The process of renting an apartment is moving into hyper-drive. A handful of start-up tech companies, including Rentberry, Biddwell, and Zumper, have introduced a new concept, namely online bidding for a place to live.
Auction-style marketplaces, similar to eBay, allow tenants to bid on rent and other costs associated with an apartment, in either a public or private environment. In hot markets, renters may end up in bidding wars, while renters may save money in cooler markets.
A big factor driving the rise of landlord tech is the massive shift toward renting. In 2015, more than half of the 100 largest U.S. cities were majority-renter markets. Less than a third of those cities were majority-renter in 2009, and now nearly three in four Millennials rent.
One key advantage of the sites is process automation. There’s less paperwork and tedium for both landlords and tenants, which helps cut transaction costs.
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