[Editor’s note: originally published on GoPropTech.]
Everyone involved in real estate investment has witnessed the explosion in the rental market over the last few years. While real estate investment was a part-time, supplemental source of income for some investors, many have been able to take it full-time, with single-family and multifamily rental properties.
With a huge rental market available in densely populated areas, being a property owner, investor, or real estate agent offers the potential for huge returns. However, it isn’t something that just happens automatically. Watching the major players to understand how they are adapting their strategies can give you an idea of what direction to follow.
Not everyone has reaped profits with the proliferation of the rental market. A large part of that may be because the rental market remains disconnected and fragmented.
The good news is that some of the leading real estate technology companies are leading the modernistic vanguard toward a promising future. These cutting-edge companies are creating and implementing innovative technologies for success. We’ll share more about how they’re continuing to grow, so you can do the same yourself.
Real Estate Technology Changes the Landscape
New software provides ways to streamline management, maintenance, acquisition, and sales of properties for those who own them. Some of the most exciting new technologies to be aware of are listed below and may give you an advantage as a rental provider.
One of the biggest names in the tech world for owners of rentals is FlipOS. This is a simple-to-use platform that helps people quickly sell properties, access loans with low-interest rates, and prioritize repairs. Users recognize that it can compress a multi-month job into weeks or a single month.
The main purpose of the app, which may be obvious from its name, is to give people an easier way to buy homes, renovate them, and then sell them to others at a significant profit. If you’re considering moving into this kind of investment opportunity, the app could be the perfect way to explore the process.
As mentioned earlier, the rental market is largely decentralized. People can find it difficult to get involved and start creating a large portfolio of marketable properties. FlipOS is designed to make that a streamlined process.
Rently is an innovative company that gives investors a chance to streamline the process of renting out homes. This solution has been available since 2011 and is designed to be used by anyone in the rental housing market. It offers cost-effective, smart home technology and secure, self-touring solutions. As you can imagine, its acceptance has skyrocketed throughout the pandemic.
This company has assisted with over 16 million tours and the deployment of smart technology. Creating full remote control of properties is a major benefit for investors and homeowners. The smart devices placed in the home can help prevent damage, control access to the home, and monitor activity in a single place.It does not require access to Wi-Fi
On the other side of the coin is the self-guided tour. As a real estate investor, this can allow you to find tenants even when you aren’t available. Guests can enter the home at a time that works for their schedule and navigate an automated tour designed by Rently. Keyless locks, Bluetooth locks, and lockboxes can all facilitate the process in single-family and multifamily homes.
Another valuable tech from Rently is the iQual Plus Resident Screening application. It matches renters to properties that they are likely to qualify for, using pre-screening questions about pets, income, evictions, and credit scores.
Appreciate is another full-service technology platform for anyone who owns or invests in single-family homes. Its operating company, Renters Warehouse, offers full-service brokerage teams and an online marketplace for dozens of markets. This gives investors across the US a management platform that meets a wide variety of needs, from reporting and analytics, to property management and resident placement.
This is an attempt to help with the fragmented marketplace, where most platforms are searching for a way to find larger market shares. The platform combines the management and marketplace aspect of single-family rentals, that normally were serviced on an individual basis. Institutional and retail investors can lease, buy, sell, and manage many properties in a single platform.
Appreciate’s team leaders’ long-standing experience in single-family rentals and proven track records for scaling and growing businesses, or operating rental companies on their own. Appreciate will likely have opportunities in many business segments with landlord services, resident services, mortgage and insurance referrals, and a payment platform.
One of the aspects of foremost importance to property owners is being able to access service professionals when necessary. This can be a daunting task in some cases, especially for those who don’t already have ‘go-to’ contractors and companies to handle all the services that make single-family and multifamily buildings run smoothly.
Lessen is available in more than 35 markets and has a team of 2,100+ service pros and 4,000 clients. Making use of the service provides a unified platform for all service management needs. It includes a centralized work and project order management area, with integrated billing, dashboards, and analytics.
Service pros can offer maintenance, and renovation services and owners and operators can call on those professionals when it’s needed the most. The platform matches you with the right service professionals to get things back in service.
