Setting rents features prominently among the slew of challenges that landlords and property managers face in managing their inventory.
They must spend significant time trawling listings and pumping sources — sometimes even posing as renters — in order to figure out how to competitively price their units.
The data aggregator aims to cut the legwork out of setting rents by distilling a mountain of listing data into accurate pricing information.
Just recently, the company closed a rolling $1.1 million funding round, and has kick-started an initiative aimed at bringing its data to a much larger audience, including landlords and consumers, according to George Kalogeropoulos, CEO of RentMetrics.
Though RentMetrics originally catered only to investors, it recently launched a consumer site and made its application programming interface (API) available to sites that plan to create widgets with the API to display RentMetrics data.
The company obtains its data directly through public records and partnerships with listings sites, mostly market-specific ones. It also harvests data by crawling the listings of sites that haven’t yet agreed to feed their listings directly to RentMetrics.
Pictured above is an infographic created by listing site RadPad using RentMetrics data. It shows the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom rental in various neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Calif.
The company has not partnered with national listing portals Trulia, Zillow or realtor.com, since, according to Kalogeropoulos, RentMetrics cannot yet offer a level of traffic to those sites that those sites would perceive as necessary to justify syndicating their listings to RentMetrics.
It has stopped short of crawling those sites for inventory, though it uses the practice on smaller listing portals.
Kalogeropoulos said RentMetrics obtains many of the listings carried by Trulia and Zillow portals from feeds “further upstream.”
“By further upstream I mean at the point of origin, specifically the sites of the large single-family funds” like invitationhomes.com, waypointhomes.com, and americanhomes4rent.com, he said. “On the national level, [the] Oodle feed also has good single-family data, though not technically ‘upstream’ ” of Trulia and Zillow.
Kalogeropoulous said he has scheduled a meeting with listing aggregator ListHub about obtaining a feed.
In all, RentMetrics captures about 500 million data points and boils them down into 6 million listings with accurate pricing information, according to Kalogeropoulos.
“We’ll see a single unit appear in our feed something like 20 times because it’s being displayed by 20 different listing sites in a slightly different format,” Kalogeropoulos said.
Landlords, investors and consumers may use the software to get a firmer sense of market rates by typing in an address and viewing purportedly accurate pricing information of comparable units in the address’s neighborhood.
Until recently, RentMetrics licensed its software only to institutional investors, private equity funds and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
But it has recently put a basic form of the software in the hands of landlords, and offered access to some of its data to consumers through its new public-facing website, RentMetrics.com.
To create reports and access historical data, landlords may pay a fee and upgrade from RentMetrics’ “freemium” option to a more advanced version of its software.
Kalogeropoulos said 12 companies, mostly real estate tech startups, are creating widgets through RentMetrics’ API that display average rents in neighborhoods.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include more details about the sources of RentMetrics listing data.