Zumper
Driving on the crooked street is not required.

The competition for apartments these days is fierce--a friend confided she put together a “rental résumé” to make her application more appealing.

On the hunt for alternative ways to scope out real estate, we stumbled upon Zumper. Unlike other sites that post bogus or stale listings (we’re looking at you, Craigslist), Zumper’s point of pride is transparency and timeliness.

The smart people behind the start-up created software that allows landlords and property managers to post directly to the site, so you can trust that the information is accurate. They also vet those who post and monitor the listings for anything fishy.

You can search a few ways: In the map view, type in your criteria (e.g., two bedrooms, dogs allowed), zoom in on the neighborhood(s) you’re interested in and click on markers indicating the price and location of apartments available there for more details. Those listed in the past 24 hours are color-coded pink. Contact the owner directly via phone or email.

Alternately, you can browse by neighborhood in the listing feed, create a (free) account to “follow” different hoods to stay on top of vacancies and star your favorites for future reference.

A mobile app is slated for later this summer--though, hopefully, you will have found a place by then.

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