New Web site eases college students’ house hunt
Ian Reardon, a law school student in Boston has created Myapartmentmap.com, a useful Web site for college students.
Supplying much needed information to students who are new to the area where they will be attending school. The site includes detailed listings for local rental housing, and Google Maps, which are updated daily.
Reardon, 28, received his undergraduate degree in computer science in 2003, and after several years working decided to continue living in New Hampshire, while attending law school in Boston. Relocating to a city where having a car wasn’t an option, and finding that the local online listings didn’t offer the detail Reardon was looking for. He said he was faced with difficulties finding an apartment situated near the campus, locating shopping, public transportation and laundry facilities within walking distance.
“I originally started this site for Boston, where it’s hard to have a car, since parking is so expensive,” Reardon said. “So I needed to be close to grocery shopping and a laundromat, and it’s slowly expanded to cover the entire U.S.”
The Web site is completely free. He makes money from advertisements.
“We make money by including listings on our site for sites that charge for their services, they pay us per action,” Reardon said.
Each time a lease is signed, or a landlord receives an e-mail from a prospective tenant, Reardon’s site earns a commission.
Since he designed the Web site, Reardon has been marketing it to college students.
“A lot of the advertising has been word of mouth, sort of a viral type of marketing to target college students, since that’s who I designed the site for,” Reardon said.
The marketing has worked for the site, which consistently gets 150,000 hits per month.
When a Colorado State University-Pueblo student looks at the Web site, they can find available housing in their price range in specific areas they want to live in. They can also find out if pets are allowed. Nearby cities, ZIP codes and local news are also available.
Reardon and his wife don’t spend all their time on the Web site, however. They also sell and ship live lobsters all over the U.S., using Sagamorelobster.com. Reardon’s father-in-law is a third-generation lobster fisherman, and Katie runs the day-to-day operations while Reardon takes care of the technology for the online shipping business.
Reardon said the Web site is growing, and he hopes that it will become a full-time job in the future.
“I’m going to have a tough decision when I graduate from law school,” Reardon said.