For busy landlords, showing vacant properties can be a hassle. Prospective renters might call at any time, and they typically expect to be able to schedule a showing when it works for them---often the sooner the better. What's more, they may have limited flexibility when it comes to making a viewing appointment, and they may simply eliminate certain properties from consideration if showings can't be arranged during their chosen timeframe. This frequently leaves property managers scrambling to rearrange their schedules at the last minute to accommodate prospective renters' needs.
Convenience is the missing key on both sides of the rental showing equation, as Rently's co-founder Merrick Lackner experienced when he moved to Northern California. Frustrated with his inability to schedule convenient showings, Lackner teamed up with Clark Li to create a system for viewing rentals without appointments.
Making use of smartphone technology, Rently has devised an innovative means to let potential renters tour vacant properties. In front of rentals working with Rently, prospective tenants will find a sign that contains a QR bar code. Using an app on their smartphone, interested parties can scan the code and gain access to the rental.
It's all a bit safer than it may seem at first. For starters, prospective tenants have to pay $1 to gain access to a vacant rental, which helps to weed out serious renters from non-serious renters. Each individual who signs up is given a unique passcode to view the rental. This passcode opens a special electronic lock box designed by Rently. A GPS function on the app keeps track of when the prospective tenant leaves the rental.
"We want to create a tool for managers and owners that renters will love," Lackner said. "There is no reason why showing vacancies has to be so complicated and cumbersome. When all parties are happy seeing vacancies, signing leases becomes a whole lot easier."
While it's true that the technology is only useful for those who have smartphones, using Rently doesn't keep property managers from conducting showings the old fashioned way---and even for potential renters who lack smartphones, a landlord's use of this technology may give a positive impression of the landlord's progressive attitude and commitment to tenant convenience.
Using Rently can increase a property's showing numbers, and decrease the time it sits unoccupied, significantly. "My Hollywood vacancy has gotten 88 views and 9 mobile tours in one week using Rently," one property manager testified about the service.
"I have rented three vacancies in the last week with the assistance of your mobile check in feature! Renters love real time access," another commented.
Renters who used Rently to view potential homes described their satisfaction with the process, saying "It's hip" and "it feels high tech."
"Very convenient!" one user said. "A big fan of this process - You don't have to feel like you are wasting anyone's time by being guided through by appointment!"
Ten years ago, usage of internet listing service sites such as Rent.com started to take off. This was the first step in automating the rental search process for managers and prospective tenants. Having photos and maps online allowed prospective tenants to view properties and narrow their search before visiting a property to verify what they had seen online. For property managers, this cut the number of showings needed to get a lease signed, reducing trips and wasted time showing rental units.
Services like Rently represent the next wave of productivity improvements in the rental business. Rently allows renters to enjoy unprecedented levels of instant gratification, while making it possible for property managers to scale back even further on the time-sensitive and time-intensive aspects of their jobs. Put to good use in the form of acquiring and servicing more clients, the time savings equals heftier profits.
Find out for yourself if Rently.com's technology is a game changer. Visit their site to learn more about sign up and have them contact you with more information and to answer your questions.