Belong recently secured Series C funding. It’s focused on offering services that smaller real estate operations may need. It’s tailored for individuals or small teams that want to continue working in the rental space, while competing with larger firms. The main focus is providing property management services and is currently available in at least six markets, including the Bay Area, the Los Angeles area, Miami, Orange County, the San Diego area, and the Seattle area.
One of the perks of Belong is end-to-end management of a property, so you can focus on other parts of your business. The platform provides a guarantee of long-term, monthly rental income. On average, homes are rented in 19 days when the service is used. Most homes receive dozens of qualified applicants, and over 70% of tenants choose to renew their lease. The service comes with 24/7 concierge support to ensure all real estate needs are satisfied.
This is a full-featured platform that offers management, placement, maintenance, after-house services, and more. Initial setup and inspection are free, as are a pricing analysis, photoshoots, virtual and 3D tours, and advertising for your properties. For those who have their hands full with management, Belong can take a lot off your plate.
What the Major Real Estate Rental Tech Players Are Doing
In addition to the tech mentioned above, most of which is available now, other real estate innovations are forthcoming. Based on news from the end of February, the property management market size will likely increase from $3.62 billion in 2021, to more than $6 billion in 2028.
Below are a few of the most recent property technology funding sessions related to rental property. It may give you an idea of what lies ahead.
Wander is a network provider for smart homes, recently raised $20 million in Series A, led by QED Investors. The funding is expected to grow its largely remote team, expand its portfolio of properties, and continue to build its travel experience platform.
Wander’s main focus is to give remote workers living solutions that are fully smart-tech-enabled. It owns all the properties on its platform and focuses on the guest experience. The main goal is to create travel experiences that are exceptional for remote workers, and those who need technology when exploring new places.
Wander is a notable example of seizing part of the market and making it your own. With full control over the properties, technology, and locations, Wander can offer a fully customized experience that meets the expectations of its tenants.
Funnel, a major leasing platform for multi-family operators geared toward renters, has raised $35.5 million Series B, led by RET Ventures, which is a property technology firm and existing investor. This will be used to expand the reach of the platform and give mid-market management companies and property owners access to new leasing tech.
Initially created to market apartments in 2010, Funnel has been expanding since 2018. It works to automate the tech stack for renters using a CRM and lead management system, as well as a leasing agent, available virtually through email, chat, and SMS.
The Convert product offered by Funnel has several online leasing tools, including instant income verification for applicants that keeps their data safe and secure. The funding will add the development of new tools, including resident portal functions and renter onboarding.
Nomad has announced raising $20 million in Series A, led by SVB Capital. The company works to serve small property owners who offer rentals with a guaranteed rental revenue stream. For up to three years, the company promises rent will hit the bank. They help by making sure the property is leased at market price. The money is intended to bring in innovative technology and expand the service into new markets
The basic focus of Nomad is to sustain small owners who are experiencing financial uncertainty when the rental market ebbs and flows. It ensures the owners are paid on the first of the month, so there’s less to worry about in terms of occupancy rate.
Most property owners around the country are individuals, rather than part of a company or firm, and Nomad is working to remove uncertainty from their lives. A guaranteed form of rent will help smaller owners and landlords compete against larger companies that often have a large number of single-family properties across a market.
It’s common knowledge that the real estate market is overflowing with new technology and that trend is unlikely to change. As someone who owns a property that brings in new tenants, the best way to keep things moving forward is to be aware of these new real estate solutions and implement the ones that match your needs.
While focusing on single-family or multifamily may work for some, having a portfolio that includes both may be the right solution for others. About 1/3 of rentals in the US are now single-family, and investors have created a huge market for these neighborhood communities.
As home prices have increased and institutional cash flows into the market, the rental market continues to grow for single-family and multifamily rentals. Technology is one of the best ways to simplify every phase of the rental process, which can ensure properties are occupied.
Real estate technology that has hit the market as one of the best methods to make yourself competitive, no matter where you own property. Using the right tools and arming yourself with the best real estate solutions is the best way to get ahead. Working with a real estate consulting company that focuses on these priorities can put you ahead of the pack.