The US has always been the nation of immigrants. In 2015, according to the latest OECD data, the inflow of foreigners to the US was about 1 million people. 65 percent of immigrants are family sponsored, 14 percent are employment based, and the other 14 percent are those people who were granted refugee status.
One of the first things immigrants need is accommodation. For those who are rich and fluent in English it is easy. For those who are not so rich and do not know English well enough it could be really difficult, because apart from being the nation of immigrants, the US is also the country of myriads of different dialects.
Pity, there is no statistics on miscommunication between renters and landlords, and nobody knows how many rental contracts have not been signed just because people did not understand what the other side said: both regional and social dialects can be very confusing.
The good news is that the rental market is moving online and a lot of fintech companies are developing products that will help prospective renters and landlords find each other. In 5 – 10 years everything will be done online, from searching for rental properties to hiring plumbers and electricians. And there will be no need to curse one’s landlord for their peculiar accent.
There is also some other good news. A tech startup Rentberry already provides many of these services and makes the process of searching for rental accommodation less stressful, less time-consuming and less expensive.
According to SFGate, Rentberry aims to compete with Craigslist and other “Stone Age” rental services. It provides an auctioning platform where prospective tenants make bids competing with each other.
Tenants will have free access to view rental listings on the platform. Access for owners with up to three properties will be also free. Only large volume landlords (those with more than three properties under management), such as real estate corporations, brokerage firms and property management companies, will have to pay.
Rentberry provides seamless searches for properties in the desired area using extensive filters (e.g., size, price, preferred amenities, etc.); online scheduling of open-house visits to see the properties and meet the landlords; and an internal and secure communication system that would help tenants contact their landlords without bothering them with phone calls and/or emails.
All payments on the Rentberry platform will be executed in BERRY tokens. Tenants can sign the contract with the landlord online; then it will be stored on the blockchain. This can be done in seconds without wasting paper or valuable time. Execution of the contract will lead to an automatic settlement (transfer of BERRY tokens) under the terms of the smart contract.
Rentberry startup is based in San Francisco, which means that its team knows a lot about expensive rent and competitive market. Rentberry has 23 professionals who have 150 years of combined experience and 20 years of combined blockchain experience.
At present Rentberry is available in about 5,000 cities across the US. It has over 224 000 listed properties and has processed more than 4000 applications. Rentberry’s services are transparent and easy to use both for tenants and landlords.
By the company’s estimates, in 2018 it will expand in Canada and to most Asian and European countries. According to the UN most recent data, there are more than 244 million migrants living worldwide. Many of those people could become in future Rentberry’s prospective clients. That is why by 2020, the company intends to go globally.
Rentberry has already received business offers from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Cyprus and Canada to franchise or establish a partnership. It raised $4 million in two seed rounds. Among those who believe in Rentberry’s prospects are investors from a dozen countries, including principal of Carlyle Group, 808 Ventures, Beechwood, Ventures, and Zing Capital.