Regardless of your social status, your occupation, or where you live in the world, we all have the same fundamental needs. We all need to have food on the table and a roof over our heads, preferably with some really fast internet access and maybe a fantastic view of the city. As a prospective tenant, it can oftentimes be difficult to find just the right place to rent in the right part of town for the right amount of money.
This is especially true in higher demand metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York, but it is just as applicable in cities and towns all across the country. Gone are the days when you would sift through the classifieds section in the local newspaper, because that is neither efficient nor effective. Instead, you want to use a website that offers you the tools and features that you need to make an informed decision as you seek out your next home. And different rental websites approach this challenge in different ways.
The Complete Package
Perhaps one of the more unique examples of this is Rentberry, an industry-disrupting startup based out of Silicon Valley. While there are plenty of startups out of SV, Rentberry has already found themselves as a mature company that is ahead of the game by not only being funded, but also by being ready to launch an upcoming ICO of their own.
The company is being positioned as a “decentralized long-term rental platform.” What's unique here is that the platform isn't used just for listing rental properties and helping to connect landlords with tenants. Instead, it works through the entire rental process, from hosting open houses to paying rent.
The goal is to provide greater transparency for all parties involved. There's an auctioning protocol where prospective tenants can bid on specific properties, organically leading to a fairer market value for both landlord and tenant alike. Renters and landlords are also giving scores that are calculated based on rental history, reviews and public information. This greatly improves the screening process, while also appealing to both sides. As reported by Business Insider:
“Rentberry has about 100,000 property listings across a growing number of US cities.”
To further differentiate itself from other platforms, Rentberry is poised to deploy its own cryptocurrency, BERRY, that will be used not only to pay rent in a fast, safe and secure manner, but also pay for third-party services like housekeeping and maintenance. This also makes it easy for roommates to split rent, and landlords don't have to deal with check holding periods or the added logistics of cash transactions.
The appeal here is for more tech-savvy tenants and landlords who are interested in leveraging the newest technology, particularly blockchain, to facilitate a better rental experience for everyone. Everyone can save time and money while reducing the frustrations normally associated with the rental process.
The Perfect Pad
Operating on an entirely different set of principles is Padmapper. Rather than offer a full end-to-end user experience, Padmapper focuses on how it can “make apartment hunting suck less.” It's about helping tenants find just the right “pad” by offering an intuitive map-based interface where they can pan and zoom around to find available properties in all sorts of different neighborhoods. It's an aggregation service, to a certain extent, pulling listings from different places online.
A major problem that this rental website strives to overcome is the tedious frustration that is normally associated with finding an apartment that fits a certain set of criteria. To this end, the map on PadMapper offers a broad array of filters and functions to help narrow down the list of available properties. You can filter based on the monthly rent that you would like to pay, for instance, and whether you are looking for a short-term or long-term rental. You can add in keyword searches to further refine your results.
You can view images, check out the integrated Google Street View (if available), and save properties to your list of favorites. Being able to freehand draw on the map is especially useful if you're looking for properties within a very specific neighborhood. The mobile app makes it easy for you to keep track of everything too, helping to navigate you to the inspect the properties yourself.
Going on Vacation
What about when you're not looking for a place to call home, but rather a comfortable place to stay while you are on vacation? More and more travelers are now looking beyond traditional hotels for their accommodations, but there are so many different websites where these vacation rentals are listed. It can be frustrating and time consuming to search through all of them.
That's the core appeal of Tripping. This website allows you to search and compare properties that are listed across a number of different rental sites. Even though VRBO and HomeAway are technically the same company, for instance, they do not necessarily have identical listings. If you want the greatest choice possible, using a tool like Tripping makes that a lot easier.
It taps into over 10 million rentals in 150,000 destinations around the globe, so you can find everything from a furnished beach house to a ski cabin to a cozy apartment in the heart of the city. Like other rental websites, you similarly have access to filters like rate and location, as well as looking for pools, pet-friendliness or onsite parking. You can choose the home type, limit the rental sites, or search for keywords.
The very visually-oriented property listing shows an image of the rental property, the overall rating (out of five stars), the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the going rate for the dates entered. You'll find that many of these properties are oftentimes listed on multiple sites, so you can book directly on the site of your preference too.