Landlords and renters, sittin’ in a tree…
Inhabi.com just launched in beta in Portland and Boise, and they call themselves the eHarmony for renters and landlords. Users create a profile describing their ideal rental and landlords search renters which is how the magic happens. Jameel Farruk, Inhabi CMO told AGBeat, “Our company is taking the traditional newspaper-classified listing model and turning it on its head.”
The company started Inhabi because they say they’ve seen from both sides of the table how difficult it can be for landlords and renters to be matched, and they claim they are the “easiest way to find an apartment online.”
Inhabi aims to reduce a renter’s stress in hunting, saying they simplify the process not only by providing high quality listings (read: no false advertisements a la Craigslist) but by being a conduit for effective communication with a potential landlord. They tell renters to pull up a comfy chair because their “hunt for a new apartment is now on autopilot.”
Traction in the rental technology sector
Inhabi seeks to be a disruptive force in the residential rental industry, opening doors for renters and landlords, and they’re not alone. We reported yesterday that ApartmentList has launched as the Pandora recommendation engine of real estate listing portals, and others are rumored to be on the horizon. Rentals are complicated as multi-family is often guarded with their information not only because rent rolls can change by the hour and are used exclusively on an internal basis, but landlords with single units often don’t input property information anywhere effective.
The rental technology startup scene is starting to have the energy and traction of the residential real estate world four years ago- the ideas are big, fresh, life-altering, but most importantly, disruptive. Since the rental industry has a movie to watch and they know the ending (read: Zillow, Trulia, Movity, etc.), will they learn from the lessons of residential sales tech companies and aim to be acquired, or will the free spirit of the scene push them to stay small, run parallel to each other and push for transparency?