Last night local proptech startup Flow unveiled some of the new features it is working for its renting platform. The big announcement is the addition of behavioural search, which the startup believes will be a true game changer for the local rental marketplace.
“The arrival of ‘Behavioural Search’ is set to revolutionise the rental property space and make finding the right property even easier and more rewarding for ‘Generation Rent’, Flow noted in a press release sent to Hypertext.
“The Behavioural Search functionality matches highly-profiled renters with the right properties and gives landlords the tools to retain good tenants,” it explains.
We were on hand last night to speak to Flow CEO and co-founder, Gil Sperling (pictured above), about the new features that the company is working on. He noted that the company’s previous focus was making the tenant experience on the platform as good as it can be. Sperling says that the new area of focus in the “landlords” as he terms it, and assisting in helping them find the right kind of tenants for their properties.
The CEO adds that the initial rollout of behavioural search in Johannesburg is for Flow to fine tune the system, as well as address any kinks or bugs, should there be. From there, he says Flow will likely do a countrywide rollout in three months time.
“We’ve solidified the concept of rewards for sound rental behaviour – and now we’re looking to unlock the full Flow journey,” highlighted Sperling.
“By harnessing the power of behavioural economics to unlock all aspects of the rental marketplace, we’re re-inventing the classifieds and offering unprecedented ease of rental for would-be tenants, and helping landlords manage their properties and relationships with tenants, more efficiently,” he adds.
As for what Flow is working on for the rest of 2020, the company is actively aiming to leverage the data-richness of the platform, which will see a greater engagement with other local startups as partners. When asked about the possibility of working with a company like SweepSouth for example, to offer cleaning services to Flow tenants at a discounted rate, he said it’s the kind of thing they are working on.
He also noted that Flow is constantly thinking about the regulation and policy implications of the data it has on hand, and explained that the company will always put the privacy and security of its users first.
Flow has already racked up an estimated 80 000 registered renters and 4 000 registered landlords to date. While Sperling would not give us insight into the goals the startup has set in terms of tenant and landlord numbers for 2020, he did say that they had some ambitious targets in mind.
“The additional functionality is going to change the way the South African rental property space functions, which is hugely exciting for us. Our focus for the next few months is on properties in the Johannesburg CBD, but we’ll be looking to expand rapidly into other areas and regions as more and more users sign up to make use of the platform,” he concluded.