RentWiki Changes Name to RentAdvisor, Gets Multi-Million Dollar Investment, and Launches Killer New Product
March 20, 2012 – Businesses don’t get better by chance, they get better by change.
“In the past 18 months we’ve worked directly with thousands of renters,” said Robert Turnbull, president and co-founder of the company. “We’ve learned a few things: First, ratings and reviews have a much bigger influence on the renter’s decision to visit an apartment community than anyone realizes. Second, what the Apartment Industry needs is a way to proactively tackle the apartment reviews and ratings proliferating the Internet.”
Recently a number of companies have announced what they are referring to as “reputation management” or “reputation monitoring” products. However, these services simply aggregate existing reviews whereas RentAdvisor has created a new product designed to actually enhance the online reputation of apartment communities and management companies.
“Now is the time to take action,” explained Jamie Gallo, CEO and co-founder. “When we launched RentWiki four years ago, our Industry wasn’t quite ready to embrace user-generated content and reviews. Since then a lot has changed. Every Apartment Industry event now has sessions, seminars and panels on how to handle ratings and reviews. Fortunately we have a four-year head start on any other company in this space.”
In short, RentAdvisor works directly with property management companies and properties to establish a baseline online ratings and reviews score. Then – through various and proprietary means perfected in the past 18 months – solicits a much more balanced rating and review set among renters. Finally, these more positive and balanced ratings/reviews are pushed to popular, well-trafficked sites, dramatically improving a property’s online reputation.
So why the name change to RentAdvisor? “We have often been equated to the travel site TripAdvisor due to the similarity of the user-generated content appearing on RentWiki,” said Gallo. “As fun as the name ‘RentWiki’ is to say, RentAdvisor is more akin to what we are actually doing. We advise renters – and help other renters advise renters – on apartment communities and neighborhoods best suited to their needs.”
Finally, based on the intriguing new direction of the company, RentAdvisor was able to raise several million dollars in institutional and strategic investor capital at the beginning of this year to ensure viability of the company’s products and services long-term.