Simplified search going national
Last fall, AGBeat introduced you to Lovely, the San Francisco rental search startup with big plans and were named two short months later to the 60 Genius Brands to watch in 2012 list, and so far they have not disappointed, today secretly adding to their websites the names of the five cities they are about to expand to.
Lovely will be available in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Portland, and Washington D.C., bringing their clean, modern design across the nation, launching in cities that are less cliche than the typical growth patterns of real estate startups. AGBeat has heard rumors that ten more cities will be announced soon, but Lovely is currently not yet making any statements about those ten or even the five cities secretly added to their login page today.
The site boasts an innovative tool called the “renter resume” which helps renters to “stand out,” but we see it more as a means of prepping a renter to apply, priming the pump if you will, a move that landlords will surely enjoy. The information requested is relevant and private, but our only worry about the site is that it allows users to upload a photo, which puts them in a vulnerable legal position in that storing visual data on renters (or in retailers’ case, of buyers of any kind) can later be used in a lawsuit if someone feels discriminated against (“you knew I was Hispanic because of my profile picture and you refused to rent to me based on that fact”).
Overall, the company looks like a breath of well designed fresh air in the stale world of rental search, and we wondered where the name came from. Co-founder Leslie Chicoine said, “Looking for an apartment in the city is frustrating, aggravating and just plain annoying. Our product aims to provide an experience that is just the opposite of that, something that is, well, lovely.”