Rental apps take on es­tate agents

Money Magazine Australia - - IN BRIEF -

The real es­tate in­dus­try has not been im­mune to tech­no­log­i­cal dis­rup­tion over the past few years. Pur­ple­bricks, Hello and buyMy­place have aimed to cut the mid­dle man, sav­ing sell­ers and buy­ers the large costs of real es­tate com­mis­sions. Now the bat­tle­ground is rent­ing and leas­ing, with a flood of new apps and plat­forms on their way to al­low ten­ants and land­lords to ne­go­ti­ate terms with­out an agent. There are three to look out for: LiveOf­fer, backed by US-head­quar­tered and ASX-listed Prop­erty Con­nect; Ren­twolf, a lo­cal start-up; and Rent­berry, a US start-up com­ing soon to Aus­tralia. The apps aim to fa­cil­i­tate a rent- bid­ding process, al­low­ing renters to com­pete against each other for a prop­erty. Some also al­low you to bar­gain with the land­lord. Ten­ants’ unions in NSW and Vic­to­ria are push­ing to make rent- bid­ding il­le­gal, fear­ing it will lead to wors­en­ing af­ford­abil­ity and con­di­tions for ten­ants.

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