- Key DifferentiatorIn 1997, Rob Massey, Jr., then a property manager for 21 years, was running his family’s 40 year-old property management company in Louisville, Kentucky when he began to contemplate an online home rental listing service with a focus on single-family homes. Large apartment complexes had an internet presence and major real estate companies were listing homes for sale online as well. What was missing was a website where a renter could search for single-family rental houses, smaller apartments, duplexes, condos, townhomes and the like – which comprised over 75% of the 33 million-plus rental homes nationwide. Recognizing this need, he secured the RentalHouses.com domain name and began planning the website. Massey’s own rental offerings were placed on the developing site, followed by those of a dedicated focus group of professional property managers. By 2000, they could easily create their listings with photos and detailed descriptions on this website that was also easy to search. Thanks in large part to the keywords “rental houses” in the domain name, renter traffic was rapidly climbing. Following a number of enhancements, it became time to get the supply more in sync with the demand and the site was opened to all property managers and residential real estate investors. Soon thereafter, listings could be found in 20 states. Rapid growth soon attracted the attention of additional investors, whose contributions helped give the company a strong national presence. The success of RentalHouses.com led private equity investors in late 2004 to invest significant capital to consolidate the company’s marketing position, hire additional employees, and relocate to a larger office space. In early 2006 the company raised another round of private equity capital supporting the aggressive growth which led to the company’s acquisition by Primedia, Inc. (NYSE: PRM) one year later. Partnered now with Rentals.com, RentalHouses.com has a loyal and expanding customer base who appreciate this effective advertising venue catered to the property manager experience and easy to use for all landlords. In 2008, the 3 million visitors to these sites each month search over 40,000 property listings to find their next homes.
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