RentalBeast Connects Renters with Property Managers/Owners, Avoiding Broker’s Fee Altogether

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorSomerville, Mass.–Ishay Grinberg has recently re-branded and launched his rental listing company as RentalBeast is almost six years old but was born as Grand Central Apartments.The web site aims to make the process of finding a rental unit easier by putting seekers directly in touch with property owners and managers, thus avoiding a broker’s fee. The web site currently features about 60,000 rental listings a majority of which are apartments, with 600 management companies and 4-,000 to 50,000 private companies listing their rentals on the site.RentalBeast is free for property owners and managers but the seekers have to choose from either of the three packages offered ($89, $129 or $295) based on the number of days access is provided and the number of services.“We have 100 percent of what the market has to offer in terms of rentals from owners and managers,” Grinberg, president of RentalBeast, tells MHN. “Rental listings are all over the place, so we try to provide as detailed information as possible. We have the exact apartment number, address and the phone number to contact. For the gold package, we even make appointments and do the rent negotiations,” says Grinberg.”Each listing is validated, so relying on our information negates the need to spend hours scouring watered-down online lists. (…) We back up our data with live customer support to clients that are looking for more ‘hand holding’ with each aspect of their search.”The site adds 300 new listings everyday, making it currently the most comprehensive rental listing web site in state of Massachusetts, according to Grinberg. So far the site has helped 20,000 people find their home. “We have advanced technology in place to monetize listings any which way is easiest for each specific property, from setting up a data feed such as XML or API to obtaining the listings the old fashion way through email, fax or phone,” explains Grinberg. “We convert the listings to our format and stay on top of updating them.”RentalBeast has been profitable since 2004 and recently completed a round of angel funding for its expansion into 25 other markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Houston. “We plan to be in four to eight market in the next three to five years.”Grinberg says that despite the downturn in the economy, the last three years have been the most profitable for the company. “Especially since mid-2008, we have been talking to people who weren’t in the rental market before. There are people who are downsizing, people who would have otherwise bought but are too afraid right now or aren’t able to get mortgages.”