Apartment List Acquires Rent Advisor

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October 16, 2013           

Apartment List recently acquired Rent Advisor, the fastest growing rating and reviews platform in the rental industry. Trust and transparency are key ingredients to any well-functioning marketplace. This review content will equip our users with the confidence to make smarter renting decisions. Meanwhile, this is a tool for property managers to solicit valuable feedback from their residents and respond to their concerns.

User generated content can be a powerful supplement to the photos, rental rates, floorplans and other general information available on most property search apps. Renters crave the perspectives of their fellow renters, and will strongly consider their peers’ opinions when deciding where to rent.
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Atlanta-based RentAdvisor is one of several players addressing ratings and reviews within the rental industry, most of which suffer from an adverse selection bias. That is, the reviews are predominantly negative, written by renters unhappy enough to seek out forums to vent their frustration. These perspectives are valuable and frequently prevent renters from making poor rental decisions; however, other rental ratings sites often fall short of capturing the full picture.”

In an effort to provide a more balanced (and representative) perspective to its users, Rent Advisor works with property managers to contact every resident in a given property by email and text. Through this strategy, Rent Advisor converts an impressive 10% of residents into reviews. Since advice is solicited from everyone, feedback ranges from happy to angry to indifferent. Community managers are encouraged to respond to all feedback, providing an authentic and transparent forum to engage with their residents.

Apartment List co-founders John Kobs and Chris Herndon identified Rent Advisor as a platform with limitless upside potential. If we can solicit a robust and balanced set of reviews for 1,000 large apartment communities, then why not repeat this formula for all 50,000 professionally managed properties? And for that matter, why stop at large buildings? Rent Advisor’s platform is flexible and scalable enough to apply to all types of rentals, from apartment buildings to townhomes and single-family houses. Additionally, it solves the adverse selection issue that plagues many ratings and review sites by offering every renter an opportunity to share her perspective.

Apartment List is the web’s fastest-growing rental marketplace with 600,000 unique listings and 1.5 million monthly users. The team is in the process of layering Rent Advisor review content onto Apartment List’s property database, which will provide AL users with unique content they could not find elsewhere. Along with great content and a scalable platform, this acquisition comes with a superstar team, led by industry veterans Jamie Gallo, Robert Turnbull and Jonathan Ford who formerly grew ApartmentGuide.com into a leading multifamily internet listing site (ILS). By merging the products, ideas, skills and resources of both teams, Apartment List aims to become the definitive rental marketplace.

October 16, 2013   |   Posted in   by  

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Chris Herndon

President & Co-Founder at Apartment List
Chris Herndon spent his years prior to co-founding Apartment List as an investor with GTCR Golder Rauner & in the Merchant Banking division of Goldman Sachs. Chris has an MBA from Stanford University & a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.