- OneRent connects small property owners and potential renters.
- The service improves upon the standard small property management model.
- Software behind the curtain at OneRent "Uberizes" parts of the property management process.
It’s the age-old conundrum in renting small properties: there are fewer units available for rent, yet finding that small group of potentially perfect tenants can be tough.
Fortunately for Bay Area, and now a few select Seattle property owners, OneRent has left its beta phase and now is ready to be fully operational what it calls its “end-to-end residential rental service.”
OneRent.co connects owners and tenants at the smaller end of the rental market. It can serve anyone from one person trying to rent out a single home, to buildings with 20 units. Ideally, due to their current infrastructure capabilities, is between one and 16 units available for rent.
And all this comes at a great price to the property owner: OneRent charges a minimum fee of $100 per month per unit, or 5 percent of the monthly rent.
Co-founders Greg Toschi and Chuck Hattemer said that the idea for OneRent grew out of their own rental experiences. They and two other partners decided to find a way to streamline the process for both the renter and landlord. They wanted to find a way to improve communication, provide consistency and maximize exposure for rental units so they can be occupied quickly, appropriately and continuously.
They target three types of landlords: The individual homeowner who may be trying out the rental market for the first time, the self-managing landlord who wants to turn over property management duties, and smaller real estate investors.
“The power of consistency is key,” said Toschi. “There are so many potential listing sites for tenants and rental owners. Consistency of experience is what we’re trying to achieve.”
OneRent takes the pain out of owning a rental
The service uses a variety of technologies to make the rental process easy on everyone involved. Everything from showings and lease signings, to rental payments and maintenance requests is handled through the platform, saving time and money for property owners and renters.
One of the cool features of the OneRent experience is its team of mobile managers. These team members work for OneRent under an Uber-like model: when a request for a showing of a rental unit comes into the system, the mobile manager can choose to respond to that request to show the property, or ignore it and allow another mobile manager to respond. Mobile managers are also responsible for property maintenance requests.
If a potential renter would like to visit a property themselves, they can establish their identity with OneRent, and a keycode is generated, enabling that person to enter the unit. All that’s required to get a keycode is a driver’s license.
Owners and renters alike have at their disposal a sophisticated dashboard to track every transaction relevant to the rental experience, from rental payments to maintenance requests.
And, points out, when a current OneRent renter wants to move to another OneRent property, the established relationship allows a move to be quick and painless.
OneRent has been operating in beta in the San Francisco Bay Area, just leaving that phase on Jan. 21, the same day it announced that it had received $1.5 million in seed funding to expand to Seattle. The new infusion of cash came from former and current Googlers, which the company’s founders were first introduced during their school years at Santa Clara University.
According to the company’s entry on Angel List, that injection of cash is three times more than they had as of the end of last year.
While the company founders would not share the exact number of properties it manages, they said that OneRent currently manages more than $300 million in assets, while servicing tens of thousands of renters and hundreds of landlords.
Renters who use OneRent get their needs met on one simple platform, including the ability to:
- Submit background and credit checks
- Find properties
- Book property showings
- Sign leases and pay rent online
- Communicate maintenance issues via text
For property owners, OneRent provides:
- An online portal with performance data
- Competitive listings on OneRent and more than 40 syndication partners
- Responsible, vetted tenants
- Property showings
- Rent collection and rent guarantee
- Handling of maintenance requests
The majority of properties are rented out after five showings or three weeks.
As with any startup, the OneRent team encountered bumps along the way. They disrupted the existing property management model, where mom-and-pop property management firms had rented homes for decades. Adoption of OneRent by people used to that model was an initial hurdle.
And, Toschi and Hattemer said, the team came to the conclusion that they couldn’t be everything to everyone – they made a conscious effort to carefully screen properties to a high standard.
OneRent may one day make small property management firms obsolete with better service, a better price, and a consistent experience for everyone involved.