SAN FRANCISCO, CA - RentLingo, the apartment search site that has been a leader in apartment reviews and data innovation such as its Noise Index is announcing a new, comprehensive feature for users called the Charm Index. The company touts it as industry leading technology that scores the charm of a given location. In a release, the company said it "pulls in data on nearby businesses, crime, and local lifestyle factors such as parks and bike trails to create a composite Charm Score for every location."
Dan Laufer, RentLingo's CEO noted that "other sites may show crime or school rating overlays but there's nothing this comprehensive on the market and we feel it's a major differentiator for renters in their search." There have been several recent studies by Redfin and others, which showed that location is a primary driver in millenials' housing search. The Charm Index is the first to provide location intelligence at such a granular level.
For many people moving, location is critically important and knowing which neighborhood to target or understanding which areas are the "good part" of a neighborhood can be ambiguous. "We created the Charm Index with the belief that local businesses are what define a neighborhood's charm. They offer the flavor of the area. We wanted to show this to everyone, so that whether you are moving from a different state, different city, or even just across town and finally out of your parents' home, you can find the neighborhood that would provide access to the inspiration of local culture," Laufer added.
Byron Singh, the company's CTO explained, "The underlying data is pretty simple: it's crime data and a list of businesses. That's pretty generic information but how we use it is the special sauce." The index gleans among other things, insights on whether businesses are locally or corporate owned and factors in the types of business. "It's a bias like any other, but we like to think that local charm is more likely dictated by local boutiques and restaurants and not by redeveloped fast-food and retailer franchises. We also believe the presence of some business like Pay Day Loan stores, Strip Clubs, and pawn shops have a hard time competing in charm with neighborhood cafes and bookstores," Singh added.
RentLingo is surfacing the new insights in several ways: on a dedicated charm index page and across the site's search results. Laufer added, “When you see a listing on RentLingo we want you to not only know the rent rate and amenities but 'is this somewhere I want to live.' And that's a game changer!”