Ex-Googlers rock on at RentMarketer

rentmarketer.pngEnglewood-based Rent Marketer says it’s the largest real estate rental distribution platform on the web. It allows property managers and agents to pay about $40-$90 to post their rental listing on Rent Marketer, which then distributes the listing to some 55 other sites. This enables you to write your listing once, and Rent Marketer then automagically publishes it everywhere that matters. This is an easy way to drive a large number of leads across different sites. Rent Marketer then adds additional value by delivering measurable email and phone lead tracking tools.

The company launched in April of last year and has seen good success so far. I recently checked in with Dan Daugherty who is one of the founders. Dan told me that they’ve now posted over 4 million listings, and explained how Rent Marketer got started.

The concept for Rent Marketer was born out of frustration. As a real estate investor myself, I used to post my rental properties across many rental and classifieds sites one site at a time. This tedious process led to many hours of postings and errors. I thought there had to be a better way and wrote the business model for Rent Marketer on a napkin at a local Einstein bagels.” – Dan Daugherty, Founder

I have to digress and offer some quick advice. Whenever you jot down a business plan, do it at some chain that will make for a good story later on. My first company was conceived at Pizzeria Uno in Tempe, Arizona. If you forgot to do this, just lie. It needs to be a good story. 😉

Rent Marketer is one of the bazillion or so companies that ex-Googlers have spit out onto the web in the last few years. Dan is the President and CEO of Rent Marketer and founded the company after spending about 4 years with Google. Tim Moynihan (also ex-Google) recently joined the company as VP of Sales and Marketing. Dariusz Rakowitz (CTO) and Lisa Ray (Ops) are also founders of the company.

According to the company’s blog, the top real estate site is Realtor.com, which has only a small fraction of the overall market share. This means that most of these rental listings are living on the edges of the network, or at least close to it. If that’s true, I can see why a solution like this would be quite valuable. Interestingly, RentMarketer takes the opposite approach of sites like EdgeIO (which also has housing rental listings), which attempt to aggregate content from the edges. In this particular case, Rent Marketer seems like the smarter approach to me – they’re not waiting around for consumers to find the aggregators. Instead, they’re syndicating their content out to where the consumers already are. In fact, with Rent Marketer, the listings probably end up on sites like Edgeio anyway so they have the best of both worlds.

In fact, Rent Marketer is just another specialized instantiation of the write once, publish everywhere model we’re seeing across the web in general. You’re experiencing a similar phenomenon with this very post. I write it once on my blog and it’s instantly appearing in multiple places such as desktop feed readers, browsers, embedded widgets, inside emails, on iPhones, on Stan‘s Chumby– you name it. In turn, this gives me access to more readers. This type of model is a natural fit for any lead-gen oriented revenue model.

Rent Marketer has been self funded thus far, but Dan told me that they may seek funding in the near future.

Apart from the name and hideous logo, this business makes sense to me. It’s representative of one of the present-day battles on the web. Should content live everywhere, or somewhere? I think the web has spoken.

file under: Blog, Startups