06/11/2015 - 13:54

Renters turn to Rent.com.au

06/11/2015 - 13:54

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Perth-based online property portal Rent.com.au is making good on its ambition to become the website of choice for renters, with traffic to its website surging past 500,000 unique visitors during the month of October.

Renters turn to Rent.com.au
IN THE HOUSE: Mark Woschnak says the business targets only the residential market. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Perth-based online property portal Rent.com.au is making good on its ambition to become the website of choice for renters, with traffic to its website surging past 500,000 unique visitors during the month of October.

Rent.com.au listed on the Australian Securities Exchange midway through this year, via a reverse takeover of Select Exploration.

It is focused on a niche segment in the highly competitive online real estate landscape.

Online real estate listings leader REA Group claims more than 3 million people visit its main site, mobile site and apps each month. REA Group does offer rental listings but its core business is property for sale.

Similarly, major WA player Reiwa has more than 850,000 visits per month, according to its June 2014 member fact sheet. Last year, Reiwa said it had an average 17,736 unique browsers from WA per day, which would represent around 540,000 a month.

Rent.com.au managing director Mark Woschnak said the company’s strategy of targeting only residential rentals was a clear point of difference in a competitive online real estate market.

The company’s target after listing was to attract more than 500,000 unique visitors to its website within 12 months. A total of 549,513 unique visitors went to Rent.com.au in October.

“Becoming the home for renting is our ambition and getting to more than 500,000 unique visitors in one month means a really significant part of the market is now using our site,” Mr Woschnak told Business News.

Mr Woschnak said a key point of difference for Rent.com.au was its ability to offer an exclusive direct debit payment plan to renters, via its partnership with FlexiGroup subsidiary Certegy Ezi-Pay.

The RentBond product involves renters paying a set fee of $89 to have their bond paid up-front, under a no-deposit, no-interest loan, which is then repaid over three to six months.

Mr Woschnak said RentBond was the only product of its kind in the marketplace, and was designed to take the pressure off renters having to come up with $2,000 to $3,000 to secure a property.

“The most frustrating thing to renters is that, when they move from one property to another, in the majority of cases, the rental bond is held up by the landlord, who could be disputing over a painted wall or something like that,” he said.

“So the bond is never released when the renter wants to move into their next property.

“That’s the moment when they need an immediate $2,000 to $3,000 more, and for most of the rental demographic that’s a huge chunk of money to automatically have to find.”

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