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DC apartment finder Urban Igloo "in a hiring frenzy"

Urban Igloo, a real estate service that "takes the stress out of D.C. apartment hunting," is doubling its staff, from 10 to at least 20 staffers in its D.C. headquarters and from three to six in its Philadelphia office. It is also looking to expand the company to other cities.
“We are in a hiring frenzy,” said Kate Becker, director of marketing and strategy of Urban Igloo, based at 1808 I Street NW, who is seeking licensed real estate agents for the additional positions.
The privately-owned company was founded in 2009 with two staffers. Thanks to its growth, the company hired eight staffers for its District headquarters within the past two months. Besides D.C., the office serves the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.
The Philadelphia office opened in 2012 with three staffers.
Becker said that Urban Igloo experienced an approximately 25 percent increase in customer volume from 2012 on for all of its markets, and is on track to better that number this year.

In addition to the new hires, Urban Igloo is also looking into expanding the company to other cities, mainly but not limited to the East Coast. Said Becker, “We are looking for a large urban density and an increase in the number of Millennials moving to the area. They are our main but not only renters. We need a good supply of renters and a decent amount of inventory. We are in a very active search.”

Urban Igloo CEO Rick Gersten added that "due to the confidence we gain from seeing this consistent growth, we are now in the process of exploring expansion in up to three more metro-oriented areas."

Urban Igloo is “a renter-focused brand,” said Becker. “We are heavy on helping them.”
Potential renters can use its website to search its online inventory. Its licensed agents also work with potential renters offline, explaining the rental process and showing them the different neighborhoods.
There is no fee to potential renters for these services. However, landlords who sign up for Urban Igloo pay a fee if a lease is arranged through the company.
“There are other businesses like us around the country. But we brought this business model to the District of Columbia,” said Becker.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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