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Chicago startup aims to pay apartment seekers, build community

Rentgrata is a Chicago based startup that pays renters when they sign their lease (Apple App Store)

Rentgrata is a Chicago based startup that pays renters when they sign their lease (Apple App Store)

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Looking for an apartment isn’t always the most glamorous task, especially for college students. Rentgrata is a new service aimed to ease that process and get apartment seekers paid for signing their lease.

The Chicago-based company, incorporated in October 2016, is an iOS app and web-based platform that allows apartment seekers to search for available apartments and chat with current residents of the apartment communities that interest them. If the apartment seeker and the resident of the apartment community chat on Rentgrata and then the apartment seeker signs a lease, both parties split referral bonus that’s paid out by the property manager.

“It’s a social sharing economy take on the whole apartment search process because there is that monetary benefit that’s split between our two users,” CEO Ben Margolit said. “We’re giving them the ability to really transform the way they think about their apartment lease not just as money going out the door every month, but think of it as somewhat of an asset, a way for them to generate a little bit of side hustle income.”

Aside from trying to make the apartment searching process more enjoyable, Rentgrata also aims to build a community feeling in apartment buildings. This community feeling is something that COO Sam McArtor said makes users want to join Rentgrata.

“That incentive to sign up for Rentgrata is there not only because you can make a little bit of money on the side, but also because people like giving feedback,” McArtor said. “It’s a really great way to build community at a property because if you are moving into a building and you’ve had a chance to talk to someone on Rentgrata, you might already have an acquaintance at that building.”

Rentgrata users sign up through Facebook. This process involves the user submitting their address alongside their likes and interests. From that point, the apartment seeker can browse through apartments and once they find a place of interest they will see a list of current available residents. The residents are organized in the order of Facebook connections while everyone else is sorted on the basis of likes and interests.

“The platform makes it easier to connect with someone whether they’re your current friend, a Facebook connection, or another Rentgrata user who’s signed up as a resident of the building,” McArtor said. “We wanted to make the process of signing up to be a resident at a building straightforward because we want the experience to be simple without any major hurdles.”

Left to right: CFO Zach Sloan, COO Sam McArtor, CEO Ben Margolit. (Photo courtesy of Sam McArtor)

Rentgrata’s third co-founder and CFO is Zach Sloan. The platform’s first hire came in September 2017 when Max Bryan was brought on board to be the Technology Strategist and Developer. In January, Built in Chicago, an online community for tech companies and startups, named Rentgrata to its Top 50 Startups to Watch list in 2018.

However, there are still more goals — such as nationwide expansion, signing on to more properties, and spreading brand awareness — that the group wants to achieve.  

“Most property managers have these referral programs in place,” Margolit said. “There just wasn’t an effective way for them to get as much visibility and much use as they would like, so giving the current resident a passive way to more frequently and more easily utilize those programs is really what we’re offering.”

Carley Ross, a Rentgrata user who referred her building to another user, mentioned that Rentgrata provides insider information that some apartment finding services lack.

“I would 100 percent recommend the app to students and young adults,” Ross said. “The app is easy to use and residents will give you the ‘scoop’ on the building’s surrounding area, amenities, and apartment units. The leasing office was able to provide some great information about the area, but nothing as candid as what Rentgrata can provide.”

Most of the buildings that Rentgrata works with are in Chicago, but they’re starting to sign with properties outside of the Windy City in markets such as St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Rentgrata also recently brought on student housing properties at both Texas A&M and Arizona State.

19 Comments

19 Responses to “Chicago startup aims to pay apartment seekers, build community”

  1. Robert Jason on July 25th, 2018 6:50 pm

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  6. Raphael on August 17th, 2018 7:55 am

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    I know that a phycologist might not be able to help me go through divorce because it has never worked for me. Divorcing could traumatize our kids, I can’t let them be emotionally crippled.
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  10. Natalie Wayne on January 27th, 2019 12:12 pm

    I was hurt and heart broken when my husband left me with two kids for one year, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I’m not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Jesse who told me about a spell caster called Dr.Oku, She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 28 hours my husband will come back to me, In no less than 28hours my husband came back started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I’m still surprise till now about this miracle,i couldn’t conceive but as soon as the spell was cast,i became pregnant and gave birth to my third child(Michelle) if you need any assistance from him you can contact him via:email; okutemple@gmail.com , you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2347053113465 and tell him I referred you to him

