Welcome to “The Rentals” chapter of the Marketplace Academy! So, are you ready to dive into the exciting world of the rental marketplace? 

Starting a rental business can be an incredibly rewarding venture, whether you’re interested in the rental businesses to start like cars, homes, equipment, or any other type of rental. But before you jump in, it’s important to consider a few crucial factors that will set you up for success.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through five essential things to keep in mind when starting your rental marketplace. 

By paying attention to these key considerations right from the start, you’ll be able to lay a strong foundation for your platform and ensure a smooth and prosperous journey in the rental marketplace.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover the important aspects that will help you establish a thriving rental marketplace!

5 Things to Consider When You Start A Rental Marketplace

Proper consideration and planning are essential before you start a rental business. The 5P also known as the Marketing Mix, can provide a framework to guide your decision-making process and ensure that you cover all the important aspects of your rental marketplace. Let’s take a look at each of the 5 P’s

  1. Profit – The Revenue which will be generated from the platform.
  2. Product – The core of your business which represents your platform.
  3. Peculiarities – That makes your product stand out from the competition.
  4. Probe – The diverse study helps to make the marketplace successful.
  5. Price – Determining the affordable price that attracts your customers.
5 P's to consider when starting a rental marketplace

Having the best rental business ideas only does not bring success to your rental marketplace. You need to create a rental business software that attracts more users which will lead to more revenue. So, 

What Is My Rental Marketplace Revenue Stream?

Obviously! You cannot start a rental business without thinking about its revenue. So the first P you should consider is the “Profit.

How are you gonna generate profit from your rental marketplace?

Let’s see some popular rental marketplace revenue models.

Online Rental Platform's Revenue Model

Commission Fees

This revenue model involves charging a commission or transaction fee on each transaction that occurs through the rental marketplace. The fee is typically a percentage of the rental price and can be collected from either the owner or the renter.

For example, if the commission fee is 10% and the rental price is $100, the marketplace would earn $10 from that transaction. This approach allows the marketplace to earn revenue directly from the rental activity facilitated through its platform.

Listing Fees

Certainly, some rental marketplaces charge owners a fee for listing their items on the platform. This fee can be a one-time payment or a recurring subscription fee, depending on the pricing structure of the rental marketplace.

Owners pay this fee to showcase their rental items to a broader audience and benefit from the platform’s user base and marketing efforts.

Featured Listings

To boost visibility and attract more renters, rental marketplaces offer featured listing options. Owners can pay an additional fee to have their listings prominently displayed or promoted on the website or in search results. 

Featured listings often receive more views and inquiries, increasing the chances of successful rentals. This premium placement generates extra revenue for the rental marketplace while providing owners with enhanced exposure for their rental items.

Premium Services

Rental marketplaces may offer additional premium services that provide value to users and generate revenue. These services can include options like enhanced customer support, insurance coverage, extended rental periods, or additional features and benefits. 

Users who opt for these premium services pay a fee on top of their regular rental transactions, allowing the rental marketplace to generate additional revenue while providing an elevated experience for those who choose to utilize these services.


The rental marketplace can leverage its platform’s user base and website traffic to display targeted advertisements from third-party businesses in the rental industry. 

Advertisers pay the marketplace for ad placements that reach the marketplace’s audience, which allows the marketplace to generate revenue through advertising partnerships. 

These ads can be displayed on the website, within email newsletters, or through other marketing channels.

So the 2p is the workflow, how your rental marketplace platform will help the owner and renter.

How Does Your Rental Marketplace Work?

Renting products online typically follows a similar process across various rental marketplaces. 

How Does Renting Products Online Works?

Browsing and Searching

Users visit the rental marketplace website or app and browse through the available inventory of rental products. They can search for specific items or explore categories to find what they need. Filters and search options help narrow down the choices based on location, dates, price range, and other relevant criteria.

Viewing and Selecting

Once users find a product they are interested in renting, they can select the item and view its details. The details can be including pricing, availability, rental terms, and any additional information provided by the owner. Users can review photos, descriptions, and user ratings if available. If satisfied, they proceed to reserve the item for specific rental dates.

