RentalsTechnology

Doorsteps Rent quietly launches in Austin with hyperlocal content

Curating a bunch of relevant and helpful content for renters is first priority

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Takeaways:

  • Doorsteps Rent quietly launched its pilot program in Austin July 17.
  • The team is working to curate hyperlocal content to give a human-like touch to the rental experience.
  • High-quality listing content is the No. 1 goal for Doorsteps Rent.

The Doorsteps brand has had various product offerings over the course of its life before and after its acquisition by Move Inc. — but each has had the same intention: creating a more human experience for the user.

The newest branch of Doorsteps is the rental platform, which was quietly launched July 17 as a pilot program for Austin.

Doorsteps Rent is “powered by realtor.com” and is Web-based — an interesting move, given the recent tides of mobile-first property search platforms hitting the market.

Todd Callow, senior director of product management at Move, said the project has been in the works for a few months, but right now there are no plans to take it mobile. He said the first plan of attack is to work out any kinks with the website and flesh out the content for Austin renters.

“We’re early on in the process, and we’ve got a lot of ideas bouncing around that we can test,” he says. Callow said he wasn’t able to go into any further details about what’s coming down the pipeline.

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The idea behind Doorsteps Rent is to create a hyperlocal, genuine experience for renters. Beyond the traditional search for rent price, bedrooms, bathrooms and location, Doorsteps Rent features collections of properties. Renters can search by pet-friendly apartments or places near Austin nightlife.

Callow said there are thousands of listings in Austin that they do not display because they are not up to the quality standards that the company has set for their listings. Using a scoring algorithm to determine which listings to display, Doorsteps Rent is regularly testing different elements.

Austin became the pilot program city because the team has strong roots in the community, which includes a thriving tech market, Callow said. Doorsteps Rent has a partnership with the local MLS, as well as some direct relationships with apartment communities, landlords and property managers who provide listings to the website.

Doorsteps Rent is still in the “gaining steam” phase, according to Callow, and is currently not monetized. There are no current plans beyond gaining momentum, he said.

Email Kimberly Manning.