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The coming year will offer many lucrative opportunities for those aiming to create a rental website, while digital solutions around buying and selling real estate might experience a tectonic drop. Here is why and how to create a rental website in 2023.
A rental marketplace platform is an online rental marketplace where individuals or companies list the vacant property for rentals. The most popular online rental platforms are AirBnb (best for vacation rentals), Rent.com (best for first-time renters), Zillow (one of the best overall), etc.
The popularity of marketplace rental homes is set to rise in 2023 and 2024 as more and more people are holding off on buying a house in light of recent economic fallouts:
The surge in demand for rentals creates a perfect storm of opportunities for those looking to create a rental website. In particular:
In fact, 9 out of 25 top Proptech companies 2023 in the US are in some way or another focusing on marketplace rental homes, with a clear indication for further growth of this trend.
Let a real estate tech expert with 16+ years of industry experience audit your portfolio startups.
To create a rental website, you should decide on the type of your would-be online rental platform, your target audience, and the needs your real estate solution will solve. We allocate the following classifications of online rental marketplaces:
Before creating a rental website, think about how you are going to make money with it. There are at least three actionable models of monetizing a rental marketplace platform.
A commission is a percentage/fixed flat fee for each transaction made on a platform. If your real estate marketplace software is going to list properties within a single real estate agency, such percentage/fee is called agent commission and usually goes to a person that closed a deal.
For generic marketplace homes rentals like Airbnb that provide a venue for listing properties from a wider brokerage community this percentage/fee is generated upon each transaction that takes place on the platform and charged to landlords or tenants.
The advantage of such a rental marketplace monetization model is that it is relatively easy to implement and does not require the involvement of any third party, like advertisers.
However, an ultimate drawback is that the total revenue is dependent on the number of transactions completed on the platform. So, this monetization model is likely to generate the most revenue if applied to short-term market place rentals like Airbnb and Homestay with a shorter home-staying cycle and more transactions as opposed to long-term rentals.
However, if there’re few visitors to your rental marketplace platform, you’ll not generate much revenue anyway.
The subscription revenue model means that a property marketplace charges a monthly fee for access to the platform or particular functionality. Rightmove, for example, sells an advanced subscription called Rightmove Plus that, apart from basic features, offers brokers:
Rightmove is very secretive about its premium membership, as different agencies are charged differently based on their size and location. But it has been numerously reported that the rough monthly cost is £1000+ (1200+ USD).
The ultimate advantage of such a model is that your rental marketplace doesn’t have to support payments to charge users a commission fee upon each transaction. Instead, you can and should focus on other value propositions in terms of functionality to draw more visitors to your rental marketplace platform. As a result, your revenue will be much more predictable than within the commission-based model.
This monetization model means that agents can pay a fee to get listed on the top of the search and get more visibility on the online rental platform. Just as an illustration, Craigslist charges anywhere between $3 to $75 for adding a listing.
This revenue model is attractive for one-branch brokerages that don’t post listings on a regular basis and thus can spend less than when buying a subscription.
However, the drawback of this revenue model is very similar to that of commission-based monetization – it is not easy to turn free users into those who are ready to pay a fee. The only way to deal with this is to offer sufficient value to your users.
Generally, there are two main ways to create a rental website:
Creating your rental marketplace from the ground up can be a viable option if you require advanced features or significant customization. This approach requires a significant amount of time and resources, but the advantages you get in the end are simply incomparable.
The key benefits of custom development include the following:
If you feel overwhelmed by technical jargon, integrations, and compatibility concerns, consider partnering with a technology company with experience in the real estate industry to guide you through the process.
By assembling a team of skilled professionals, including UI/UX designers and engineers, you can ensure a smooth launch and ongoing support for your product.
Utilizing a pre-existing solution can be a great option for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have the resources or desire to make large initial investments or implement significant customizations.
With a no-code rental marketplace tool, businesses can quickly launch their ideas without a tech team, which is a significant advantage over costly custom development. These tools typically include pre-built features such as payment gateway, listing management, and user accounts.
However, as your business grows and expands, the need for additional functionality may arise, and no-code tools may not have the technical capabilities to accommodate these needs due to limited customization options.
Even if they do, the final costs may be even higher than building a custom solution from scratch, as these simple, non-technical platforms do not allow for any amends in the application’s source code.
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Developing an online rental marketplace from scratch will take a lot more time and money than getting a ready-made solution.
An average of $10,000 to $25,000 (with $40 per hour as the service charge) will cost to develop an online rental marketplace from scratch. These numbers will largely depend on the complexity of your project and the development rates of your tech team, so it makes sense to consider all development options, including outsourcing and offshoring, to optimize your costs.
We’ve outsourced to 7 countries before we found a perfect solution, so make sure you run thorough market research before launching your project.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the initial version of your product that has enough features to appeal to early adopters and validate your idea but does not include any unnecessary functions.
Creating an MVP for your real estate marketplace platform can assist you in:
There is a significant difference between an MVP and a fully-featured real estate marketplace. An MVP focuses on validating the target audience, while a fully-featured product is designed to serve a specific target group.
