My family is currently living in a large, multi-family apartment complex. But our lease is up in a few months and we’re planning on renting a single-family home. We’re still a few months away from actually moving but wanted to kill some time today driving by a few houses and looking at the surrounding neighborhoods. While compiling a list of houses to look at, one description said the house was available for self-viewing and to contact them for viewing instructions.

I filled out the short contact form and requested to view the property. I got back an automated email from Rently. I’d never used Rently before, but I’ve used OpenDoor so I’m somewhat familiar with the self-tour concept. Basically, after entering some information and some automated vetting of your identity by the service, you’re granted access to the property.

Rently is no different. One thing I like about rently is that the process didn’t require downloading an app. Everything was handled via their mobile site but the user interface was still very intuitive and easy to follow. I completed the process in about 3 minutes in the driveway of the house I wanted to view. They required four bits of information to process my account:

  • Mobile phone number from my carrier. My Google Voice number was rejected
  • Pictures of the front and back of my driver’s license
  • Credit card information (more on this in a bit)
  • A selfie (actually, multiple selfies as I was prompted to turn my head left and right as they captured multiple angles)

They did actually charge my credit card. I was notified that they would charge my card .99c, and that would allow me to self-tour up to 20 houses over the next 30 days. .99c is more that free but it seems more than fair.

After verifying my identity (I have no idea what their verification back-end looks like. I was just notified instantly that I’d been verified), and charging my card, I was asked to enter the code on the lockbox at the door of the property. I did and they sent me a code via SMS to open the lockbox and retrieve the key to the front door.

All in all, it was a pretty painless process. The app was well done and the integration with the device camera was one of the best I’ve seen so far from a web application. As an applicant, I’d definitely use it again. And as a landlord, I’ll consider using it if I ever find myself in the position of self-managing my properties again.