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Start-up aims to make the apartment hunt easy and mobile

Erin Barry
Power Pitch

Whether you’re searching for your next apartment or looking for someone to rent it, Anthemos Georgiades aims to make the process faster, easier and more mobile with his start-up Zumper. “We're changing the industry by giving renters far better data than they had before and a much easier search interface, giving landlords and brokers mobile tools to post their units from their car, from the vacant unit, on the go.”

Georgiades had just 60 seconds to convince a panel of experts his start-up has what it takes to disrupt the real estate industry. Will his mobile strategy win them over? Or is the competition too fierce for another player to enter the scene? Click the video to see if he can convince the panelists and you to be IN on Zumper.

Georgiades believes there is a significant lack of innovation in the real estate space for both renters and landlords.

“Landlords and brokers are going to their listings capturing the photos on a 4-megapixel camera, USB-ing them to their desktop taking 20 minutes per listing to post these across the Internet. Renters are still going to the same old sites and still writing applications against the refrigerator in an open house. There has to be a better way, and that’s where Zumper comes in,” Georgiades explained in his pitch.

So how exactly does Zumper work?

When someone hunting for an apartment plugs their ZIP code into Zumper’s website or iPhone app, listings that include rental price and pics instantly populate on a Google map. Users can filter the results according to price, size, even pet policy, and the contact info for the person listing the unit is included.

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Many of Zumper’s listings come from brokers and landlords who can post directly to the platform, and additional inventory can come from listings posted on other real estate platforms.

Georgiades told CNBC that Zumper receives hundreds of new listings every day.

“We control the listings. We can prompt the brokers and landlords to refresh their data and ensure that their listing is always accurate,” Georgiades told CNBC.

For the landlord and broker side of the industry, the company has Zumper Pro, a desktop and iPhone app that allows landlords to list an apartment directly from their iPhone and share it online instantly.

“This is real estate; it's not something you do from your office. It's touchy-feely and you need to do it on the go,” Georgiades told CNBC.

Zumper has some stiff competition from much larger more entrenched players such as Trulia (TRLA) which boasts 35 million unique visitors per month, and Zillow (Z) with 61.3 million unique users a month. Zillow also has a database of 110 Million US homes, which include not just rentals, but also homes for sale and properties not on the market. Both companies have popular mobile apps and strong brand recognition nationally.

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Georgiades told CNBC he is banking on Zumper’s design and user interface to take market share away from the big guys.

It’s currently free to post a listing to Zumper, but the company does charge agents to promote their listings and has plans to charge a monthly fee to access special features that will help agents and landlords maximize the exposure of their listings, and help manage open houses.

Zumper has expanded its service in New York City, San Fran and Chicago to include a total of 15 US cities. Georgiades told CNBC his startup has 1,000 clients on the Pro side and over 25,000 listings viewed daily on the iPhone app and website combined.

Founded in 2012, the company has only six employees. Zumper’s founding team includes two Google software engineers, a former California broker and Georgiades an Oxford and Harvard Business School grad.

Zumper has raised $1.7 million in seed capital so far with some noteworthy investors including Greylock Partners @GreylockVC, Andreessen Horowitz @a16z, Kleiner Perkins @kpcb, NEA @NEAVC, and CrunchFund.

Will Anthemos Georgiades’ company reinvent the home rental industry? Watch his Power Pitch to see if it’s worth closing on, along with @CNBCPowerPitch panelists Tyler Mathisen @TylerMathisen, Chris Morton @chrismorton, Lyst CEO and founder @Lyst and Mohanjit Jolly @jollymoh, DFJ Venture Capital’s managing director @DFJvc.

--Additional reporting by Joanna Weinstein

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