padmapper.comHere’s a cool, new resource a whole bunch of folks will find useful…

Want to know what landlords are asking for rents in the areas where you invest?  Maybe you’re a landlord and want to spy efficiently on your competition?  Or a virtual investor trying to quickly ascertain rents from afar?

Enter PadMapper.com

Their tagline is “Making Apartment Hunting Suck Less.” And that just makes me smile.  🙂

At it’s core, PadMapper keeps near realtime track of the rents landlords are advertising in a myriad of national sources like Craigslist, Apartments.com, Oodle, etc.

When you search a city, zip or address, what you get back is a big ole interactive Google map showing where the apartments are.  And using filters you can eliminate listings you’re not interested in for whatever reason, and hone in on the ones that you are.

Whenever I’m wholesaling deals to landlords, rents are of course always a key factor in their assessment.  So I’ve always found it important to have my mind wrapped around market rents (seeing the market through your buyer’s eyes) and PadMapper just made that even easier.

Some Handy Tips:

  • Zooming in will cause areas to fill in more.
  • PadMapper runs MUCH better in Google Chrome, Firefox 3, and Safari than it does in Internet Explorer 6 or 7.  (Cause IE stinks.  Yeah, I said it.)
  • Keep in mind the results are far from exhaustive…but still very useful.  And the number of markers that can be displayed onscreen at once is limited to roughly 100, since it becomes choppy in some browsers (Internet Explorer) with more.
  • The filtering does it’s best to reserve those 100 spots for apartments you’re more likely to like.
  • You can setup cool email alerts (really useful if you’re actually apartment hunting)
  • As a landlord, you can also submit your own “pad” to be listed among their results if you don’t see it there already.
  • If there’s a big area that’s empty that probably shouldn’t be, zoom in on that area. If that doesn’t help, try easing up on your filters. Also, try moving any large clusters of apartments you’re not interested in offscreen by dragging the map or zooming.
  • Zooming in very close shows some cool local attractions around apartments (not available everywhere)

So pretty cool, yeah?  I thought so.  And a hat tip to Darren Dicke for the referral.

UPDATE: Reader and Kiss Flipper Tracey Rosenberg just emailed me about another similar resource: Rentometer.com.  It’s a little different approach…first you indicate whether you’re a landlord or tenant, then enter an address or zip and the rent you currently pay…and Rentometer will give you an indicator of whether your rent is above, below or right on spot compared to other market rents.  Another one to bookmark – thanks, Tracy!

What do you think?  Leave a comment and let’s hear it!

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