San Francisco-based online rental management company RentJuice, which launched in 2009 and expanded to New York earlier this year, has launched a new Facebook-inspired feature.
The RentJuice Directory offers real estate pros the ability to browse and search for other real estate companies in their area, establish new partnerships, and send and receive a continual stream of rental listings, via one dashboard, the company said.
Sharing rental listings has always been tricky, with new property listings coming from various different sources, including big-money brokerages as well small, independent real estate firms. Sites such as listings and real estate information site Streeteasy.com and Brooklyn’s Multiple Listings Service,have made strides in bringing all the listings to one place, but the battle is never completely won.
While the majority of brokers say they embrace the market’s ever-growing transparency, some have responded by becoming less willing to share information than before. Hoping to give themselves an advantage in the market, some brokers hang on to listings and keep stum.
“Unlike in real estate sales, rental listings and deals are often shared only among trusted partners, and the RentJuice Directory helps every company in New York showcase its brand and form those partnerships online,” said RentJuice CEO David Vivero. “The directory makes building up an accurate rental database or broadcasting one’s dynamic list of availabilities as easy as adding friends and sharing a few photos with them on Facebook.”
RentJuice has defied the odds by finding a place in a market which is sometimes resistant to new technology as well as transparency. In the first week since its release, over 700 new connections were formed among New York City companies, resulting in about 12,000 new shared listings for area brokerages, or approximately $3.2 million in potential new revenue, RentJuice said. Companies that are currently connected with the site include major brokerages such as the Corcoran Group and Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Vivero identified New York as the company’s fastest growing market and RentJuice certainly seems to be making its mark in New York’s real estate community, real estate pros said.
“They’re probably the most comprehensive landlord/broker management system out there today,” said Noah Rosenblatt, CEO of Urban Digs, a Manhattan market trends analytics site and brokerage. “It doesn’t take long for the market to realize an application that enhances the user’s time management and helps to expedite the ultimate transaction. In this kind of marketplace, that kind of innovation catches on.”
Rosenblatt also pointed out the power of social media in the business today. “With Facebook, you have to get on,” he said. “When social media gets going you have to catch on or you’ll get left behind… brokers will be talking about this.”
The directory operates, RentJuice, Vivero said, by pulling basic public information on real estate professionals and combining it with current rental availabilities they are sharing on RentJuice. Landlords can input their listings into RentJuice for free, and brokers can see them for free. Revenues are generated when users elect to use the site’s paid features, like exporting listings to sites like Craigslist or Trulia, for $59 per month for one agent to be on the platform and $129 per month for up to 100 agents to use the platform.
Since RentJuice’s base of listings is self-reported, it’s almost impossible to get every listing. “I’m sure there are listings that aren’t included, Vivero said.”We don’t have every listing in the city but we have a good majority of them.”
Directory users will have control over how they represent themselves through ownership of their own profiles and listings, what information they share and with whom, and the sources from which they receive listings.
Jared Kleinstein, manager of real estate listings and information site Streeteasy.com, said his site is not worried about RentJuice’s expansion, calling the company a partner more so than a competitor.
The two companies are currently collaborating on a system that allows RentJuice to feed listings directly to Streeteasy.com. Kleinstein said he was unsure of when the system would launch.