Crowded rental markets in tight geographic areas can sometimes make a map-based search feel overwhelming (think about New York City, Washington DC, or San Francisco). Not only are there multiple listings on the same block, but often several listings are stacked in the same building. With more than half a million active rental listings and nearly 1000 partner feeds, the data overload (especially duplicates) can be a serious challenge.
Collectively, we call this the dupe dilemma. That's why over the last few weeks we spent time creating a better system for organizing listings. This "De-Duper" project turned into a fairly complex data and UI challenge: how do we display the most relevant data in a condensed geographic area already saturated with listings?
Here is what we came up with: when a micro-area (ex. building) has multiple listings, the preview bubble will show the top three results with the highest quality score. Under these top three choices, there is a link to "see all units at this address". Clicking this link opens up a side window with all the available units in that area.
This new dupe system is significant for several reasons. First, grouping listings noticeably improves the map and makes the search experience much cleaner. Second, listings with the highest quality score are easier to find, which boosts search quality. Third, and maybe most important, the dupe checking system creates the necessary framework to further ramp up our listing content. We think this is super-duper.