The wayfinding technology assists people in navigating parking lots, interior walkways and around property grounds to arrive at the exact doorstep scheduled for showing.

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It’s not always easy to find a place to rent — as in to actually, physically find it.

Apartment communities are getting bigger, more architecturally sophisticated and in many ways function like self-contained communities, sometimes confusing aspiring tenants and making mapping apps work harder than ever.

Rently, a company that helps aspiring renters and property managers facilitate self-guided unit tours, is expanding that ability by offering precise, door-to-door “wayfinding” navigation, according to a Nov. 1 announcement.

“Creating a frictionless touring experience for renters is important if property managers want to make a great first impression on renters,” said Rently’s CEO Merrick Lackner in an announcement. “Rently’s self-guided touring solution was created to provide renters with the best time to tour properties.”

The technology assists people in navigating parking lots, interior walkways and around property grounds to arrive at the exact doorstep scheduled for showing. The company, as well as leasing agent customers, drove the new feature’s development after feedback revealed the need for additional information when visiting large-scale apartment properties. A lack of accurate directions led to applicant and agent frustration, surveys show.

Rently’s technology is deployed in tens of thousands of apartments nationwide through agreements with some of the nation’s largest institutional landlords.

Rently raised an undisclosed amount of money in 2021 from McCarthy Capital, according to an Inman report. McCarthy’s website reads that it makes investments “between $15 million and $75 million in companies with annual revenue of at least $10 million.”

The company’s technology verifies visitors with mobile phone texting and credit card authorization and leverages smart-locks to provide trackable and manageable access codes.

The software intends to make the renting process more efficient for on-site agents and property managers who are often burdened with showing apartments to uncertain leads.

The updated features, all controlled via Rently’s Manager Portal, allow managers to place map pins to highlight property amenities and points of interest along the way. While the most efficient path to a unit is likely desired by applicants, the software can also be used to create customized community tours demonstrating how to best reach a clubhouse, a fitness center, a pool, a dog-walking area or whatever else helps a property stand out to the renter market.

Inspired by a pizza not arriving on time, the team at Beans launched a similar in-community navigation solution in 2021 and also focuses on intricate, urban neighborhoods and large apartment properties, as well as delivery apps and services.

A time existed when self-guided tours were considered bleeding edge and a security risk, especially within the single-family sales industry and as iBuyers fed upon disruption trends.

While Rently has acknowledged that some scammers have used them to steal security deposit trends, its take is that those instances are largely outliers.

Rently has discovered that the time leasing agents spend touring applicants is better dedicated to serving current tenants and addressing property concerns. It also helps them better qualify leads and ultimately create a more consumer-friendly experience.

Email Craig Rowe

rentals | technology
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