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Two data providers for the multifamily sector–Realty DataTrust and Rent.com–are leveraging their technologies to create an enhanced market research tool for property managers and other industry professionals.

The partnership, announced this week, combines data from a leading online apartment availability and reservation system with one of the largest consumer apartment search websites. The companies plan to integrate rental rate data from Rent.com’s database of more than 25,000 property listings into a site Realty DataTrust built to analyze apartment market data and trends.

The year-old site, PadZing.com, is a subscription-based tool that allows users to research competitive formation. Currently in beta testing, it offers apartment rental rates, vacancy trends and a selection of dynamic maps. The site is designed to help property managers validate rental rates, create comparative survey reports and gain market insight, says Mike Mueller, CEO of Scottsdale, AZ-based Realty DataTrust.

It’s already received some favorable reviews. Jack Kern, an industry consultant and vice chairman of the National Multi-Housing Council’s Research Committee, called the site’s real-time information “extremely valuable” for property owners and managers. “Understanding trends that are localized as well as those on a national level helps bring to light rent and vacancy variations and deviations that we used to have to wait months to collect and analyze,” he says.

Eric Wu, the founder of RentWiki.com, describes PadZing.com as “Zillow for rentals,” noting it was a “great idea, and a necessary resource for apartments to accurately price their units.” RentWiki.com utilizes consumer-contributed content, social networking and inbound/outbound web syndication to help renters research neighborhoods.

In addition to PadZing.com, RDT is the maker of VaultWare, which distributes apartment unit availability information through a national network of more than125 Internet Listing Services, Internet search sites and property management websites. VaultWare automatically acquires data from participating property management companies and shares the data with PadZing.com.

PadZing.com gives property owners and managers a way to “quickly and easily get the data they want and need to understand their specific market,” Mueller says. The new agreement with Rent.com “significantly expands” the site’s reach and “provides improved analysis of very specific geographic areas,” he adds.

Rent.com, founded in 1999, was the first pay for performance rental listing site. It matches property managers and tenants, and charges the property manager when a lease is produced through the site. It was acquired by eBay in Feb. 2005.

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