These days it takes more than just posting your listing on your company website and waiting for clients to call you (Duh). Gone are also the days when you could just wait till your MX feeds all the listing aggregators out there. Now you have to be mobile ready because waiting for feeds means you’re losing time and money. Thankfully there are some rental apps available now that can put you ahead of the pack. Some are free and some are not and though none of them are perfect they will boost lead generation.
Lets review what’s currently available:
Leasing Pro – For Rental Professionals
By Zumper, Inc.
Zumper App is minimalistic to say the least, with three different screen options: Active, Archive and Draft listings, you’re pretty much looking at the whole app. Of course there is adding listing information screen which is well laid out and easy to use. Though, you think with 16 different amenity options, a Doorman option would be there (It’s not). Also the app doesn’t provide a Alcove studio or loft option for it’s bedroom menu. Another issue is that you can’t preview your listing after your done. As for leads inquires, the app doesn’t have anyway to store or communicate with clients like other apps.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Naked Apartments Pro
By Naked Apartments
Naked Apartments Pro is a full featured app, though only because you have to have a membership to use it with monthly packages starting around $15 for 20 listings. The app itself is well thought out with client messages, past and present, you can copy a listing which is nice, rearranging photos is a breeze with touch and hold. There isn’t any profile management, also you can’t preview listings as you can on the site. What I would like to see since you have to pay is stats on which listings get the most hits. All in all for it’s a good app if you have a paid membership.
MoveMent – Apartment Rental Marketplace
By Adir Genish
MoveMent is all about having real photos of apartments when you post, using a GPS to locate where you are to make sure you’re posting actual photos in that building. It’s a great idea but severely limits itself using this method. You can post photos without the GPS but your listing will be tagged as “Blue” meaning it’s not verified. If it’s tagged “Green” then you will be verified and your listing will be feed to Zillow and Realtor.com (I don’t know about you but I’ve never gotten a lead from Realtor.com) Adding a listing is easy after that, they’re user interface is simple and a little different then some other apps. It lets you add a title to your listing which is good, you also have a video option which is great if you’re feeling all Fincher and also has a social share button so you can instantly share vacancies to your network. But there are some issues, you have to upload photos one at a time, thats takes to much time to deal with especially since most apps let you select multiple photos. Again, not option for Alcove studio or loft. Also the name isn’t great. (That’s just my opinion)
Postlets: Post Rentals Free – Publish listings to 20+ sites
Postlets, once a service on it’s own is now a Zillow company, expressly for exclusive listings. The app feeds to about 27 other listing aggregators including Zillow, Yahoo and Hotpads to name a few. You can post unlimited amount of listings and there is no charge for the service. Though since it has no option to hide an address for open listings, you’re left with putting a fake address (If you indeed want to post opens). Also it doesn’t sync with their website, so if you add a listing from the site you can’t edit it on the app and vice versa. The user interface is smooth and you can edit your profile for every listing. It’s not a city specific app, so there is no doorman option but c’mon Zillow, how hard is that to add.. Since it feeds to other sites there may be a benefit of using it to post (From a NYC perspective) Otherwise you can just post to Zillow which does the same exact as above.
Renthop is probably by far the most used app and site of all the rest, it’s user interface is a little clunky but easy to adjust to. This is a paid service which uses “credits” to post listings. You can earn credits for free by checking in via GPS every 2 hours (Extremely annoying) You earn 1 credit for every “check in”. To post an ad on Renthop costs 4 credits, reposting the same ad is 2 credits. You can also purchase 15 credits for $6.00 and 300 credits for $75.00. Of course if you work for a brokerage you will get a bulk discount. It has lead management which is good and also a history of past contacts. Posting ads is easy enough but sometimes freezes and you might lose all the information when trying to upload a listing. Uploading photos is an extreme hassle since you have to do it one by one. Also rearranging is a pain and doesn’t always save the intended order. You can manage notifications from the app as well as see how many credits you have left to use. You can’t preview a listing but it does sync well with the site. Also has a Loft and Share option and a great tool to add “Additional Features”
It also provides a “Renthop Score” which is designated by how many times you repost your listing. A score of 100 means it’s fresh and will be at the top of results when leads search for apartments. Having a lower score such as 75 will drop your listing lower in search results. This of course is meant for agents to buy and spend more credits (Money) to keep their ads “fresh”. That being said, Renthop does have a good reputation for producing lead generation.
By Virtual Realty NYC
Newcomer Virtual Realty NYC is a slick video only listing app for rentals and sales. Billed as the first crowdsourced listings platform where anyone can upload a video of their apartment, it’s a well thought out and visual pleasure to use. If you like taking videos of apartments then this is a good app to use. (MoveMent and Crully also let your upload videos)
Currently it only has about 13 listings, mostly in Brooklyn with few brokerage and owners adopting it. Profile is basic and almost non-existent, there is no option to write a description and the amenities selection is limited. Also no companion site which will limit people to search the app only.
Brokerages have been trying to produce more videos for the past few years but there hasn’t been any growth because it’s time consuming and realistically you’re not going to post videos of every single apartment. Logistically speaking, videos are difficult to edit with limited syndication options and slow down productivity.
All in all this is a good app with smooth UI and clean functions. It has potential but I won’t go into how it can be better here.
Another newcomer called Crully is also making it’s way to video only apartment listings. The app itself is clunky when it worked. After some initial testing I started to get a prompt telling me the app needs to be updated. Trying to update seems to be an issue since there isn’t any update to be downloaded. It does have a companion site which is also not well thought out and navigation is an issue and does have major errors. There seems to be agents using the app but who can tell since profiles are just a name with no accountability for posting listings.
I’m going to reserve judgement on this one till some bug fixes. Otherwise this will become one of those bottom of the barrell apps with a CL vibe and quickly be ushered into oblivion.
Zillow Rental Pro
Zillow Rental Pro, at first I was excited to use this since Zillow has been snapping up NYC listing aggregators left and right. I knew listings would be feed to all the other sites making life a little easier. Alas, this is not the case. After downloading it and repeatedly launching the app I get absolutely nothing but a login screen. (I have a Rental Pro account) Apparently I’m not the only one with this issue as there seems to be many bugs with whatever version is currently available. So can’t review something without ever seeing it.
Here are some notable apps missing from the list. Why on Gods green earth Streeteasy doesn’t let you ad listings via the app is anyones guess. They could add that as a premium option for “Pro” membership. Who knows, I’m sure Zillow is figuring it out as we speak.
Trulia, while you can’t ad listings via the app itself, does let you do lead management and alerts. It’s actually a pretty good app with useful tools. As I previously mentioned Zillow is on an acquisition spree and Trulia is currently being absorbed into the Zillow Family so I’m sure we’ll see some upgrades and crossover soon.
Hotpads, well is pretty useless. It’s just for people searching for apartments so I won’t cut it down. But again this is also a Zillow owned company.