“When I became a landlord I started looking around for tools to use and I didn’t find any. So I figured let’s just create it.”
Because I’m at a stage in life where becoming a home-owning adult appeals like grim death, I am not a homeowner. This has many benefits, like not having to spend weekends sadly plucking leaves from gutters or deciding what paint color goes best in the bedroom. The downside is I’m exposed to the world of rental properties, where finding a respectable place to live (or finding a respectable person to live in it) can be as challenging as avoiding dirty soda drinkers on a Friday night in Provo.
Smart is the word of the future and this applies to everything, including the rental space. Rentler was created in 2011 with the understanding that renting should be smarter, faster, and easier — for landlords and tenants alike. Built upon a foundation that included experience from prior ventures (NUVI, Struck) and first-hand knowledge of landlord problems, Rentler was able to hit the ground running.
“When I became a landlord I started looking around for tools to use and I didn’t find any,” said Jason Bangerter, CEO and co-founder of Rentler. “So I figured let’s just create it. Originally the concept was to get users. That was our main focus. We partnered with KSL, built out a search and the ability to post listings, and that created a sales funnel for the property management software.”
The partnership with KSL — Rentler powers the home section in KSL classifieds — gave Rentler an instant base to work their magic. As time has progressed, that property management software has been tweaked and altered, enhancing the experience for users on both sides of the equation. Instead of jumping through all the terrible hoops associated with normal renting, we have a process that is (rings golden startup bell to prepare readers for overused buzzword) streamlined.
“What we’ve done is not just do listings where you can find and fill vacancies, we’ve done rental applications at the point of advertising,” said Mark DeHaan, COO of Rentler. “You can fill out one rental application and submit it to all your favorite properties. As a landlord, you can do credit checks, background checks, eviction, sex offender registry, a full-on screening.”
Have you ever experienced the sobering reality of searching for a place to rent? I have, so I’ll give you a quick rundown. First, I get super motivated and start looking for homes/apartments that fit my specific parameters (a room to sleep in, a room to hook up 5 tvs to watch sports on, a kitchen to microwave fancy tv dinners). After 30 minutes or so, I’m faced with the prospect that this search might take the rest of my life, so I immediately settle for something that doesn’t fit any of my requirements. That’s why I currently live in a place where dogs always bark at me even though I don’t own dogs. What I’m trying to say is, I wish I’d known about Rentler’s search capabilities.
“With our experience, it was all about the search,” said Bangerter. “Building the right type of search so you can find your property fast and quickly compare or look at what properties work for you. If I’m looking for a place with a hot tub, pet-friendly, and has a two-car garage, then I put those parameters in and it will really narrow down the search.”
Rentler has also incorporated an entirely new payment system that expands capabilities. Some of the notable features (descriptions provided courtesy of Rentler): automatic late fee and grace period management; tenant reminders; tenants can build credit by paying rent on time, reported directly to Experian by Rentler; supports roommates splitting rent; ability to pay rent with credit and debit cards; money is processed quickly within 1-3 days; and a financial track of payments from all properties.
Since its creation, Rentler has grown to encompass over 110,000 listings in nearly every major city in America. They have also benefited from a recently completed funding round (numbers and investors were not released) and if you have need of finding a place to rent, or a person to fill your vacant space, I know a place that can help.
“We’ve proven the model and now it’s time to go gangbusters,” said Bangerter. “We’re just starting.”