• A new round of funding has helped Rental Beast expand.
  • The new offices will be located in Los Angeles, Denver and Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Rental Beast partnered with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach in Philadelphia as well as Coldwell Banker.

After working for years in real estate, Ishay Grinberg moved from New York to Boston to pursue an idea. That idea came to fruition in 2009 as Rental Beast. Since then, Grinberg has built his rental listing service to cover all 50 states, with offices planted strategically across the country.

Expanding seemed logical, according to Grinberg. After the success of the Boston test run came Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Washington D.C. and Chicago. Those are the current places where Rental Beast has set up shop, and there are more on the way thanks to a recent $5 million funding round.

The new offices will be located in Los Angeles, Denver and Raleigh, North Carolina.

One of the hardest parts, though, is roping in the agents to hear his side of the argument.

How Rental Beast is staking claim

Grinberg said in the beginning, people would walk out of the room when the Rental Beast team would approach brokerages pitching its idea.

“Most brokerages want nothing to do with rentals,” he said. “In fact, a lot of these companies, before we deployed and went live, they were getting rental leads that were effectively being ignored.”

He described how the issue was not in the lack of people asking for the brokerage to pick up the rental property, but having agents actually servicing the leads.

From Grinberg’s view, the decision was obvious: Give 100 percent commission to the agent that brings the client. Whereas other listing services split commissions between the listing agent and the renter’s agent, Rental Beast’s non-exclusive free listing service means it’s more of a first-come-first-serve kind of deal.

“It’s no secret that this is a relationship business,” he said. “People base their decision on what home to rent or buy based on a relationship they have developed.”

Under this mindset, Grinberg said that Rental Beast is needed now more than ever, and that since everyone starts out as renters, and eventually homebuyers, it’s necessary to cultivate as many contacts as possible starting from the beginning. With this in mind, why wouldn’t a satisfied renter client call the same agent back when it comes time to purchase?

“It’s not the brand listed on your business card. When you understand that, then you understand that you need to be in the business of developing as many relationships as possible,” he explained.

Looking to the future

Grinberg admitted that although he believed in his vision for Rental Beast, he still sits in amazement at what it’s become and where it can possibly go in the future.

“I doubt it everyday. I think that’s what drives any entrepreneur. You have to be an internal optimist, but you also have to be scared for your life at any given moment,” he said. “That’s what makes me and anyone on the team work so hard.”

As his company has continued to expand (Grinberg forecasts 20 percent growth month-over-month at the current rate), he has started looking for partnerships with brokerages.

Rental Beast partnered with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors based out of Philadelphia, as well as Coldwell Banker. He said there are also a couple other brokerages currently in the works, but nothing has been definitively nailed down.

The benefits of partnering with Rental Beast can be seen in the short time it takes new agents to generate commissions. Grinberg believes the rental market helps solidify a qualified pipeline of new homebuyers in the future.

Email Britt Chester

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