The online advertising playbook isn’t complicated. Get enough consumer eyeballs then hike the rates to serve up some juicy ads for those eyeballs.

StreetEasy has followed the playbook to the letter by hiking rates from $3 a day per listing to $4.50 at the start of the year, to a whopping $6 a day now. That means that if an apartment is off the market for 30 days, it used to cost $90 to list but now costs $180.

Streeteasy pricing
Streeteasy pricing
Meanwhile, at Streeteasy HQ…

Streeteasy’s rising rates are passed down to renters, who are already struggling with higher rents. Combined with a rate hike at…

We created Stake to give renters a return.

We started with a beautiful app designed to save renters money, time, and make renting delightful. Now, Return on Rent is available exclusively at Stake Homes across New York City.

What we learned

  1. 85% of lease questions and submissions occur after hours.
  2. 63% of renters who do not get an answer within 2 hours do not follow up a second time.
  3. 90% of renters use text and chat to communicate, share, and find a new home.
  4. 74% of renters avoid asking questions about money and rent pricing face-to-face. 54% prefer asking questions about money and pricing via text.

For renters, this makes an…

Incentives — offering one-month free, a discount on the rent, or free amenities — are designed to attract renters and create loyalty. Banners hang from buildings, sandwich boards are placed outside leasing offices, agents list incentives to prospects on tours, ads both digital and traditional, and listings online all shout “one month free” to help sell a rental property.

one month free rent
one month free rent
How multifamily rentals shows incentives

Incentives in America’s multifamily rentals are increasing 20% every year. In markets like New York (highest total concessions), Portland and Milwaukee (most prevalent use of concessions), and Chicago, Atlanta and Miami (fastest growth of concessions), incentives are on the rise.

In New York, it’s already tough enough looking for an apartment. Then, there are confusing offers like “One Month Free.” In Williamsburg, with the L train shut down barreling down in April — and now even longer than before — property owners are getting desperate. Two months free are now common.

But, is this good for you? What do you really get?

First, let’s look at how month free works in reality. Sometimes you will see “net effective rent” in your listing, like here:

Via Streeteasy

This is fancy way of saying what you will pay each month, and sometimes the free…

There are more renters today than at any time since 1965. We’re moving to cities more often, our jobs change more frequently, and we are postponing buying homes because we don’t have enough saved. A lot of us, especially in places like New York or San Francisco, take for granted that high rent is the price we pay for living in these cities. Yet we fail to appreciate what we miss in order to make the rent.

New Yorkers live in one of the most expensive places in the world, where renters outnumber owners. More than 50% of our paycheck


Return on Rent is here.

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