72B on the table.

    Model #2:,,, RentNet

    No rebate offered. Website gets charges apartments about $1,500 per year per property for hosting the equivalent of an online brochure. Websites sign million dollar traffic deals with AOL, MSN, Yahoo, etc. to “power” their apartment-hunting sites. With about 50-60k large apartments in the US, each site has top-line revenue potential of $90M.

    Model #3: Craigslist, GoogleBase,, Oodle(?)

    Free for all, but eventually will probably look more like a pay-for-priority system whereby apartments pay to be listed with higher priority. Market potential, hard to guess.

    It’s hard to blame for trying to play Model #1. It’s a bigger market and it rewards you for attracting renters. For a long time, there was little direct competition to, and they got $430M on $40M in revenue when eBay bought them, which is very good. So I’m sure that got a lot of people’s blood flowing. Competition is good… let a thousand’s blossom.

  5. Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide » Time for some sleep! Says:

    […] 11) Interesting to see the competitiveness of the rental market… […]

  6. Mark Says:

    Many people find it hard to believe, but there are a lot of people that prefer renting an apartment over buying a house. A house is a long-term commitment, an apartment is not. An apartment allows you ultimate flexibility from year to year……

  7. Aaron Says:

    Does anybody know how much these companies make in apartment listing revenue models vs. advertising models? I would guess that a large portion of some of these sites come from advertising.

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