Jan 13 2011
For those who are reasonably web savvy, listing a property online for rent isn’t that hard. All you do is create a Craigslist ad, title it, “Rent My House,” and await the inquiries. Much can be said about the need for Craigslist to go the way of the dodo and for them to bow out gracefully from their pole position in the online classifieds sector. For the time being however, we’re stuck with them. Their plain text ads, which provide a few unexciting editing options, are all we have to connect buyers and sellers online.
Filling a specific niche within the online classifieds market is MyRental.info. It’s a site that caters to those who would like to advertise possessions they have available to rent. This can be anything from a house, car, portable bbq pit, or just about anything you can think of. They provide custom web pages designed specifically for describing your rental opportunity. It readily integrates with Craigslist, as well as can be shared on all major social networking sites.
MyRental works as follows. You register for a free account (while still in beta), then you select your unique domain extension for your rental. For example these can be, “RentMyHouse,” or “RentMyDog,” to help attract users. Then it brings you to the Manage my Rental page which provides a complete set of options. You can select a custom theme, add a banner, description, testimonial, photos, video, map, brochure, and set up the availability. The videos are embedded from YouTube, photos are uploaded directly to their server, the map is from Google Maps, and availability uses a fully functional booking tool. Here you can set what dates are available and establish the price. It comes with multiple options including the ability to receive payments online and book the rental. It can also accept deposits, at whatever percent of the total you like. Payments are managed through PayPal. If the reservation options aren’t compatible with the owner’s needs they can handle payment outside MyRental’s system as well.
Of particular interest is the brochure. This is the embed code you can use to insert your custom ad anywhere on the web, including Craigslist. Importing content from an external source is a small way we can get back at Craigslist for providing such minimal functionality. Another point of interest is the flying bird animation. For those who wait a few seconds they’ll see a seagull fly across the screen. It’s the one non business-like ‘piece of flair’ of the site. Our vote is to add a few more of these configurable Easter eggs. Perhaps a flying house for all the Rent My House ads. To view this winged curiosity just click on the image below.
The end result of setting up the various features is a custom webpage. We took a few minutes to create our own,
which can be seen here (was since pulled down). You’ll notice the city skyline banner, tabs for photos, video, description, as well as availability and contact page. At the bottom is the Meebo sharing toolbar which makes it easy to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. My favorite feature is the availability page. Here you can select the dates you’d like to rent a SlapStart (spacious rooms with views!). Once selected it brings you to the contact page with your preferred dates already populated.
MyRental does what (arguably) every website should- caters to a niche market and integrates with the existing one. They focus on one thing and one thing only- Marketing your rentals online. The booking and availability features set their service apart, allowing owners to secure reservations and payments without any hassle. With their custom URLs and attractive themes, renting out properties is now easier than ever. Plus, it comes with one of the neatest seagull animations we’ve seen to date.