Could This New Blockchain Startup Be the Future of Long-Term Renting?
If you’ve ever tried to rent a property to live in, or you’ve been in the position of a landlord trying to find a suitable tenant to live in your property, you probably know what a hassle the process can be.
Right now, there is over $500 billion frozen in home rental security deposits.
Thousands of people are being locked out of the long-term rental market every year because they can’t afford to pay the extortionate deposits required. They’re being forced to either take out a loan that racks up hundreds more in debt or to look for another option.
For landlords, the situation isn’t much better. The manual process of finding tenants is extremely time-consuming, and hiring middlemen to help out with the process only racks up even higher fees.
But the Entire Process of Long-Term Renting Could Be About to Change… A new San Francisco blockchain startup could be about to turn the entire process on its head for both tenants and landlords.
The platform plans to save valuable time of both parties, to minimize the vacancy rate for listed properties, and even offers the ability for its users to rent properties without the involvement of third-party agencies and brokers.
But its most important feature is its unique ability to help tenants afford to pay deposits via crowdsourcing. Tenants will now have the option to pay as little as 10% of the security deposit. The rest can then be crowdsourced by the Rentberry community who will receive rewards in the form of a small interest rate paid by the tenants.
The platform is known as Rentberry. Its mission is to decentralize and fully automate all tasks involved in the rental process using blockchain technology.
Rentberry is powered by its own cryptocurrency - known as the BERRY token. These tokens are used as the platform’s convertible means of payment, and they can be used to help tenants unblock the collective $500 billion that is currently frozen in security deposits.
A Different Kind of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Unlike many other startups jumping on the ICO bandwagon, Rentberry already has a fully operational and successful platform. It is also backed by a very experienced team consisting of over 23 full-time employees, and a number of advisors from blockchain, legal, finance, and real estate industries.
The platform has been in action since its inception in 2015 and is currently available nationwide in the US. Over the past couple of years alone, it has already amassed over 120,000 users. This has since led the company to process 224,000 properties and over 4,000 rental applications.
Its raging success has led to significant exposure. The platform has featured on prime time news over twenty times.
Rentberry has already raised an excess of $4M from investors in seed rounds.
Following their success in the US, the team has decided to move forward and introduce its transparent business model into other countries - including Europe.
Their white paper states:
“We plan to offer our blockchain real estate infrastructure to tenants and landlords around the world by partnering with local credit bureaus, banks, insurance companies, cryptocurrency exchanges, property management and real estate companies”
While there are currently many options for short-term rentals and long-term rentals, there is a distinct lack of choices for those who require long-term options.
In the UK, tenants are left to search for options on websites such as Gumtree. However, such websites offer a variety of different services and are not specialized specifically for the long-term rental markets. As a result, they do not offer many options for tenants who require extra support.
In particular, they do nothing to help with the problem regarding the extortionate of upfront fees that tenants are required to fork out - the main issue that Rentberry is trying to solve.
Most terrifyingly of all for prospective tenants - and even landlords, in some cases - is that such websites are rife with scams due to the lack of regulation. Many prospective buyers are turned off from using them due to the fear of being conned out of money.
Getting Involved in Rentberry’s ICO The pre-sale of Rentberry tokens (BERRY) will commence on 5th December 2017 and run through until 26th January 2018.
Buyers will be able to purchase a minimum of 15,000 tokens (equivalent to 10 ETH) - and there are even bonuses for getting in early.
This could be a great opportunity for those who believe in the long-term future of the decentralized long-term rentals, and who wish to support the expansion of the platform to the UK and the rest of Europe.