Note: This is a paid review through the Review Me program.
The housing market has cooled in the last few months with the appreciation rate dropping from almost 12% to 0.4% signaling signs of an impending recession even from the former Fed Res. Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan. However, the rental market is buoyant as ever and has been devoid of the uncertainties of the home buyers market. The rental market is also heavily location dependent and generally barring large scale changes in urban geography tends to be stable.
Information dissemination through Internet-powered technology has proven to be beneficial for the consumer who otherwise had to drive around the town to get a good deal. Craigslist was one of the first sites that shattered the monopoly of the newspaper classifieds. Tenant Market is one such site that connects renters with landlords. The property information is uploaded by landlords based on criteria for an ideal tenant which is matched with profiles uploaded by renters. The following graphic (click to enlarge) does a fine job of explaining how Tenant Markets work:
The search function is free but Tenant Market charges a subscription fee starting at $29.95 if the landlord wishes to contact the renter. The landlords are proactive by looking for renters that match their criteria and contacting them. The 10-day trial costs $29.95, the standard subscription valid for 20 days sets you back by $39.95 and the Good-till-filled subscription is valid until vacancy is filled and costs the landlords $74.95. The prices seem fair for considering the high rents and unpredictable nature of renters.
Tenant Market claims to reaching over 11 million renters per year. I find this number a little high but Tenant Market claims to partner with “some of the Internet’s biggest apartment hunting, rental listing, and online services that reach over 10 million unique visitors per year” apart from advertising. The renters aren’t required to respond to every landlord that contacts them and received a personalized offer. Both the renter and the landlord are free to meet, visit the property, and discuss finer details before finalizing the contract.
Tenant Market is not your typical classified site since it requires you to first register and create a profile for landlords before the site proceeds to hook you up. I think this is a different and unique approach in the rental market by moving the burden of searching from the renter to the landlord. It may seem a big discomforting to sit back and wait for the landlord to contact you when you might be in a tearing hurry. The site is definitely oriented toward the landlords and it might need a few testimonials before renters are comfortable in sharing their profiles and rest assured they get quick and reliable offers.