A new American venture that aims to build a “.. smarter rental platform” has been launched by a team with extensive experiences creating major marketplaces.
ApartmentAdvisor has been co-founded by Langley Steinert, the founder of both CarGurus and TripAdvisor. He will serve as Chairman. Other co-founders include CEO Tom Gilmore, the founder and former CEO of VacationHomeRentals, CTO Josh Arnold who was the former lead engineer at TripAdvisor and former director of data science at Mineral Tree, and Oliver Chrzan, the former CTO at CarGurus. Greg Schwartz, the CEO and co-founder of real estate startup Tomo and former President of Media and Marketplaces at Zillow, will serve on the company's Board of Directors.
The new platform will use analytics to make the rental search process easier and more transparent by evaluating hundreds of thousands of listings daily, and providing objective guidance on which offers the best value.
Tom Gilmore, co-founder and CEO, said: "The traditional classified rental listings model is optimised for property owners, but not for renters. We see an opportunity to reinvent that model with a more consumer-centric approach, and the release of our new search platform is a core part of that.
A statement from the company noted that unlike classified sites that display apartment listings based on a landlord's paid advertising, ApartmentAdvisor ranks search results based on which apartment is the best value relative to the consumers' search parameters.
The company's search engine is powered by a property valuation model that factors data on size, quality, amenities, and location to rate and rank each available listing from "Great Deal" to "Overpriced."
It is also developing a community engagement capability that incorporates reviews and insights from residents and provides renters with first-hand knowledge of local neighbourhoods.
Langley Steinert, co-founder and chairman of ApartmentAdvisor, added: "Technology innovation in home rental search has lagged other categories, and yet the need to better serve renters and property owners has never been more critical.”
”Our founding team not only has an exciting vision, but also brings deep experience building Tripadvisor and CarGurus from startups into major marketplace platforms. We see a similar path for ApartmentAdvisor as we work to revolutionise how renters find and lease their next apartment."
ApartmentAdvisor is entering the market with a freemium model for property owners and managers, enabling them to list inventory on the platform at no charge. Owners cannot pay to influence the ranking of organic search results, however they will have options to upgrade for additional services.
The company says the improved search experience for renters will drive higher conversions for property owners and managers from informed, ready-to-sign applicants.