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Urbanation, Rentsync partner on apartment rental data platform

IMAGE: Shaun Hildebrand headshot
Urbanation president Shaun Hildebrand says the company's partnership with Rentsync will develop a more comprehensive picture of the rental market in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. (Courtesy Rentsync)

Urbanation and Rentsync have partnered to develop a comprehensive market data platform for rental housing properties in Canada.

The two companies have been in discussions for more than a year about the partnership.

“Urbanation had the strength of its existing data platform and we have the benefit of having this automated data collection,” Rentsync product manager of data services David Aizikov told RENX. “We’ve combined these two data sets together in order to create what will be the most comprehensive multifamily rental portal in Canada.”

Urbanation is a real estate research firm that has provided market research and analysis, as well as consulting services, to the apartment industry since 1981.

It offers subscription services and custom market feasibility studies covering the new construction condominium and purpose-built rental apartment markets in Ontario through research, industry relationships, first-hand observations and site visits.

Urbanation researchers and analysts track market activity at all new development projects as well as for some existing stock and planned developments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ottawa.

Its clients include developers, lenders, brokers, appraisers, institutional investors and government policymakers.

Rentsync provides software and services for multiresidential property owners and operators.

It owns the listing sites Rentals.ca, Louer.ca, Rentfaster.ca, Rentboard.ca, RentCanada.ca and Torontorentals.ca to help people find rental homes and enable landlords and property management companies to list available spaces.

Rentsync also offers a purpose-built rental marketing platform that includes a content management system and advertising syndication that connects rental prospects with rental housing providers.

Rentsync Studios offers multifamily clients a variety of marketing services, including website design, digital advertising and lease-up marketing.

Basis for the partnership

“We’ve been limited to covering condo rentals and the newer stock of purpose-built rental buildings,” said Urbanation president Shaun Hildebrand.

“It became clear from our point of view that we wanted to expand further into tracking the rental market, and this partnership is now allowing us to grow from covering about 100 newer purpose-built rental projects completed in the GTA since 2005 to thousands of buildings and units that exist in the market through Rentsync’s platform, not to mention the other secondary market rentals such as houses, flats and basement apartments that are listed through their Rentals.ca network," Hildebrand added.

The venture between Urbanation and Rentsync involves the development of a database and web application that will track detailed market information for thousands of rental apartment buildings on a monthly basis.

Hildebrand said about one-third of homes in the Greater Toronto Area are rented and the number of renters is growing three times faster than the number of owners.

There was a large information gap in the market that he believes Urbanation and Rentsync can fill with their data.

“Everyone’s coming to realize that purpose-built rental is the primary solution to our affordability crisis,” Hildebrand said. “The industry simply needs more data and analysis to guide it.”

Monthly reports and subscription service

Urbanation and Rentsync will begin releasing monthly reports that aggregate and analyze rental data across all segments of the rental market.

They’ll include information based on data covering overall rents, rents by unit type, rents per square foot, availability, turnover rates and more.

Subscribers to the service will have access to more granular data through an advanced database application.

Both companies will share in the success of the subscription-based service through a revenue-sharing arrangement.

“Subscribers will have the option to add this new module of data to their subscription package or purchase it if they’re not already Urbanation subscribers,” said Rentsync chief executive officer Max Steinman.

“Both Rentsync and Urbanation will be offering and marketing the package. Both parties are capable of doing the billing, depending on who signs up the client and what the client’s preferences are.”

The goal is to have the integration of Rentsync’s data into Urbanation’s platform completed by the end of the year, and for the subscription-based platform to roll out in early 2023.

Coverage will start in the GTHA and Ottawa before eventually expanding across Canada.

Some aggregated data will be released in a report in the next month or two, according to Hildebrand.

Urbanation will produce reports for Rentals.ca

Urbanation will assume production of cross-country rental market reports based on listings data from the Rentals.ca network of Canadian marketplaces that Rentsync acquired two years ago.

“That collaboration on the monthly reports is really exciting for us because we think Urbanation brings a really professional skill set to the table for that report and their brand brings a lot of authority to the report,” said Steinman.

“That report is a really helpful tool to keep a lot of landlords, property management companies and renters in the know on a monthly basis in terms of the trends happening in the rental space.”



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