RentBetter, a self-service property management platform based in Sydney, has raised $1.9 million in funding, as more Australians seek to manage their property investments independently. The platform, founded about five years ago, offers private landlords access to a range of tools and services typically available only to real estate professionals. Users can handle ads, inquiries, lease agreements, condition reports, payments, and receipts, among other tasks, without the need for a property manager. The platform has experienced a subscriber base growth rate of about 250% year-on-year, indicating strong demand for its services. Founder and CEO Jeremy Goldschmidt notes that people are increasingly seeking alternative ways to manage traditional processes, particularly during the pandemic, and that technology can help them save money while retaining control over their investments. RentBetter’s tool also provides greater transparency for landlords, allowing them to play a more active role in managing their properties.
Australia’s Complex Real Estate Market
Although the investors for this funding round have not been disclosed, according to Goldschmidt, they include high-net worth individuals and industry partners. The capital will be allocated towards expanding the team and further investing in product development, while also funding a marketing campaign aimed at increasing the startup’s visibility.
With around 2 million landlords and 3 million rental properties in Australia, roughly 20% of the adult population participates in the real estate market. Goldschmidt points out that Australia’s leasing and management market is a sophisticated industry valued at approximately $6 billion, yet there are no major tech platforms offering self-management services.
Goldschmidt aims to capture a 5% market share and intends to leverage the funding to reach a wider audience. “We want to use this funding to get in front of those people,” he explains.
Revolutionizing Property Management
The property management industry has been slow to adopt modern technology and still relies heavily on traditional face-to-face interactions, as well as legacy tech systems. According to Goldschmidt, this outdated model is ripe for disruption.
Typically, property management involves one individual overseeing multiple properties, relying on intermediaries to pass messages via phone calls and emails. Goldschmidt notes that this model generates a lot of friction, leading to inefficiencies and delays.
He believes that investors and landlords care most about their assets and investments, and are increasingly seeking more control over them, particularly in light of trends such as self-managed super funds and investment tools like Stake and Superhero. They want to save money, but also improve outcomes.
Goldschmidt asserts that property investors are now seeking the same kind of innovation and disruption that other sectors have seen with new tech solutions. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm towards new tech and doing things differently in the property market,” he says. “It’s a really exciting time.”