Scrappy startup Rentberry has been stirring things up in the renters’ market recently.
Started in San Francisco in 2015, the concept behind Rentberry is pretty simple. They’ve essentially brought eBay to the home renting – allowing landlords to list properties and tenants to view them, but also allowing tenants to see how many others are interested in that property. This allows prospective renters to change their bid – meaning that those really interested in a particular property are more likely to get it and that landlords won’t miss out on the real rent the property could attract.
As the company has been expanding its operations (currently nearly a quarter-million properties listed around the globe) it has also been garnering a bit of bad press. Many locale’s worry that this service will do little more than a cutthroat bidder’s market that will drive rents through the roof and many without the financial wherewithal into the streets.
But according to the team behind Rentberry, that’s not their objective at all. The service itself is fairly cheap – currently it’s free to list up to three properties, and less than thirty dollars a month to list more than this. Rentberry also handles much of the hassle of renting the property for no additional fee, including credit checks, maintenance requests, etc.
For prospective tenants, viewing properties, paying rent, submitting requests for maintenance requests, etc. The only thing tenants are charged for is 9.95 for submitting a rental application.
With the small fees Rentberry is collecting, it’s apparent that they mean to be successful by making their service as broadly available as possible rather than catering to the pampered few.
And now Rentberry, who have been supporters of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, are preparing to take their service to the next level by putting it on a blockchain. They are preparing to issue a crypto-token, to be called a Berry, that will form the basis of a new renters’ economy.
First, there is a tremendous amount of paperwork and legal proceedings that need to take place when renting properties. Rentberry will remove a lot of the redundant aspects of this by having Berry holders record key data on the Berry blockchain. Both landlord and tenant information will be secure and accessible on an immutable ledger – streamlining the steps necessary when renting or renewing a property.
Many of the legal aspects of apartment rental will be recorded, including the renter’s agreement and e-signatures.
Since so much information will be secured on a blockchain, each tenant and landlord’s reputation will be instantly checkable. This sill not be testimonials or letters of reference, this will be the actual data of the individuals involved. Thus, tenants will be able to sign with landlords they trust, and landlords will have a large community of already vetted tenants bidding on their properties.
Security Deposit Pool
One of the big problems with renting a place right now in the states is the necessity to freeze a large amount of cash as a security deposit. This locks down money that might otherwise be used, and it locks out those who might not have the ability to come up with what is often a pretty hefty chunk of change.
The Berry token will be used by landlords to list their properties, tenants to bid on them, tenants to pay rent, and landlords to pay service providers like repairpersons – a full economy of people using the token.
It will also be used to create a pooled security deposit. Interested holders of the Berry coin will be able to cover a portion tenants’ security deposits, for which they will be rewarded with more Berrys.
This security deposit pool will significantly reduce the financial burden on renters, provide more security to landlords, and free up a large amount of untapped wealth in the world (reported to be 500 billion dollars).
By creating an immutable reputation ledger and blockchaining many of the legal requirements of renting, Rentberry will drive a standardization process on how properties are handled across the world.
Since the world has become increasingly interconnected, there are more and more people working abroad than ever before. One of the real advantages that Rentberry brings to the market is removing the fear and doubt that those trying to rent abroad feel. With this system, landlords and tenants will know who they are transacting with in any country, in any language.
Further, since all rent and other fees will be paid in the Berry token, there will be no exchange or remittance problems as there are in the patchwork of currencies and laws we currently have. It will be as easy to arrange housing in Malaysia as in New Jersey.
The Token Sale
Many of the token sales I’ve seen cross my desk in the last few months have looked interesting on the surface, but also looked as if the developers had simply sketched an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin and were putting it out there simply to see how much they could raise.
Rentberry stands apart as it is already in operation, successful and expanding. They have an in-depth understanding of their market and the problems they are trying to solve. And, they have a specific, concrete understanding of both how blockchain (too often used as a buzzword) and their token will help solve those problems.
Here are some of the details of their upcoming token sale:
- Berry tokens will be offered for pre-sale from December 5 through January 26.
- Minimum purchase: 15,000 Berrys at 10 ETH.
- The sale will be run in stages, with early purchasers receiving significant bonuses:
Dec 5 – Dec 19 – 33% Bonus
Dec 20 – Dec 26 – 27% Bonus
Dec 27 – Jan 16 – 20% Bonus
Jan 17 – Jan 26 – 13% Bonus
- The main sale will take place between January 26 through February 28.
- The minimum purchase will be 150 Berrys at 0.1 ETH. The following bonuses will be offered:
January 26 – 7% bonus
January 27-28 – 4% bonus
For 1-3 ETH – 1% bonus
For 3-5 ETH – 2% bonus
For 5 ETH and more – 3% bonus
Detailed information on the Pre-Sale and the Main Sale of BERRY tokens can be found in Rentberry’s White Paper. Visit the site to download it: //rentberry.cryptonomos.com