Technology is finally changing the apartment rental experience

The real estate rental market is a highly localized, relationship-based industry driven largely by individuals living and working in their own cities, causing many to acknowledge the longstanding difficulty of streamlining disruption to this market, TechCrunch informs.

In recent years, however, that hasn’t stopped a multitude of innovators from seeking novel ways to improve the process’s efficiency.

If early innovators like Zillow and Trulia primarily entailed bringing real estate data online, newer innovators harness data not only to improve analytics for landlords, but also to improve efficiency for apartment seekers. This becomes more important as New York City, for instance, begins to see the start of an expected surge in rental apartments — more than 38,000 market-rate rental apartments, mostly in Brooklyn and Queens, are expected to be completed over the next three years.

With the advent of new technologies, the market has begun to shift nearly every aspect of the rental process, from leasing applications to communications with landlords and agents to payment processing.

Others have invested resources in improving the process for brokers themselves. Nestio, a residential leasing and marketing platform, streamlines the leasing process using cloud-based software, which enables listings to be shared, leads to be tracked and clients to be managed in one easy-to-use platform.

As more user-friendly startups begin to steal market share from Craigslist, the value of disruptive innovation that reduces rental-market opacity has become ever clearer, and speaks to the expectations that renters, agents and landlords now have around enabling the rental process, primarily offline in years past, with new technologies. Even more incremental changes, from video walk-throughs to new ways of slicing community rental data, have begun to play significant roles as startups cram into the real estate market, hoping for even a small slice of a huge pie.

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