Rentwell - new tools for renters and landlords

There’s a new thing that we’ve been working on at CHOICE: Rentwell - renting for humans

Rentwell will eventually be a full service platform that makes it easy, transparent, and inexpensive to have a good relationship with your Renter or Owner, with no need for an agent in between.

Our first offer is a 360° home viewer and we have an example online now.

Check it out and let us know what you think! Also sign up for early access on the site if you’d like early access to the tools.

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Rentwell is an excellent initiative! I checked out the 360° home viewer and it’s very impressive.

What is the process of capturing the 360° views for the viewer? Does it require specialised equipment?

The only things I didn’t like about the viewer are: (a) The elevated perspective (it seems the camera mount point is higher than a standard-height human so a seemingly “straight-ahead” view is looking at the top part of doorways, etc); and (b) It seems to give a distorted impression of room/space dimensions. The rooms appear to be tiny - and perhaps they really are. My impression is that it would only take my squat little legs two paces to walk the entire length of the dining room.

Nonetheless, it is a brilliant idea, which would not just be good for renting but buying. When I think of the number of OFIs I attended over the years to look at properties, a tremendous amount of time could have been saved by having a realistic 360° virtual viewing - that would allow prospective renters/buyers to substantially filter the list to those properties one is really interested in. Generally spec’s and real estate photos don’t give a true impression of the place, even if one does progressively learn to interpret real estate hyperbole.


Thanks for the feedback @margotk, appreciate the thoughts. I’ll be sure to pass this on to the team working on Rentwell :thumbsup:

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Thanks @margotk!

We are still playing with the technology and think there are promising programs that may soon allow us to use our smartphones to actually take these type of 360° photos. For now though, we used a 360° camera for the shots.

Thanks for the feedback about the straight ahead view being too high and the reminder that this would be valuable for the buying market too. The feedback about the rooms being small - well that’s spot on, the rooms are quite small in real life too! Which is what we were aiming for - something more representative than the photos you generally see in real estate adverts.

What do you think of the idea of including a floorplan in the series - would that be useful?


Thanks for your response, Kalpana. Yes, I believe a floor plan would be extremely useful. When I was looking to buy - which was a very protracted process involving many OFI visits - I manually created a floor plan for each candidate property. The floor plan - and the checklist of features and comments I had documented - were very useful to me later in reviewing and comparing properties and vital to the decision-making process.

Also, in the past, I used floor plans with accurate dimensions when preparing to move in to properties. I planned furniture layouts in advance using MS Visio, so I knew what items would fit in in the space, and in what configuration. I then gave the Visio layouts to the removalists so there was no decision-making required at the time of the move-in - item placement was quick and efficient, and needed no rework.


Hi @KalpanaVignehsa

It looks great! The first screen should be a floor plan (with room sizes) of the premises. Thereafter screen should have a thumbnail plan that revolves/orients with the view. This would allow people to orient and understand what they are seeing. Also, I would put a North indicator in too with the plan and thumbnails, so viewers will know whether the room they are looking at is likely to get sun or not.

I disagree with the comment from @margotk about the elevated perspective. To me the view and perspectives seemed to be at normal view height.

Will this work with a VR headseat?

I think the ‘front page’ should be an external photo and synopsis of bedroom, baths, carparks / garages, study / office, whatevers, and price or at least indicative range. As Tamás suggested there should be a dimensioned floor plan. Consider the external view(s) as the cover page and have a button for the floor plan and another for the 360s internal photos to keep it simple, consistent and easier to maintain when there might be hundreds of properties.

Your ‘customers’ should receive a list of requirements as well as suggestions such as closing the toilet seat and removing clutter as best possible (there is a difference between knick knacks and decorations vs things awaiting being put away (esp in the kitchen) and general clutter. It could be getting overly complex, but in today’s world many could be concerned about power points so perhaps locate them on the floor plan.

To help ‘customers’ make a floor plan there are floor plan kits. The linked commercial package allows one floor plan free per user account, but that should suit a single customer if the licensing allows using that floor plan on the Choice product. There are others; I have no experience with this one, found via google. There are many alternatives (including visio, powerpoint, etc, but each requires some skill to make a presentable close to accurate portrayal of a floor plan so I do not recommend suggesting them, but likewise would not refuse them if they were acceptable quality.

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Hi @PhilT thanks for sending those ideas through. We’ll mull them over.