For a recent real estate startup, slow and steady works. After a soft launch in September, Naked Apartments (www.nakedapartments.com) officially launched last month after garnering around 13,000 listings. The self-described “Match.com for New York real estate” helps pair residential renters and brokers by building an online database. The renters’ profiles — crafted based on their incomes, desired rents and move-in dates — are then made available to brokers and landlords. The site aims to make the rental market more transparent, or “naked.”
Shankar Desai, founder and CEO of Naked Apartments, told The Real Deal that the launch helped his venture avoid some of the pitfalls of starting up a Web site too fast. Desai, of course, counts Craigslist as a top competitor.
“We started with a soft launch to understand how people would use the system,” Desai said. “Based on users, we’ve adapted to fit the reality. It’s now in a place where it’s adding value to renters, brokers and landlords.”
Desai said he’s satisfied with the progress that the site has made since its initial foray online five months ago. Ardor NY Realty listed with Naked Apartments before the official launch, providing a boost in listings for the Web site.