Rently, a technology company that facilitates self-tours of apartment properties and single-family homes, will be deployed in 75 apartment communities within the portfolio of Pegasus Residential, an award-winning, national, top-50 property manager, overseeing more 35,000 units.
Pegasus Residential is rolling out the tours at a time when the coronavirus could all but eliminate face-to-face real estate business, especially tours and open houses.
Rently will be used only in vacant or model units, according to the press release.
The patented technology leverages smart-locks and secure verification software to ensure aspiring renters are who they say they are. A credit card number must be entered, and users are charged a one-time 99 cent fee.
The individual receives a code via text to gain access to the apartment.
The software’s intent is to make the renting process more efficient for on-site agents and property managers, who are often burdened with showing apartments to uncertain leads.
Pegasus Residential sees the software as a smart way to ensure social distancing practices are upheld and that risk of contraction is reduced for its staff.
“We had already piloted with Rently in several communities. The process was seamless and has been going very well,” said Wendy Dorchester, VP of operations at Pegasus Residential. “The timing was right and in order to help our teams and our future residents feel comfortable with touring.”
Rently is recognized for its quick turnaround of services. It was able to have devices shipped and begin organizing training sessions for Pegasus staff within 24 hours of finalizing their order, according to the release.
Naturally, timing is key when it comes to preventing the spread of a virus that has spread so quickly and without discrimination.
Dorchester added that they needed to find a quick way to provide a sense of calm to their management teams around the country.
“We knew we needed to help in any way possible, and through less human interaction, flatten and slow the curve of the virus,” he said. “The six-layer screening process was key to selling us on self-touring. We wanted a way to continue closing leads and touring our great apartment homes.”
In a move meant to ease the pending national economic strain caused by the spreading illness, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a three-month moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, largely because so many Americans will be without a source of income.
More self-guided touring could also attract more renters who are nervous about meeting in-person with a leasing agent because of scars on their rental history, or if they’re not quite ready to move yet because of a suspended eviction.
The self-guided tours also appeal to younger, ondemand oriented renters.
Rently was founded in 2011 and also provides agentless self-touring services for single-family residential homes.
Zumper, the nation’s largest rental technology platform, announced recently it fast-tracked a number of online tour features for its app, also to encourage reduced interaction between renters and property owners.
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