Landlords offered more choice as online rental platform moves forward

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Australia’s rental market could be in for a massive shake-up, as an online rental portal gains traction.

Unlike other online platforms, it is dedicated solely to advertising rental properties.

It’s that dedication that chief executive Mark Woschnak hopes will help the platform become ubiquitous in Australia’s rental market.

“Our aim is to become like Seek is for job advertisements or CarSales is for selling a car,” he said.

There are signs that Woschnak’s vision maybe be slowly turning into reality, with Rent.com.au claiming to have recorded more than 500,000 unique visitors during October this year; a 30% increase in traffic compared to September.

Likely helping the site generate that level of traffic is the fact that they allow private landlords to advertise.

“Not only are platforms like Domain or realestate.com.au not dedicated to renting, they also don’t let private landlords advertise,” Woschnak said.

“If you’re a private landlord you’re pretty much restricted to print in things like local papers or on sites like Gumtree which offer a pretty unsophisticated level of service.”

According to figures from Rent.com.au, there are approximately 1.4 million rental properties in Australia that are managed by private landlords, a figure that represents around 46% of all rental properties. 

Woshnak says advertising online comes with obvious benefits, but he also claims it will help landlords’ back pockets.

“Online advertising easily gives landlords greater reach and exposes them to a greater amount of potential tenants and they can include pictures and more information,” he said.

“We’ve also integrated a whole range of services into the site that will benefit landlords,” Woschnak said.

“We’ve partnered with Veda and the national tenancy databases so when a landlord gets an enquiry they can check the rental history of a prospective tenant. We’ve actually found a lot of tenants are doing that themselves, and attaching it as part of their application.

“We also offer rent reports where landlords can get a comprehensive overview of their suburb. So they’ll able to find out how many rentals are available, what rents are being charged in the area, what properties have been leased recently and a whole range of other information."
 

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