Rently: Shaping a New Paradigm in Real Estate Touring

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Andre Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer, Clark Li Co-Founder and Merrick Lackner Co-Founder Self-guided real estate touring, a phenomenon that steadily gained momentum before the pandemic, has become a mainstay for efficiency on both sides of the equation. A self-guided tour removes the variables of scheduling appointments and waiting on a leasing agent. It allows prospective renters to select a convenient time to tour the space, improving their overall touring experience. At the helm of this unprecedented movement, prompted rather forcefully by the pandemic, self-guided tours have opened up a new avenue for property managers and real estate investors.

Rently, a smart home technology enterprise, has conceptualized and pioneered self-guided touring for vacant rental properties. The company’s patented end-to-end self-guided touring platform enables real estate operators to provide best-in-class self-touring experiences for their clients while optimizing leasing efficiency and expanding revenue opportunities.

“Our goal is to add value at every point in the renter lifecycle to enable operators to increase their net operating income, regardless of whether they are a single-family or multi-family housing provider,” explains Andre Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer at Rently. The self-touring concept was initially conceived in 2011 by Rently’s co-founders, Merrick Lackner and Clark Li, who saw the opportunity to create an effective and user-friendly touring process that benefits renters and real estate operators. When smartphone applications were booming, the pair came up with the idea to let renters use their credit cards and smartphones to access vacant properties immediately. Since its founding, the company has become the industry standard for self-touring and has grown its service with more than 3,500 real estate operators, facilitating more than 16 million self-tours for single-family and multi-family operators nationwide.

End-To-End Streamlining of Self-Guided Property Tours

A recent housing vacancy survey shows that the number of renter households increased by more than 870,000 between the first quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021, to 44 million. Rently’s self-touring technology enables prospective renters to securely tour communities and vacant units safely, without a leasing agent. The platform allows prospects to instantly book a self-guided tour directly from online listing pages and is designed to seamlessly integrate with property management software to deliver guest card info.
Rently’s security system vets the prospect’s ID, image, and credit card to perform an AI-powered fraud detection screening.

Once approved, the prospective renter receives a one-time entry code to gain access to the property. For property managers, Rently provides the flexibility to set customizations, such as specific appointment hours, route directions with photos, and third-party maps. The company also syndicates a property manager’s listings to major online listing sites, such as Rently, Zillow, Trulia, and Hotpads.

We Are Constantly Seeking Areas Of Improvement By Holding Ourselves Accountable. This Helps Us Consistently Innovate And Grow In Tune With Our Client Base

Furthermore, it allows property managers to set terms and conditions for each community that prospective renters need to agree on before starting the self-guided tour. Rently’s iQUALTM Plus solution helps property managers set up pre-screening criteria and receive lead scores for renters based on their credit score, income, eviction history, and pets. Likewise, the intelligent system also allows renters to perform a soft pull of their credit score with TransUnion and match them with a curated list of recommended homes that meet their initial qualifications, helping prioritize valuable time and resources. “We eliminate friction through every part of the renting process, from listing the property to facilitating a self-guided tour through our patented technologies,” adds Sanchez.

Total Portfolio Management Through a Single Platform

Rently allows renters to increase viewing times while providing property managers with control and security by integrating its patented self-touring technology with a full suite of smart home products. The company partners with industry-leading hardware manufacturers to offer customers a choice between traditional lockboxes, pushbutton, and touchscreen locks, with keyed or keyless options to supplement specific property profiles and management requirements. The centerpiece of Rently’s Smart Home solution is a patented Smart Home Hub that wirelessly links all devices through flexible tri-band (Wi-Fi, cellular, or Ethernet) connectivity. It also automates critical property management functions such as managing energy usage, controlling access to real-time monitoring activity, and damage prevention, using a single system. The robust and cost-reducing remote property management tool for operators easily converts into a valuable new amenity bonus for residents, regardless of the property type.

To further illustrate the efficacy of Rently’s solutions, Legacy Partners, a property management firm with a portfolio of more than 60 multi-family communities across the United States, piloted Rently at their Aliso Apartments community in Downtown Los Angeles.
The community consisted of 473 units in 5 buildings across seven acres. Given the sheer size of the community, Aliso initially experimented with virtual tours, but failed to attract a significant number of prospective tenants as most renters were still inclined to tour in person. The firm also sought a partner that provides prospects with detailed step-by-step directions on how to navigate around the large community.

“We Eliminate Friction Through Every Part Of The Renting Process, From Listing The Property To Facilitating A Self-Guided Tour Through Our Patented Technologies”

With hands-on support from Rently’s client success team, Aliso could implement Rently’s Self-Guided Tourings platform seamlessly and use smart lockboxes to show their vacant units. The firm was able to take advantage of Rently’s integration with Engrain, which allows prospects to view an interactive site map while touring. Rather than taking 45 minutes to an hour and a half to personally escort prospects, the leasing staff can now focus their time on other important tasks and accommodate more prospects. It also extends the touring window outside of office hours, accommodating all prospective renters.. Post-collaboration, Aliso experienced increased traffic and generated 45 leases in 9 months via self-guided tours through Rently.

A Future-Ready Mindset

While the pandemic impacted all economic sectors and aspects of day-to-day activities, it accelerated trends that were increasingly visible well before the outbreak. The build-to-rent home model in the suburbs has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S., with demand from renters and investors exceeding supply. Millennials, emerging as the largest age group in the real estate investment market, are attracted to the perfect trifecta of affordability, choice, and demand offered by build-to-rent homes. In response, property managers feel competitive pressure to upgrade their properties with smart technology to attract renters, which indicates potential growth and immense opportunities for investors.

With more than a decade of R&D in the self-guided touring space, Rently’s international team of experts and engineers continually strives to ensure its products meet client expectations. “We are constantly seeking areas of improvement by holding ourselves accountable. This helps us consistently innovate and grow in tune with our client base,” states Sanchez. Building on its success, Rently aims to stay at the forefront of the smart home space by focusing on providing more robust access control. The company recently launched a common area panel, Rently Access Panel 3, offering self-guided touring and access control for multi-family operators. The panel fully integrates with the Rently Smart Home ecosystem to allow operators to manage access to amenities and other common areas directly from the Rently portal and app. Rently aims to extend its collaboration with companies to eliminate friction in the leasing process by innovating new technologies that will make deploying smart home technologies a seamless, robust and scalable process.


Los Angeles, CA

Andre Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer, Clark Li Co-Founder and Merrick Lackner Co-Founder

Rently, a smart home technology enterprise, has conceptualized and pioneered self-guided touring for vacant rental properties. The company’s patented end-to-end self-guided touring platform enables real estate operators to provide best-in-class self-touring experiences for their clients while optimizing leasing efficiency and expanding revenue opportunities