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 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.
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.”