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Top 10 Home Businesses You Can Start Online Cheap: Residential Rental Locator

Updated on June 30, 2009

OVERVIEW OF VENTURE

Locating an apartment, condo, or home to lease can be a very time consuming process. A significant number of savvy entrepreneurs are launching their own residential rent locator web sites and are turning a healthy profit to capitalize on this growing market of renters, especially at a time when many foreclosed families need to find rental accommodation. The main source of revenue is referral payments from the rental management offices of apartments, condominiums, semi-detached and detached homes, as well as other real estate organizations. There is also the possibility of increasing your revenue through charging a payment for sublets, suites, apartment sharing, and private rental listings.

Requests for your service are usually sent via e-mail from those seeking an residential rental to you, the site operator, with a description of what the client is looking for. You then take the request and find the best possible location to suit the person’s needs. Once you have located a property that suits their needs, you set up a time for your customer to view the residential property. You collect a referral payment if the client signs the lease.

Another way to run this type of enterprise would be to set up a searchable database. Those with residential properties to rent or sublet would pay a charge to add their listing. People looking for a rental residence would search based on any specific criterion such as property type, location, maximum rent, number of bedrooms, etc.

EXPERTISE REQUIRED

This enterprise is absolutely superlative for anyone with a thorough understanding of the available residential properties available for rent and lease in the local area as well as basic Web publishing skills. You should be an effective communicator via e-mail and phone with your customers and the owners and managers of rental buildings to be successful.

EXPENDITURES TO LAUNCH THIS VENTURE

Expenditures associated with launching this enterprise range from $500 to $3,000. At first you will have to pay to design and develop your website (unless you have the skills to do that yourself) as well as confront all expenditures associated with this process, such as a hosting service. If you want to develop the database, there will be additional expenditures involved, and the total cost will be determined by the number of features and searchable fields you implement. Additional expenditures associated with launching this enterprise include online advertising expenditures and any offline promotion that you may require to launch.

NUMBER OF PERSONNEL NEEDED TO LAUNCH

Typically this enterprise can be run by one person to start and will increase depending on the volume of referrals, at which time you may wish to take on staff.

IMPORTANT BUSINESS ISSUES TO ADDRESS

Don't let the residential rental properties that you represent take advantage of your website as a free ad opportunity. To avoid this hitch, don’t list the specific names or addresses of the residential rental properties that you represent. You can provide photos and general location information. If you give the specific address of the actual property, your customer may go directly to the residential property without even utilizing your service. If you run this website as a database, this will not present itself as a problem as you will be paid in advance for all listings.

The efficient collection of referral payments is a critical issue. You must make sure that you have firm written agreements in place with the residential rental property owners and managers, and implement procedures that assist you in keeping your incoming payments organized.

Your website has to be constantly reviewed, kept up to date, and maintained. When a residential property is rented through you, it is important to immediately demonstrate this on your site. When a residential rental property is no longer available, you should remove it as quickly as possible from your website.

ADDITIONAL REVENUE

Take a good hard look at the prospect of partnering up with enterprises that could derive business from your referrals. For example, furniture rental stores or local movers could derive clientele from your referrals, since you are targeting the same market. This could prove to be a good additional profit center for your enterprise. An alternative to this would be selling online ads to these enterprises on your website.

Check Out The Entire Top 10 Home Businesses You Can Start Online Cheap!

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