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Are you a renter who’s fed up with having to sift through reams of scam-ridden Craigslist postings to find an apartment? Then Manaya‘s new “Text For Info” messaging service may be for you.

Built on an SMS platform, Manaya is the first company to give renters access to rental information around the clock all from the palm of their hand — assuming, of course, that hand is holding a mobile phone.

Via text message, the service sends renters building information such as available suites, prices and specs. And if the user has a smartphone, then they will also receive a link to Manaya’s mobile site where they can browse photos and videos of the suite, as well as see a list of other available rental properties nearby.

Here’s how it works: if a Text For Info sign is located outside a rental building, all you need to do is send a message to the code on the sign to instantly receive all the apartment updates and details. The best part is, besides your cell phone carrier’s text messaging rates, the service is free to use.

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Already available across Canada, Text For Info will be launching in the US later this year.

David Polisi, founder of Manaya, says he wanted the service to be accessible as possible.

“Text messaging is a universal function that is built into 100 per cent phones regardless of the model — giving us wide-ranging usage,” Polisi said. “Combine that with the fact that texting is currently one of the most convenient ways for people to communicate and get information, and the decision to build this tool around SMS was a no-brainer.”

Text For Info is already available across Canada with approximately 54,000 listings from some of the country’s largest property management companies, including CAPREIT and Gateway.

Polisi says before the year’s end, the service will be available south of the border as well.

“We’re getting everything set up now with the major American cell phone carriers, so within the next three to four months we’ll officially launch Text For Info in the US,” he said.

Already Manaya has seen a 400 per cent increase in usage since 2012, with 35 per cent of rental inquiries occurring after rental-office hours on weekdays, and 55 per cent of rental inquiries coming in on weekends.

“It’s been really amazing to see how fast renters are shifting from using their computers to find accommodation, to being out and about and using their phones to find properties on the go — from wherever they are, whatever time of day,” Polisi said.

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