  11. Annastacia Glen on January 28th, 2019 3:03 am

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    I’m so excited! Thanks to Dr. Ahmed for bringing back my Ex-husband and brought great joy to me today! Ahmedutimate (at) gmail (dot) com is certainly the best spell caster online, if you need your Ex lover back fast! And his result is 100% guarantee
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  12. Kallya on March 3rd, 2019 6:06 pm

    Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo .com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail .com

    WhatsApp +2347059715465

  13. MICHEAL DONALD on March 9th, 2019 1:10 am

    When I found Dr. JATTO I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. She left me for another man. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. She just dumped me after 7 years with no explanation. I contact Dr JATTO through his Email and WhatsApp and He told me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did his spell, my wife started texting me again and felt horrible for what she just put me through. She said that I was the most important person in her life and she knows that now. We moved in together and she was more open to me than before and then she started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr. JATTO helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr JATTO to anyone in need of help Cure or Relationship problems.

    Contact him via

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  14. RICHARD SMART on March 9th, 2019 1:12 am

    I want to say thanks to Dr. JATTO for everything so far. To everyone who doesn’t believe in spell, I was one of those at first. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do this since I’ve tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of time and money. However, when I read through the testimonials of other people at this website and after I talked to Dr. JATTO who answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my Wife back. So my story is that I was at my office when my Wife wrote me that he wasn’t in love with me and never will be and that he didn’t want to speak or see me again, especially since she was talking to this other guy, When I talked to Dr. JATTO , he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the ones that was to get her back to me and stay with me forever. As soon as he started on the spells, my Wife came back in to my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to Dr. JATTO. if you asked me or my friends if I would have participated how this happen no one will ever believe it,well right now every thing is all right,
    KINDLY CONTACT HIM BELOW WITH HIS INFORMATION.

    WEB_PAGE= https : // web . facebook . com / obazespellhome /
    EMAIL= jattospiritualtemple @ gmail . com
    WHAT’S_APP= +2348159994343
    CALL= +2348156994343

    GOD BLESS YOU.

  15. Jenna on March 16th, 2019 12:46 am

    Hello my name is Jenna i want to share my amazing experience with the greatest spell caster Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and when i found out we had a fight which lead to him filling for a divorce i cried and fell sick when i was searching about love quotes online i saw people talking about him and his great work whose case was similar to mine they left his contact info i contacted him and he told me not to worry that after 24hrs he will cancel the divorce and be back to me after i did everything he asked me to do to my greatest surprise the next day evening it was my husband he knelt down begging me to accept him back,thank you once again Priest Ade you are indeed a blessing to me he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo .com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail .com

    WhatsApp +2347059715465 .

  16. martin marisa on March 17th, 2019 5:58 am

    My name is martin Marisa from Canada, I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr ozalogbo He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my husband who left me, When i contacted Dr ozalogbo he cast a love spell for me, and my husband who said he doesn’t have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me to come back. he is back now with so much love and care. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers to restore broken relationship back. because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Dr ozalogbo can also offer any type of help like, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot’s more. You can contact him Via his email ozalogboshrine@gmail.com call or add him on whatsapp with his phone number +2348162562991

  17. Kallya on March 21st, 2019 11:52 pm

    Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo .com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail .com

    WhatsApp +2347059715465 ..

  18. amanda on March 25th, 2019 4:10 pm

    My Dear friends online, My name is amanda bella And i live in USA, ohio, I have to give this miraculous testimony, which is so unbelievable until now. I had a problem with my Ex husband 2 years ago, which lead to our break up. I was not myself again, i felt so empty inside me, my love and financial situation became worst, until a close friend of mine told me about a spell caster who helped her in the same problem too his name is Doctor Jude. I email the spell caster and i told him my problem and i did what he asked of me, to cut the long story short. Before i knew what was happen, less than two days my husband gave me a call and told me that he was coming back to me i was so happy to have him back to me. The most interesting part of the story is that am pregnant. Thanks to Doctor jude for saving my marriage and for also saving others own too. Continue your good work, If you are interested to contact the great spell caster email address: liberationlovespell@gmail.com or contact him on whatsapp +2348034062173

  19. linda mark on March 27th, 2019 6:14 pm

    My name is Linda Mark from Canada, I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real on line spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Dr Ade He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my husband who left me, When i contacted Dr Ade he cast a love spell for me, and my husband who said he doesn’t have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me to come back. he is back now with so much love and care. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers to restore broken relationship back. because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Dr can also offer any type of help like, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot’s more. You can contact him Via his email adespelltemplehome@gmail.com call or add him on whats app with his phone number +1(412)405 1961.

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