As a startup, AptAmigo created a new playbook for the real estate industry in the rapidly growing rental market. We wanted to take the stress out of apartment hunting, so we developed our own software to help our leasing agents provide unparalleled, high quality service to clients. Like most proptech companies, we wanted to improve the real estate industry. So, we dedicated ourselves to innovation in the rental sector in order to transform the traditionally difficult and negative experience of apartment searching into a positive and affirming one. Afterall, choosing a new home is a big life decision, and it’s time the real estate industry treated residential leasing with the same care it treats the buy & sell sector.

The Real Estate Startup

For some time, the real estate industry was slow to adopt technology, but not any more. In 2021, according to Crunchbase, proptech funding levels reached almost $21 billion dollars. With this infusion of investments, real estate transactions surged and are moving beyond the typical online listing sites. Here’s some examples of how new business models are shaping the consumer experience and responding to new real estate market trends:


At AptAmigo, we built our own Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) for our agents to move clients through the sales pipeline smoothly. To make it work for our company, we integrated it with our apartment search website and continuously incorporate new features that enhance the experience of both clients and employees.


Cottage, is a California-based company that uses technology for building custom Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), or the addition of a separate living space on a single-family lot. Throughout the construction process, they make it easier and more affordable for consumers to add an ADU to their property by streamlining the process.


Swapp uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) on their platform to increase efficiency in the planning stage for new construction and building renovations. Engineers, architects, and data scientists determine consumer preferences in order to customize and speed up outcomes.


Lev focuses on the commercial real estate lending process with proprietary software that makes transactions more transparent and different lending options available. The commercial properties vary in size and location with an emphasis on the best match for each client.

Welcome Homes

Welcome Homes takes you through the home building process online through three main phases: land purchase, land prep, and building the home. They determine costs upfront and typically complete homes within six months.

A New Kind of Real Estate Service

Most consumers recognize the familiar buy-sell real estate transactions in which their real estate agent provides personalized service and, in return, earns a commission. However, the recent explosion of the residential rental market demands serious attention as a related, but somewhat different need. While arguments rage on about the value and demand for traditional real estate agents (do agents and brokers still do enough work to warrant a 6% commission?), apartment locators avoid that controversy because clients don’t pay for this free service.

The Traditional Residential Model: Buy & Sell 

Under the traditional method of buying a home, a real estate agent earns money through commissions. Typically, the selling agent and the buying agent receive and split an amount equal to 6% of the selling price. The seller generally pays most of this hefty price at closing, after the agent has marketed, negotiated, and closed the home sale.

A New Branch of Real Estate: Rentals

Unlike the 6% commision that home sellers pay to the agent, an apartment locator does not receive a service fee from their client. Instead, they earn a commission from the buildings where their clients become tenants. The building owners like this arrangement because they get vetted applicants, lower vacancy rates, and faster turnaround without needing to advertise themselves. Clients like this arrangement since they save tons of time, getting loads of free help from industry experts who know their local market. Unlike a home buyer, who may end up paying a 3% commission fee through their purchase contract, renters who enlist the help of an apartment locator, pay nothing.

Traditional real estate models won’t disappear anytime soon, but the emergence of startups has already transformed the industry in fundamental ways. As real estate market trends evolve, tech companies continue to grow, and clients increasingly demand more value for their money, these changes won’t slow down. The apartment locating sector serves as a great example because clients get great value for no money at all, and that’s pretty hard to beat.

Become an Apartment Locator

If you’re ready to embrace an exciting future in real estate that uses the latest technology to help people find their dream home, then join us! As an Apartment Locator, you get tons of support to succeed in the real estate rental market, and you could also earn a six-figure income. If you want to find out more, check out our career board and apply today. 

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.

About the Author
Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Washington, who specializes in real estate topics.