gifts rent for social media

The real estate website invites unhappy renters to blog about their most harrowing rental experiences for the chance to win a month of free rent and other goodies.

Everyone has a crazy renting story to share, from the chain-smoking divorcée landlady and the Guitar Hero-addicted neighbour to the unpredictable plumbing and the front door that never actually closed.

For all those frustrated renters, has launched ‘Blog Your Way Home,’ a contest inviting them to share their stories using words, pictures, graphs or charts to tell their tales of woe.

Targeting first-time buyers 25 to 40 years old, the contest was created to get people thinking about buying a home by reflecting on some of their worst rental experiences, Rodney Litigio, co-founder,, told MiC. A media buy to promote the contest, handled in house, was purchased with Now Magazine and Now‘s website, and a social-media strategy has been launched using their Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds.

‘We decided that we should start a relationship [with our customers] earlier, when people are in the rental head space,’ he said. ‘Obviously we’d love to get people that are ready to buy, but part of that is educating renters out there that you can buy.’

The contest winner will not only receive free rent in January 2010 as a prize, they will also get a free package of real-estate credits from The site is a ‘one-stop shop’ for home buying, Litigio said, and the winning package includes free legal and home inspection fees, a free energy audit, moving expenses and a first month’s home insurance premium free.

The contest runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 31, the day the winner will be announced.