Online shop for rental apartments reaches tenants at record pace

Retta Asuntovuokrauksen johtaja Jussi Lindholm

During the first half of the year, Retta’s online shop for rental apartments has broken records in rental volumes and reached hundreds of thousands of website visitors. Agreements, signed from start to finish in the online service, are created at all hours of the day. At the fastest, an apartment was rented in less than an hour after the ad was placed online.

In spring 2023, Retta launched a new kind of online shop, through which tenants can find a suitable rental apartment and enter into a lease agreement by themselves – anywhere and at any time.

The service has gained more popularity than expected and attracted more than 100,000 potential tenants in six months to browse the selection of apartments. Based on the data, visitors are there with serious intent: hundreds of leases are created in the online shop every month. At its fastest, the apartment is rented less than an hour after it is published in the service. In the fastest cases, the tenant has received a signed agreement as well as moving instructions by email within 15 minutes of wanting to rent an apartment.

Direct rentals have proven to be a viable way of finding a rental home

Director of Residential Leasing Jussi Lindholm from Retta Management says that real estate investors have welcomed the new direct rental channel with enthusiasm.

“The pace has been even faster than we anticipated, and we have set new records in online rentals every month,” says Lindholm.

The online shop makes it easier and faster to find tenants and improves the visibility of listings in a competitive and challenging market. In addition to investors, customers who have found a home in the online shop have given the service excellent ratings across the board.

Feedback regarding renting homes online has been very positive and those who have used the online shop would also recommend the service to their friends and family. The ease and speed of renting receives the most praise: “no extra hassle”. As one satisfied tenant put it: “for once, a service that works!”

Being multichannel helps in a challenging market situation

Lindholm thinks that the online shop has been particularly successful in reaching busy people who want to find a new apartment quickly and without the hassle of traditional housing applications or queuing.

“The apartment can truly be rented even in the middle of the night,” describes Lindholm – and this has often been done, as leases have already been signed at all hours of the day.

Alongside the online shop, we still have a broker-led rental agency, so tenants can continue renting apartments with an application and by looking for suitable homes with a broker. Similarly, Retta’s customer service is there to support customers on weekdays.

“Every apartment in the online shop can also be rented in the usual manner,” Lindholm notes as a reminder.

In the future, online housing shops will become even more versatile

Lindholm says that the development of the service will continue: the goal is that by 2024, the tenant could, for example, order a new key to their rental apartment in the online shop, or even get home insurance or an electricity contract for their apartment at the same time.

“We are actively examining the various options together with our customers, testing them and bringing the most usable and useful ones to the service,” continues Lindholm.

The online shop was launched right before the peak season: Finns are typically most actively moving in the summer and early autumn. The future will tell us how the online shop can, at best, help even out seasonal fluctuations and increase the rental volumes in quieter months.

Lindholm believes that the online shop will also support the traditional work of a broker and enable even better customer service for those who do not opt for a direct rental.

Additional information

Jussi Lindholm
Director, Residential Leasing
tel.  +358 400 612 326

Read more about Retta’s residential leasing services for real estate investors