What’s RentTech? – by Glenn Felson

Once I take into consideration the most important alternatives for know-how within the multifamily area, I instantly take into consideration sensible flats.  From cell entry, to temperature controls, to integrations with sensible hubs (Alexa, Google Residence, Apple Residence), we’re within the early innings of this huge alternative.  Good flats are marketed as a option to improve resident delight, however the worth extends well beyond added comfort.  Good flats can have a big constructive affect on the operations of a constructing, and most significantly on NOI (and never simply from greater rents).

When an condominium is vacant it may be tough to acknowledge points which are happening throughout the unit.  For instance, a leaky pipe can go days or even weeks with out anybody noticing, till water makes its approach into the condominium under creating pricey harm.  It is usually widespread that warmth or AC are left set to ranges pointless for a vacant condominium, which wastes vitality and finally prices the proprietor cash.  When know-how integrates the property administration software program, entry management resolution, sensible thermostats, and leak sensors, the second a resident vacates their unit, the temperature can robotically be adjusted, the lights turned off, and the administration crew will be notified on the first signal of a leak.  Even the leasing course of will be streamlined with know-how by activating self-guided excursions in order that events can go to flats at their comfort with out the necessity for constructing administration to be current.  Doormen will be changed by video intercoms, and safety guards decreased with AI-powered distant video guarding. Moreover, parking garages will be outfitted with EV altering stations and automatized parking options.

Good flats are a serious focus for our crew at Kastle:

Good flats have gained a whole lot of momentum over the previous 12 months, and corporations on this area have raised eye-popping ranges of capital.  Nonetheless, sensible flats are just one piece of the know-how developments that the multifamily business is experiencing.  We’re beginning to see the convergence between PropTech and Fintech which is creating a totally new class also known as ‘RentTech’.  These options cowl the whole lifecycle of residential buildings, together with how the constructing is financed and constructed, the advertising & leasing of every unit, how tenants can use various means to fund safety deposits and pay lease, and the way the constructing is finally bought.  RentTech has the potential of unlocking huge worth for homeowners and managers whereas reshaping the whole expertise for residents.

VC companies have been funding revolutionary startups on this area for a while now, and the speed of investments actually began to speed up in 2021.  I just lately had the chance to fulfill with a enterprise agency that focuses their whole funding technique round RentTech.  I used to be lucky to have the prospect to take a seat down with the crew at RET Ventures to study extra about this rising business. Beneath is our dialog.

“We outline RentTech broadly as know-how bringing innovation to and fixing ache factors within the rental actual property ecosystem together with institutional and ‘lengthy tail’ homeowners, operators and builders, in addition to the residents who reside in these properties. From an operational perspective this contains areas as broad as actual property underwriting and acquisitions, building know-how, data-driven asset administration, advertising, leasing, upkeep, operations, funds and facilities.

This can be a large phase of the North American actual property economic system with over 45 million renter households, and over $500B in asset worth represented within the RET Strategic investor base. We see the chance to again and assist construct and scale personal and public firms within the area.”

“We predict the phase is exclusive in that rental actual property is attracting important capital (witness the speedy progress of single household rental portfolios), and can also be considered as a defensive, much less cyclical finish market, with many massive built-in proprietor/operators who’re wanting ahead to investing in know-how to rework their operations. We predict this presents an amazing alternative for us and the entrepreneurs we again.”

“We predict know-how is already reshaping many facets of the business, from digital touring and self-guided-touring, to on-line mobile-first leasing processes, pervasive sensible residence / sensible constructing / IoT and ubiquitous excessive pace connectivity deployment, in addition to resident engagement and amenity platforms pushed by the hotelification of the expertise at excessive finish properties.  Moreover, it contains funds / resident finance improvements like rental deposit alternate options, and rewards packages. Additionally, we’ll see extra versatile fashions like short- and medium-term leases (which require totally different income administration approaches), furnishings rental, and many others.”

“Completely.  We see options which are nice for brand new building however usually are not possible for retrofit into stabilized properties. We noticed this firsthand with investments that we now have made within the entry management / sensible residence area. We’ll see a whole lot of this within the ESG area the place some deployments have very difficult monetary ROI balanced towards the non monetary affect.”

“All over the place. We’re engaged throughout the spectrum from building tech (Juno), to analytics & determination making (Markerr), to leasing (Funnel), to connectivity (GiGStreem), to upkeep & operations (SightPlan). We predict there are large alternatives for data-driven asset administration (Engrain), and transferring from Good Properties to Good Buildings (Passive Logic).”

“Completely.  A lot of our Strategic LPs have seen residents excited to improve to a wise condominium bundle together with entry, thermostat and IoT within the residence. A lot of our LPs are implementing ubiquitous wifi excessive pace to offer an improve from legacy cable or DSL web.” 

RET Ventures is a particularly effectively revered participant within the PropTech area, they usually proceed to spend money on startups which are reshaping the business.  To study extra concerning the thrilling firms that they’re investing in, please take a look at their portfolio right here.


I used to be just lately requested to contribute to a whitepaper on the worth of belief within the CRE deal course of. The white paper was authored by Steven Jaffe, CEO of Propdocs and contains commentary from main business consultants. I had an opportunity to learn by the ultimate model which was just lately printed, and I discovered it to be extremely effectively written and stuffed with worth. Beneath is a quick description from Jaffe, together with a hyperlink to white paper. 

“My obsession with enhancing effectivity in business actual property offers led me down a captivating, and priceless, rabbit gap about how belief is intertwined with effectivity. I’ve discovered that oftentimes when offers crumble there’s a false sense of belief. In the long run, much less belief means offers will take longer, and finally price us cash. What does it imply for belief that the handshake is being disintermediated?”

Here’s a hyperlink to Whitepaper 

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