Move, Inc., which operates Realtor.com, announced Tuesday it has acquired Avail, a platform that provides online tools, educational content and support for do-it-yourself landlords and tenants.
The acquisition expands Realtor.com’s presence in the rental space and augments its current listing content. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Avail online platform offers landlords free workflow tools, as well as upgraded functionality and customizations which allow landlords to create and market rental listings, screen applicants, access state- and city-specific lease agreements, process payments and track maintenance requests.
The platform also offers tools for renters, including ways to complete rental applications, sign leases, pay rent, submit maintenance requests and access related products and services like renters insurance.
“This acquisition is a key part of our strategy to make finding a home easier and more rewarding,” said David Doctorow, CEO of realtor.com. “We believe that Avail is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the DIY landlords and tenants in a large, growing and underserved market. By combining Avail’s rentals listing content and easy-to-use tools with realtor.com’s large audience, consumer experience platform and insights, we believe we can deliver more value to DIY landlords and tenants.”
In July, Avail raised $4.2 million in a Series A round of funding, led by St. Louis-based venture capital firm Cultivation Capital. Avail has experienced significant growth this year despite the coronavirus pandemic, the company said, as more landlords move their rental businesses online and consumers look for contactless rental opportunities.
“We are excited about joining the team at realtor.com, and see this acquisition as a tremendous opportunity for our customers,” said Avail CEO Ryan Coon. “Leveraging realtor.com®‘s industry expertise and scale will allow us to expand our platform capabilities and offerings so we can continue to deliver high-quality services, tools and education to even more landlords and tenants.”
Coon, Avail co-founder Laurence Jankelow and the company’s 30+ person team will join Move, Inc., which is a subsidiary of News Corp.
Residential rentals are a growing part of the U.S. market. According to an analysis of American Community Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, people spend more than $500 billion per year on rent in the U.S., and DIY landlords, defined as landlords with 1-20 units, own and manage about three quarters of all of those.