Meet the Cork start-up that wants to change the way people rent in Ireland
Using technology such as Stripe Identity, HomeHak creates a database of tenants from which landlords can choose.
Irish start-up HomeHak aims to revolutionize the rental market in Ireland with technology that helps landlords and letting agents match tenants.
Founded late last year by Cork-born Pat Drinan, HomeHak is a proptech start-up trying to turn rental conventions around. The website serves as a database of potential tenant profiles that homeowners and agents can browse to find suitable candidates.
Tenants who register on the platform must upload a resume with their details, so that landlords can get an overview of their suitability for the rented property. A first in the Irish real estate market, tenant identities are verified with Stripe Identity and reference collection is streamlined.
Landlords and homeowners can advertise their properties for free on the HomeHak website, while tenants looking for properties must pay a “small membership fee” to communicate on the platform after a free trial.
Now on a mission to make HomeHak Europe’s largest database of tenants, Drinan said his start-up offers “a better alternative” for tenants and landlords in a highly competitive rental market.
“In the current real estate-based website model, hundreds of hopeful home seekers apply for a single property, but the majority are left disappointed.”
HomeHak wants to offer tenants the opportunity to distinguish themselves from the crowd. “A model like HomeHak that selects organized candidates is much more efficient and personal,” Drinan says.
Drinan, who has experienced the rental market as both a tenant and a landlord, is a financial expert who had the idea of founding HomeHak after identifying “unnecessary bureaucracy costs for all stakeholders” in the current model of the Irish rental market.
“We are a standalone independent company. Tenants own the data on their HomeHak tenant resume and the platform gives them control over how they use it. This is why we are different: we give organized tenants a platform to empower themselves.”
HomeHak also targets homeowners who want to rent a spare room for the medium to long term, but are uncomfortable with publicly advertising their property on existing real estate websites.
Instead, they can discreetly enter their home address on HomeHak and review tenants’ resumes before contacting applicants.
HomeHak already works with a number of rental companies.
“Our landlord clients expect us to carefully select the best tenants for their properties. We work hard to provide a professional and personalized service and we are always sensitive to the needs of home seekers applying for a home,” said Roisin Murray of Sherry Fitzgerald Lettings in Cork.
“We were immediately drawn to HomeHak’s efficiency improvements. It quickly identifies the right candidates for a particular property. When we update the status of a property, all applicants are automatically notified, saving many phone calls and emails to our office.”
Drinan and the HomeHak team have several banking products in the pipeline, including one aimed at employers and universities looking to help staff or students find suitable rental properties.
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