The shroud of mystery hanging over tech start-up Urban Compass has been lifted, and its purpose does indeed pertain to real estate. The site — which lists apartments in Manhattan and in parts of Brooklyn — aims to make city house hunting “faster, easier and cheaper,” in the words of co-founder Robert Reffkin, the New York Observer reported.
As The Real Deal previously reported, there was much speculation about the purpose of Urban Compass.
Until a press conference today with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Urban Compass Soho office, co-founder Ori Allon had remained silent on the focus of the start-up, which hired Citi Habitats alum Gordon Golub earlier this year, secured an investment from Bill Rudin of Rudin Management and put out a casting call for real estate brokers to work as “neighborhood specialists.”
Urban Compass users can search for apartments by location, size, price and in some cases, building amenities, according to Curbed. In an effort to be unique, the site also offers paperless applications for rentals. The site is updated multiple times each day, and listings are culled from landlords and their exclusive brokers.
The site’s “neighborhood specialists” make visits to apartments with users looking for a home in hopes of guaranteeing the accuracy of the listings. Appointments can be booked through the site. [NYO] and [Curbed] —Zachary Kussin