Exposing the “Big Secret” in Home Rental Search
Written by Jonas Bordo
Ask a renter who is looking for their next rental home to use one word to describe the search process. This is what you’ll hear.
Tedious. Cumbersome. Frustrating. Overwhelming. Exhausting.
Ask a renter why and they’ll share that they’ve looked up rental listings on an average of four different websites. Here are some of their discoveries.
“I found that one site mostly had large apartment style buildings. I am looking for a single family home. So, I needed to find another source for rentals.”
“My budget is really tight! This one site was for people who have a lot more money to spend on rent each month.”
“To be thorough, I started comparing what was available on one site versus another. They both had a lot of listings, but they were different. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss out on that gem that was out there. So I spent hours combing through all the rental search results.”
Renters want to know…
- Why do different sites showcase different rentals?
- Why isn’t the inventory on one site identical to the inventory on another site?
One of the biggest contributing factors is the pay-to-play model upon which internet listing sites (ILS) are built.
Property managers and owners have a limited amount of dollars to market and advertise their rentals. ILSs often charge a fee per individual property listing. When grappling with a large portfolio of rental properties, hard decisions get made.
Think about it. If you managed 100 properties/units and only had $100 to spend, would you spend $1 on each? I wouldn’t. If I had one property that collected a rent sum of $5,000, I’d dedicate more marketing dollars to that one than another that only brought in $500.
The result. Some of my properties/units wouldn’t show up on that listing website.
The implication. You, the renter, would not know it existed through that source.
Today’s renters have relegated themselves to thinking…
Rental search websites have to make their money somehow. This is just how it works. It’s a given that I’ll need to spend hours and hours on a lot of different sites to find the rental I’m looking for.
The BIG secret? There is another way!
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Rosalind Bordo, Dwellsy’s Co-founder and Head of Product, says it best in the “About” section of her LinkedIn.
…Dwellsy, a site for residential home rentals, based on the radical concept that true, organic search in a free eco-system creates more value than the pay-to-play model embraced by all of the current rental listing services.
Renters should be able to find ALL of the rentals, all in ONE place. They should be able to trust that a listing is not fraudulent. And they should be able to quickly distill down to rentals that meet their preferences, not be driven toward irrelevant listings from paid placement.
Owners and Managers should be able to list and lease their vacant units for free. Not free with an asterisk. Free. (You can never create true, organic search on a play-to-play model.)
I am on a mission to democratize data in the home rental space. A mission to give people what they freakin’ asked for, not what we want to push on them because someone paid us. A mission to underwrite a new paradigm of genuine empathy for the renter experience.
And in doing all that, we will create valuable data sets that will not only better serve renters as they make their decisions about which homes to rent, but also owners and property managers who need far better data than what is currently available to effectively reach renters and make good decisions as they manage their rental portfolios.
In a survey, we asked renters what one thing would transform their rental search experience, their response was clear.
Build a rental search platform that has all available rentals that exist all in one place. Period.
We hear you.
Dwellsy is on it.