More or less, the cottages had most of the things we wanted, but we still needed to find one within our price range. The best the cottage renting sites could offer - besides the price range and the number of bedrooms - was to narrow the search to waterfront properties. As for the rest, we were forced to print out every single property listing and literally go through everything with a highlighter
(PRWEB) January 16, 2009
Have you ever rented a cottage over the Internet? If you have then you'll know how annoying it can be. Surfing endless sites with sometimes disorganized information and no address, trying to find out if Fido can come, looking for the nearest beach, searching for a romantic place or a fishing spot, there's no end to it.
A family in Toronto complained about not being able to search for a cottage, but, unlike most, they didn't just complain about it, they decided to do something. They were looking for a cottage just like everyone else; on the multitude of websites. They simply wanted a three bedroom cottage within 250 km of Toronto. They found about 50 different cottages. And then the nightmare began.
"We had to check the distance to each cottage individually using Google Maps. It was even sometimes impossible to find some of them," says Yuriy Setko, founder of Rent Cottage Canada. Like every family, the Setko's have their preferences. It took some deciding, but both them and their friends found amenities they both agreed on: a fireplace, a satellite TV, a ping pong or a pool table, etc. They also wanted to have fun outside the cottage. Yuriy's wife likes cross-country skiing, Yuriy himself likes ice fishing, and their teenage daughter has always wanted to try snowmobiling. The entire family and their friends also wanted the cottage to have a sauna or hot tub.
"More or less, the cottages had most of the things we wanted, but we still needed to find one within our price range. The best the cottage renting sites could offer - besides the price range and the number of bedrooms - was to narrow the search to waterfront properties. As for the rest, we were forced to print out every single property listing and literally go through everything with a highlighter," says Yuriy.
The printouts were everywhere, and the Setko's house was a mess because of it. Even after all that, they had nothing. Their friends did the same, but they, too came up with nothing. This story has no happy ending. The Setko's wasted lots of time searching the Internet, printing stuff out, and talking tirelessly to their friends, deciding. They were forced to celebrate New Year at home by themselves.
Yuriy, a software engineer, has summarized the disadvantages of cottage renting sites, and, finding these to his dissatisfaction, decided to design a new engine. The engine will give potential renters a powerful Cottage Finder, and provide cottage owners with renters. The engine has the ability to search the distance to the cottage from their home, find the amenities, features, services, and activities they want.
Google Maps was selected to calculate the distances and to visually represent the cottages on the Map. A detailed search screen was designed to satisfy the needs of any renter. When staying at a cottage it's always nice to know what's around. Not just stores and shopping malls, but also historical places and attractions. There are Wikipedia articles connected to the Map, so every cottage renter can see what's in the area. There are millions of good quality pictures uploaded to Panoramio. These pictures are geotagged to a place on Google Maps. Rent Cottage Canada also has this feature. Panoramio photos also can be displayed on the Map, so the renters can easily browse attractions around the cottage, and on the actual cottage listings as well, adding up to 20 of the most popular (taken within 25 km distance from the cottage) pictures from Panoramio to their cottage listing.
There is much more on the site to help unite renters and owners that other sites have not even begun to discover yet.
Rent Cottage Canada was launched just a few days before New Year, and currently has over 150 cottages on the map from most of the Canadian provinces.
You can check out the new cottage renting service online on Rent Cottage Canada.