What HE said! It is in fact “now a full-fledged duopoly among the marketplace listing sites.”

The HE would be Mike Whaling, founder and president of 30 Lines in Columbus, Ohio. In his Tweet, Mike is referring to the news that broke on February 11th regarding CoStar’s acquisition of Rent Path.

pay-to-play tweet

Yes, we’re now in a residential rental listing duopoly that does not serve residential renters and also does not serve owners and property managers. An industry that does not serve its two main customers is ripe for disruption.

One thing these conglomerates have in common is — their business models are based on Pay-to-Play.

  • Pay-to-Play divides the market into owners who have budget to pay for listings (20–25%) and those who do not (75–80%).
  • Internet Listing Services (ILSs) have consolidated the market and are making it increasingly more expensive to “play” so most owners opt-out.
  • Pay-to-Play creates egregiously misaligned incentives between ILSs and renters.

While large multifamily organizations may not be adversely affected due to high budget thresholds; many medium to small sized companies will surely anticipate escalating marketing costs. Over the years, property management companies have been growing increasingly resentful of these large aggregators.

This makes the need for disruption (AKA alternative listing options) even more clear.

This won’t just affect the supply side of the equation, renters will also be impacted.

These conglomerates are likely to own and drive all of the traffic to their best performing brands, thereby drastically reducing search options for the 109 million renters in the U.S., and narrowing the inventory rentals.

CoStar’s acquisition of RentPath ensures the further reduction of choice for renters and property managers, making the case with incredible eloquence, for a free and open alternative.

The continued consolidation of traditional multifamily housing aggregators into a duopoly begs these questions:

  • Where are the innovators?
  • How can renters and owners move beyond the Pay-to-Play model?

As the Pay-to-Play advertising model swells through the consolidation of brands, the path for innovation in the space widens. Price fatigue is escalating. Consumer frustration with a lack of robust and relevant options is heightening. This makes a compelling case for a “re-engineered” model that removes cost barriers to participation and fundamentally enhances the renter experience.

That’s where Dwellsy comes in.

Our Mission: Make it easier for renters to find “hard to find” rentals.

  • Right now, all rentals are “hard to find,” because properties exists across disparate inventories.
  • Right now, all rentals are “hard to find,” because paid placement interferes with organic search results.
  • Right now, all rentals are “hard to find,” because amenity tagging, general search tools, and inquiry management is limited.

Our Beliefs:

  • Renters should be able to find ALL of the available rentals, all in ONE place.
  • Renters should be able to trust that a listing is not fraudulent and that they are seeing all of the options that match their needs.
  • Owners and managers should be able to list and lease their vacant units for FREE. Not free with an asterisk. Free. Period.

Just to be crystal clear.

It’s FREE-FOR-ALL with Dwellsy

  • Yes, Lead/Lease Generation is Free. Completely free. No Asterisks. No Kidding.
  • Direct Integration with property management software used to ensure listing veracity.
  • Strict Data Integrity enforced to prevent duplicative, stale or fraudulent listings.
  • Level Playing Field created for all owners, regardless of size or ad budget.
  • Renters get the Comprehensive, Unbiased Results they are longing for because we are not beholden to advertising revenue.

Back to Mike’s duopoly Tweet where he mentioned, “What makes your brand stand out from everyone else just got that much more important.”

Here’s how we stand out.

Dwellsy sets property listings free.

Authors:
Jonas Bordo, CEO of Dwellsy
Judy Bellack, Chief Consultant of Judith Lawrence Associates
Erika Benadom, Marketing at Dwellsy

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