We first came across New Zealand based PropTech firm Renti when we read that the market-leading real estate market Trade Me was partnering with them to streamline renting for Kiwis and bring the portal a little bit closer to a true end-to-end marketplace.
It's an interesting partnership, so we got in touch and asked Renti's CEO, Will Alexander, to tell us a bit more about his company...
What is the problem that Renti solves?
Renti has streamlined a specific area of the new tenant process that historically has been convoluted and slow. Our software has made the process simple for tenants and property managers and has evolved quickly to meet all legislative requirements.
The development of our API and endpoints has also made the integration with trust accounting software seamless. It has saved significant time by removing paper, data entry, double handling, filing (even digital) and the introduction of digital signatures for signing agreements and bonds has been a game-changer for the industry.
What is Renti’s USP?
We build software that does not need a manual and is highly intuitive. It’s built by property managers for property managers through extensive collaboration with the end-users and strong relationships within the sector. And finally, in an industry where margins are tight and profit comes via high volume, Renti is free for our clients. That is hard to beat!
What is Renti’s biggest challenge?
Renti is still considered to be a start-up and with strong growth brings all the challenges that come with success. We have not looked to raise capital from outside investors, therefore anything the business makes goes towards growing the team and R&D. It is a constant juggling act with cash flow, resources and trying to hire before it’s required.
How many employees does Renti have?
Currently, we have 18 with a new UX/UI designer starting shortly. So 19.
How has Covid-19 changed the landscape for Renti?
Covid has made us review our business model and fast track new software products to provide additional revenue streams. The CEO role was created to solidify and strengthen the company that will result in a robust business model that can survive no matter what happens in the market.
Does Renti work with any property portals?
Yes, we do, and a recent strategic partnership with Trade Me has been an incredibly exciting development for both businesses.
Trade Me is synonymous within the Kiwi psyche such as TipTop is on a hot summers day and we are proud to be working with them. Trade Me has identified that to provide their current clients with a great experience when renting properties through their site, they needed to engage with Renti who specialise in this area.
They know we are an innovative company and will continue to push ourselves to improve the experience for all stakeholders.
What is one thing our readers might not know about but would probably find interesting about the rental market in New Zealand?
The average employment term for a property manager is around one year. It is a tough industry. If Renti can help to improve this rate and increase job satisfaction through smart technology, then we will have done our jobs.
What is Renti currently working on?
We are currently working on several projects, one of which is a new vertical off our existing platform to provide tenant portals for Build to Rent (BTR) developments.
Renti has also formed a partnership with Evans Randall who are an international Real Estate Investment firm. It is pioneering stuff and incredibly exciting. We are also continuing to enhance the capabilities of Renti which will shortly include a booking and viewing platform for tenants and property managers.
What is the most common request from clients?
How do you make money if Renti is free? For obvious reasons, it seems too good to be true. However, it is free, and our revenue comes from the utility connections for new tenancies. This service is also free for the tenants and utility providers pay us a fee for referring new clients.
The best part about it is that we are providing exceptional service to our clients and their new tenants at no cost to either.
How do you see the market evolving and what will you be doing to be ahead of the curve?
The government has already told the industry that regulation and a licensing regime will be introduced for property management. Greater scrutiny of the sector is needed and it will improve the overall standard of the industry.
Although agencies are expected to be targeted initially, eventually greater governance will be introduced for private landlords. This will create a surge in properties moving to professional management and we have a clear roadmap and new software to help facilitate this transition.