RentHop’s mobile app helps landlords connect with renters by letting property managers check-in at listings

Rentals listing site takes cue from online restaurant reservation service OpenTable

RentHop, a rentals listing site covering New York City, Boston and Chicago, has launched a free iPhone and iPad mobile app for property managers that allows them to “check in” to properties to advertise their geotargeted availability to consumers.

The professional-focused app pairs with a new Google Maps feature on RentHop’s website, “Appointment On-Demand,” that shows consumers in real time where and how long ago property managers have checked in to a property using the app.

Screen shot of RentHop's home page
Screen shot of RentHop's home page

RentHop

Screen shot of RentHop’s new “Appointment On-Demand” feature on its website. Red markers show where landlords have recently checked in using the app. The teal markers show where landlords have checked in up to a few hours previously.

The new app, which also allows rental pros to update their listings on the fly, was a way to bring the on-demand world to the rentals space, said Lee Lin, RentHop’s CEO.

Consumers can see where and when property managers checked in to a property and know their availability without having to call or email, which was the whole point, Lin said.

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The idea for the app, Lin said, came from the online restaurant reservation service OpenTable, which allows users to make restaurant reservations without having to call or email a restaurant directly.

Phase two, Lin said, will be a consumer-focused mobile app he anticipates will be released sometime in January when RentHop launches nationally. That app will allow allow consumers to push a button on their smartphone that will bring a property manager to their location within 15 minutes.

RentHop, funded in part by the startup accelerator Y Combinator, launched as a rentals site looking to cut out rental pros from the rental process in 2009, but transitioned into the apartment-rating and listing site it is today.

Every listing on the site — Lin says there are approximately 90,000 active listings on the site’s New York City platform at the moment — receives a HopScore, built from info like how fresh the listing is, how many prospective renters have seen it and, now, if a landlord has checked into it recently.

RentHop recently began integrating geospatial data from neighborhood analytics firm Maponics that allows the site to surface neighborhood-specific info for consumers along with listings.

In March, the site released a report that attempted to gauge how much more Manhattan renters paid for “convenience premiums.”


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