Here’s a nifty business model for a property-listing site that we haven’t seen before. RentGeek, a Canadian startup, filters the apartments and homes it presents by asking you to fill in an online questionnaire. We gave it a spin in Vancouver.

RentGeek asked for our age, gender, marital status, number of kids, income (we skipped that one), type of property we’re interested in, how we get around (this being Vancouver, “car sharing” was an option), pets, where we eat (at home or in restaurants), whether we work out or do yoga (we made ourselves sound a little buffer than maybe we actually are), what kind of coffee we drink, what we do on Friday nights (clubbing it or movie at home?) and, of course, how much we are willing to spend.

We were then presented with three communities, each with a Google Map and recommended properties. You can see how your survey affected the rankings; review a demographic breakdown according to the 2006 Canadian census; and check out a number of “hip” reviews of the neighborhoods by locals (we tried to chat with them, but RentGeek is not a real estate/dating site, at least not yet).

All in all, the experience was easy and we left with the feeling that RentGeek kind of did read our minds, even if it was all just algorithms. It’s certainly a model worth considering stateside.

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