Startup Spotlight: Spacetorent.com

Just as colourful as Loot, but without the newsprint

Spacetorent.com entered the online property market last month in a bid to compete with rental and management services such as Loot Online. The service will be free until next April, when a basic registration fee and menu of charges will be introduced. Three and a half thousand properties are currently listed on the site, with 50 reportedly added each day. The service has also signed up 15,000 registered landlords. Spacetorent is confident that in the next three years, half a million properties will have entered the rented sector, with 50 percent of the market being managed privately. The rather overcrowded and colourful site splits properties into four categories: residential, commercial, student and holiday homes. The service allows landlords to list their properties on the site, so tenants can then do an area search for accommodation within their price range. What sounds like an impressive database of properties however seems unsupported by the frequent search result "no properties match your criteria". It would also be helpful to see a listed range of properties available rather than having to limit your search straight away. Spacetorent admits that competition in the online property sector is fierce, but argues there are few sites targeting the agency market specifically. Nicholas Shulman, founder of the site, insists that most companies are also targeting the easy market inside London. The service: spacetorent.com
What it does: A property rental and management service
Who it's for: Owner of a country cottage through to a skanky London student
The verdict: Who needs another online property service? Startup Spotlight brings you the best and worst new Web sites every week. Click here to see previous Spotlights. Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum. Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.

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