Communication and Logistics

After reserving the item, the renter and the owner may need to communicate. This is essential to discuss pickup or delivery logistics, clarify any details, or arrange a meeting point. The rental marketplace usually provides a messaging system or contact information for this purpose. Some marketplaces also facilitate user verification to enhance trust and security between parties.

Payment and Reservation in the Rental Marketplace

Users are typically required to provide payment information upfront to secure the reservation. Rental marketplaces may hold the payment until the rental period begins, ensuring that both parties fulfill their obligations. Payment methods can include credit/debit cards, digital wallets, or other online payment options supported by the platform.

Pickup and Delivery

Depending on the rental arrangement, the renter and owner agree on a pickup location. Or in some cases, the owner may offer delivery services for an additional fee. Users coordinate the logistics and timing to ensure a smooth handover of the rented product.

Rental Period and Responsibility

The renter uses the product during the agreed-upon rental period. They are responsible for taking care of the item and adhering to any guidelines or restrictions provided by the owner. The rental marketplace may offer support and guidance. This can be on how to resolve any disputes or issues that may arise during the rental period.

Return and Inspection 

At the end of the rental period, the renter returns the product to the owner in the agreed condition. Both parties may inspect the item together to ensure its condition matches the pre-rental agreement. 

Feedback and Ratings

The rental marketplace often encourages users to provide feedback and ratings for each other. This is to foster transparency and accountability within the rental community.

It’s important to note that specific processes and procedures may vary. Because it depends on the rental marketplace, the type of products being rented, and additional services or features by the platform.

The answer to your question How to set up a rental business? is to determine the features that your users will look for in your rental marketplace. Thus, the 3rd P defines how you gonna make the workflow happen. 

What Are The Features You Need In Your Rental Marketplace Software

Indeed, creating a rental marketplace has gained significant popularity in recent years. The success stories of rental marketplaces like Airbnb, Chegg, Rent the Runway, and others have inspired many ambitious entrepreneurs to venture into the sharing economy. 

These rental marketplaces have revolutionized various industries by enabling individuals to monetize their underutilized assets and providing convenient rental options to consumers.

The sharing economy model offers numerous advantages. Some of them are cost savings, increased access to a wide range of products and services, and the opportunity for individuals to generate income from their unused or idle resources. 

This concept has resonated with consumers who seek more sustainable and efficient ways of acquiring the items they need for temporary use.

Understanding what consumers seek when they rent items online is essential for new companies in this industry to succeed.

Features You Need In Your Marketplace

Communication And Responsiveness

Users value effective communication with the owner or rental marketplace. They appreciate prompt responses to inquiries, clear instructions regarding pickup or delivery, and overall responsiveness throughout the rental process.

User Ratings And Reviews

Users often rely on the experiences and feedback of previous renters. They look for user ratings and reviews to gain insights into the owner’s reliability, the product’s performance, and the overall rental experience. Positive reviews and high ratings can instill confidence in potential renters.

Trust And Security In The Rental Marketplace

Users prioritize trust and security when renting products online. They look for rental marketplaces that provide verification processes for owners and renters, secure payment options, and measures to protect against fraud or misrepresentation.

Additional Services Or Features 

Depending on the type of product, users may seek additional services or features. For example, delivery and pickup services, insurance coverage, and flexible cancellation policies. Or optional accessories may enhance the rental experience and add value for users.

The answer to the question How to start a rental business? is to have a vast array of perspectives and insights in your rental marketplace market research. Thus, the 4th P defines how you going to expand your rental marketplace business. 

Have You Explored A Wide Range Of Rental Marketplaces In Your Market Research?

To attract new tenants effectively, it’s crucial to adopt a diverse marketing approach rather than relying solely on a single platform. There is a wide range of opportunities and platforms at your disposal. 

Avoid putting all your efforts in a single direction. Instead, vary your strategies to reach a broader audience of individuals searching for their perfect rental home. By expanding your reach, you enhance the likelihood of filling up your bookings.

How to run a rental business

Social Media for Rental Marketplace

Utilizing social media is an effective and cost-efficient strategy to promote your online rental platforms. 