The cost of an MVP is lower compared to a fully-featured product, but it should not be considered a raw or poorly-made product. An effective MVP should be a high-quality application, containing only the most essential features that can address the users’ most critical problems.
Having a successful MVP can reduce the time and cost required to create a rental website with a full set of features. It also allows you to present the app to a validated, loyal audience.
A sign-up or login feature is necessary for all users, including the platform owner, end users, and product/property owners, to access the platform’s features and functionalities.
An advanced search feature with filters to narrow down the results and help users find the right products or properties.
A map integration feature that uses Google Maps for accurate location-based searches. You can also add an advanced version of map search like that in the Rightmove Plus subscription that allows users to search by drawing a circle on the map.
A feature that allows users to save their preferred products or properties in a wishlist or cart.
A feature that enables users to communicate with the product or rental service providers for any issues or concerns.
Users can quickly book and confirm rental products or properties, with the details reflected in the “order history” feature.
A feature that keeps track of past rental orders, including information on the product/property rented, rental dates, payment method, and amount.
An essential feature that provides multiple payment options for users, including credit/debit cards, UPI, PayPal, and cash.
Users receive notifications regarding their rental orders.
Users have the ability to rate and review the rental services they received at the end of their rental period.
This feature allows service providers to set different pricing for their goods based on the season. They can increase prices during high demand and lower them during low demand periods.
This feature allows rental owners to label their listings as “Instant book” or “Request to book”. With the instant booking option, end-users can book without needing to request the service provider. The request to book option sends a booking request to the provider before the booking can be confirmed.
The platform owner can audit the messages that go between the providers and the end-user. This feature helps the owners to know what has happened to understand the dispute.
Having a Custom Relationship System helps administrators route and execute communications with multiple clients that left a request on your real estate marketplace platform in a centralized way.
The platform owner can add a new page or change the existing content on the website by using a content management system.
Brochures and property reports are vital in any rental business but may be time-consuming if you need to create each one manually upon a client’s request. With an integrated report generation tool, admins can generate eye-pleasing brochures by pulling information directly from your rental website / CRM system behind it.
The platform owner can delete or edit the reviews given by the user and provider on the platform. This feature helps in minimizing the untrue reviews posted by the users.
You can integrate multi-currency and multi-language to make your real estate marketplace platform reach beyond the local community.
Lean on Ascendix to develop a state-of-the-art rental marketplace that will disrupt the industry.
Bilt Rewards is a fresh proptech startup that has disrupted the home rental market with unique rewards programs that allow renters to earn points simply by paying their rent. Bilt’s points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards through 12 different loyalty programs. These include major airlines, hotels, travel, fitness classes, Amazon.com purchases, and even credit toward rent or a future down payment.
Bilt also unveiled a new initiative called Bilt Homes, which aims to assist renters in achieving homeownership. The program compares the member’s monthly rent payments against mortgage rates in the area to identify homes that they could afford to purchase with that same payment. This takes into account real-time interest rates, taxes, income, credit profile, and other personal data to calculate mortgage eligibility.
Bilt’s is officially one of the most quick-growing market place rental startups as just in a year its total valuation skyrocketed from 350 million USD to 1.5 billion USD, which gives the company unicorn status.
Poplar Homes, co-founded in 2014 by Toschi, Chuck Hattemer, and Rico Mok, is an online marketplace platform that primarily operates in the single-family home rental market. Its target audience is private individuals with only one or a few properties, who are estimated to control 90% of the market.
The company manages leasing, maintenance, legal, and accounting matters for owners and also aims to make the process more convenient for renters by providing an online platform for touring properties, getting approvals, and paying rent.
SquareFoot is a modern real estate marketplace software that caters to companies searching for their next office space. The software prioritizes providing a stress-free and transparent experience for companies that require flexible leasing options.
The platform offers a seamless process supported by user-friendly technology and a dedicated team of real estate experts who match clients’ unique needs with the current market’s offerings.
Residently is a real estate marketplace software that enables renters to schedule viewings, take virtual tours, make offers, pay deposits, and extend or renew their leases. The platform also supports realtors, property managers, and institutional landlords in managing their tenants, reducing costs and void periods.
By digitizing the renter’s experience, both agents and property managers can streamline operations, saving £400 per property per year and doubling the landlord’s Net Operating Income through void reduction.
The company was established in 2017 and is based in London, England.
Month2Month is a company that aims to transform the rental industry by creating a rental website that features beautifully furnished housing on flexible rental terms. Month2Month.com provides thousands of fully furnished, ready-to-move-in homes in various states such as California, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and more, for families and working professionals to enjoy.
The company has an innovative culture and is staffed by a diverse group of vibrant, energetic employees dedicated to providing excellent customer service.
Building and launching a rental marketplace platform seems to be a daunting task. But only until you have the right knowledge and technology partner along with you.
Ascendix is a proptech development expert with almost two decades of practice-based experience in real estate.
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Alina is a proptech technology expert and a storyteller at Ascendix, investigating the real estate market and sharing her insights and tips with up-and-coming proptech startups, established real estate agencies, and industry stakeholders. She talks about real estate technology, business automation, and industry news.
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