Rental Beast, an all-in-one online rental listing service, has launched a new program to integrate its rental listings with MLS platforms. The company says the integration has the potential to connect MLS member agents and brokers with a millennial rental market that could yield $12 billion in annual rental commissions.
Traditionally, it’s been challenging incorporating rentals into MLSs because there are different rules for cooperation and compensation for rentals. With homes up for sale, the agent and seller will create an agreement whereby the agent has an exclusive right to sell the property for a time before the home is posted on the MLS. The majority of rentals, however, are not represented exclusively by one agent. With Rental Beast’s new integration into these platforms though, the rental listing service effectively sits alongside the core MLS service on its platform.
“We built [Rental Beast’s MLS integration] as a true MLS, so on each property, the agent knows exactly how much of a commission is being offered by each landlord,” Ishay Grinberg, founder and CEO of Rental Beast, told Inman.
The integration will allow agents access to more than 8 million non-MLS listings directly sourced from property owners and managers and updated in real-time. Rental Beast’s program will also incorporate “Apply Now” into rental listings, a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)-compliant online application engine that will allow listing agents and property owners to receive fast and secure access to applicant credit checks, eviction history and background information when rental applicants click the “Apply Now” button on rental listings.
Agents who are members of MLSs that adopt Rental Beast’s integration will also receive access to Rental Beast University, an online learning center for rental education.
Grinberg said that on average nationally, MLSs provide less than 15 percent of total available rental inventory listings. Rental Beast’s integration, however, brings that missing inventory to the MLS.
“Some MLSs already have rental listings in their system, so what we do is we complement that by exposing real estate agents to the rest of the rental inventory in that marketplace,” Grinberg told Inman. “If MLSs don’t currently have rentals, we are basically a super MLS system, so we have super sophisticated data MLS tools. We have a million ways to make it super easy to take in the inventory.”
Chicago-based Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), an MLS that serves more than 45,000 real estate professionals across 7,300 offices, has already integrated with Rental Beast.
“MRED has deeply integrated Rental Beast with our rental listings in connectMLS,” Chris Haran, chief technology officer at MRED, said in a statement. “This makes it easy for agents to provide a secure, easy, and cost-effective online rental application. Landlords then also get a deeply informative background check and credit report to help them evaluate the prospective tenant, all because of their relationship with the agent.”
Grinberg pointed out that 87 million millennials make up the largest segment of the renter population at over 60 percent, but they also currently make up the greatest proportion of the homebuyer population at 38 percent. Therefore, accessing this group of renters before they become homebuyers may help to forge relationships that turn renters into future buyers.
“[Agents can] nurture their rental relationships as they mature into a sales transaction,” Grinberg said.
“Beyond connecting with future homebuyers earlier in the process, Rental Beast connects agents to investors who are constantly buying and selling properties suitable for the rental market,” he added.