The majority of your target market actively engages with social media platforms, making them an ideal avenue for attracting attention and building trust. Thus, establishing a reliable and trustworthy image for your rental properties is crucial for individuals and families seeking accommodations.

Social media platforms facilitate a more personalized yet professional relationship, fostering customer loyalty and promoting business growth. 

Among social media platforms, Facebook remains the most widely used across different age groups and demographics. Therefore, it is a logical starting point for your marketing efforts.

However, if you aim to target younger generations specifically, it is essential to explore channels that they use often. For example, Instagram. 

By understanding the preferences and habits of your target renters, you can invest more time and effort in platforms that are popular among them.

When utilizing social media, it is vital to incorporate visual content such as photographs and videos to capture people’s attention effectively. 

Compelling visuals can showcase your rental properties and entice potential tenants to learn more about your offerings.

Create a Rental Business Marketplace

In today’s digital landscape, having a high-quality website remains crucial, regardless of the various marketplace marketing strategies you employ. Your website serves as a central platform to showcase each of your rental properties in the best possible way. 

It provides you with the flexibility to modify, update, add, or remove information as needed, ensuring that you present accurate and up-to-date details to potential tenants.

Having a website incurs minimal additional costs beyond the expenses associated with website maintenance, such as your monthly hosting subscription. However, the benefits outweigh the investment. 

An interactive website offers enhanced functionality, allowing secure online payments and featuring a booking calendar. These features empower your business by streamlining the rental process and offering convenience to potential tenants.

To maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, always include a link back to your website pages in any additional advertisements, classifieds, or social media posts you create. This approach ensures that interested individuals have easy access to your website, where they can find comprehensive information about your rental properties.

By leveraging your website, you can provide a wealth of information to prospective tenants, showcasing your offerings and establishing credibility and professionalism in the rental market.

Does Your Rental Business Have Competitive Prices?

The ultimate goal of renting out properties is to generate income. However, simply relying on successful marketing and brand development is not sufficient. Charging a fair and reasonable rate for each night’s stay is crucial for maximizing revenue.

Does Your Marketplace Have Competitive Prices?

To determine the appropriate pricing, it is advisable to examine comparable listings in the vicinity as well as larger hotels and resorts. 

While your seaside apartment may differ from a hotel room just a block away, potential visitors to the area will compare both options before making a decision. 

Pricing should take into account factors such as location, available amenities, nearby attractions, seasonality, and even the day of the week. Researching the pricing of neighboring rentals can provide further insights into these variations.

Additionally, it is important to stay informed about local events, special holidays, and what attracts people to the area during the off-season. This knowledge can help you maximize profits throughout the year.

If you have recently purchased your first rental property and lack historical data to rely on, it is wise to primarily focus on your competitors. 

Since you don’t have reviews or an established brand reputation yet, offering a lower introductory price can be a strategic approach. 

By undercharging and over-delivering, you can foster customer satisfaction, drive company expansion, and pave the way for future success.

Building A Successful B2B Rental Marketplace Is Not Easy

Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, highlighted the challenges they faced in convincing people worldwide to stay in private residences. Initially, they struggled to secure investors and resorted to self-funding. 

To populate their platform, they took unconventional measures such as selling collectible breakfast cereal and personally photographing apartments door-to-door. Chesky even lived in the hosts’ living rooms. Through these efforts, communities started growing, and the Airbnb concept gained momentum.

The story of Airbnb’s inception demonstrates that building a successful marketplace business requires substantial effort. Merely having an idea and launching a website is just the starting point. 

Overcoming the chicken-and-egg problem becomes crucial—convincing inventory providers to join the marketplace before there are buyers, and attracting buyers when there is limited inventory.

Moreover, introducing a new concept often requires a significant shift in mindset. Airbnb faced this challenge by revolutionizing the notion of staying in strangers’ homes and renting out one’s own space to unknown individuals. 

It took time and considerable effort to change this mindset. Airbnb’s success stemmed from offering an exceptionally convenient solution for finding accommodations.

Lastly, it is important to recognize that B2B rental marketplace businesses rarely achieve overnight success. They typically require patience and perseverance to reach critical mass and establish a strong presence in the market.

Hope this guide helps you to start a rental business successfully!