Rental apps take on estate agents
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.