Real estate agents who are part of MLSs in Rhode Island, Kansas, Idaho and South Carolina are now eligible to access the multitude of rental tools built by RentSpree.

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Real estate agents who are part of multiple listing services (MLSs) in Rhode Island, Kansas, Idaho and South Carolina are now eligible to access the multitude of rental tools built by RentSpree.

The rental industry proptech shared the news in a May 9 announcement, sent exclusively to Inman, that its end-to-end solution was selected by Rhode Island Association of Realtor’s Statewide MLS, Heartland MLS in Kansas, Idaho-based Intermountain MLS and REsides Inc. based in Hilton Head.

Heartland MLS has members in Missouri as well.

“We are experiencing vibrant rental markets across much of the United States,” said RentSpree co-founder and CEO Michael Lucarelli, in the announcement. “And this vibrancy is supporting the development of new tools, many of them digital. Anything from paying rent to touring spaces virtually. By collaborating with the organizations that support those who can service the rental segment, we can ensure that their members have easy access to the best tools in the market.”

Users within each of the organizations will have access to deploy RentSpree’s ApplyLink, a custom portal of resources designed to engage tenants, arrange showings, facilitate documentation, vet qualification and collect deposits, among other common workflow needs of the leasing process.

RentSpree’s growth into the MLS market, typically a resource not pursued by innovations in the RentTech space, is running parallel to the slowdown in home buying.

Content with low-interest rate refinances and the self-perpetuating lack of inventory, homeowners are finding little reason to pull up roots, leaving aspiring homebuyers with little option but to remain in leases. Price jumps, unexpected at this point, aren’t helping.

“As of March 31, nearly two-thirds of primary mortgages had an interest rate below 4 percent, according to mortgage-data firm Black Knight. About 73 percent of primary mortgages have fixed rates for 30 years, Black Knight data show. The average rate for a new 30-year fixed mortgage was 6.39 percent in the week ended May 4, according to Freddie Mac,” The Wall Street Journal reported May 10.

Inman reported on Zillow research that suggests a seller’s market may be blossoming this spring, good news for some sellers willing to toe back into the market.

But it’s much more of a mixed bag for everyone else; strong demand is driving prices, but so too is a shortage of homes. In fact, the report notes that new listings were down 28 percent year over year in April, which is worse than March, when new listings were down 22.2 percent. Homeowners with low mortgage rates are reluctant to move and trade up for a much higher rate, according to the report.

However, real estate being cyclical, RentSpree knows many renters are capable of being buyers, so agents should view them accordingly. Engaging MLSs as points of engagement helps sales professionals foster such downstream relationships, as well as create technology-driven touchpoints, a smart way to track lead activity over time.

According to RentSpree, Zillow said on its quarterly rental data report that “digital tools are ever important, with more than 50 percent of renters preferring signing leases online, and nearly 70 percent prefer to pay their rent electronically.”

In April, RentSpree rolled out PRO, a program that combines transaction and marketing tools, linking them into a single, simple package. It empowers sales agents to consider the value of working more closely with renters.

A number of the marketing features within the $19.99-per-month RentSpree PRO are new and designed to assist agents who may be unfamiliar with the messaging and tactics common to landing renters as clients. Tools are also available for renters.

“Rentals are an extremely important segment for our members,” said Intermountain CEO Glenn Christoph in the announcement. “Over the past few years, everyone’s focus was almost exclusively on the for-sale market, but that is, simply put, a major opportunity missed. We need to make sure we provide an integrated system that effectively enables and supports our members across the entire real estate universe.”

Email Craig Rowe

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