When Zumper raised $18M in Series B funding last fall, the rental search engine explained that the funding would be used to grow the company beyond search – and assist renters with the entire leasing process.
So today Zumper is announcing what they call Zumper Select, which is an end-to-end platform that works with renters and landlords to manage the entire rental process, from search to signing a lease.
To get how helpful this new feature is to renters and landlords, it’s important to understand some of the inefficiencies that plague rental search engines. Typically a prospective renter will send out blind inquiries to dozens of apartments, meaning landlords are inundated with requests that may or may not be legitimate, and typically only have time to respond to about 30 percent of them.
So there’s tons of wasted time on both sides of the equation.
To fix this Zumper is taking control of the process for both sides. After showing interest for a unit that is part of Zumper Select, renters are connected with a concierge over chat or on the phone, who personally suggest similar listings and schedule tours.
The startup also pre-qualifies applicants before they decide on a unit, so all landlords have to do is get the lease signed after a decision is made.
Renters like it because they find an apartment quickly with a fraction of the effort, and landlords like it because they’re essentially hand-delivered a pre-qualified tenant instead of having to manually deal with thousands of leads. In return, Zumper takes a percentage of the monthly rent from the landlord, but the service is totally free for renters.
CEO Anthemos Georgiades explained that an end-to-end solution for renters and landlords was always the original goal of the company…they just needed to wait until the search engine side was saturated enough to support the feature.
Zumper Select has been operating in beta for about six months in New York City, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas, and has already signed up 162,500 units in these cities with plans to expand to other major cities nationwide.