In many markets, Craigslist is the de facto service connecting landlords with their future tenants. Sure there are some other services to find a new rental place to call home, but calling it a fragmented marketplace is an understatement. It’s also fair to say that the overall rental experience is horrible for both parties. There’s no transparency, many listings lack quality pictures, communicating with each other and booking viewing time is cumbersome, there’s time pressure, and the uncertainty that’s goes with the people and personalities involved. Whether its a nightmare tenant or landlord from hell, neither is a pleasant prospect.
Vancouver startup Manaya is starting to remove a lot of the friction and unpleasantness from this process. Their mobile platform is creating a more effective way to connect renters with property managers. The mission is about making the renting process easy and convenient, from the moment a user finds a place to book a viewing appointment.
Manaya’s founder David Polisi experienced his ‘aha’ moment when he was dialing the number of a property, to get more information. Standing in front of the place, he was left waiting for a return phone call that never came. “There must be a better way!” he thought.
The initial vision for Manaya was simple: why not send a text message to the number on a For Rent sign, and instantly receive the property details to your mobile phone?
But Manaya has moved from the simple text information tool to a platform that is helping property managers reduce inefficiencies, streamline and upgrade their listing content and target more effectively. Companies such as CAPREIT, Mainstreet Equity, Osgoode, Gateway Property Management Corp., and Hollyburn Properties Ltd. are now marketing their properties in a way that for the first time, is providing them with measurable results. The old adage “I know 50% of my marketing budget is working, I just don’t know which 50%” can now effectively be tossed aside.
The foundation of Manaya is still about delivering key property details on the go via Text For Info. Codes are found on ‘For Rent’ signs outside of buildings with messages coming promptly to your phone and providing photos, prices, features and even other nearby listings.
Beyond the basic details, with virtual tours & photos renters can now better appreciate the listed properties. This is making a difference for property management teams with 84% of people ranking photos as the most important part of a search. Once prospective tenants are wowed and dazzled using Book2View, current renters can request viewings through a calendar booking system.
Manaya is also tackling rental listing fragmentation by offering Post2Web. This one-click function is a fully automated posting dashboard allowing property managers to send listing information to search sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. It also creates a standardize look for the content and pictures across all postings.
This service is currently available in many major markets of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, with launch plans in the works for some key US cities.