Lovely describes itself as "the only rental marketplace where renters can search, apply, and pay rent within a single, fully integrated platform." Spot on example of one more firm taking responsibility for the customer experience from End to End.
All news coverage has noted that a monthly rent check is one of, if not THE only physical check that many renters write every month. Finding a stamp, an envelope and a mailbox can be a surprisingly significant challenge, at times resulting in late payments for renters who manage the rest of their lives online.
Given this dynamic - Lovely takes a terrific new tack on technology adoption.
As covered in the Verge and Inman, rather than relying on landlords and property managers to change the way they accept payments, Lovely enables renters - the ones with the most to gain - to drive adoption. In a model similar to Open Table, the system is free for consumers and monetizes with a nominal charge for B2B users. I love this - as it decentralizes decision-making and makes it easier for individual customers to drive their landlords towards solutions the renters prefer.
Real estate as an industry is often criticized for its hesitation to adopt new technology. However, slower innovation is understandable and, in many cases, logical - because change is risky. For the most part, the traditional procedures such as rent checks "work" - and any departure from the normal process could potentially cause more harm than good (if it ain't broke, don't f$@# with it....etc). So, if Pay with Lovely works, it may alleviate landlord anxiety, by providing 'proof' that customers want and will use the new method.
The payments story has been in the works for months. Lovely closed its Series A and acquired Rentmatic.com last November. Rentmatic is reported to have processed more than $60 million in rent payments since it opened for business in 2006, and Lovely aims to leverage that technology in its new platform.
Lovely is sweetening the deal with an awesome rent giveaway of up to $2,500 for renters who adopt Pay with Lovely. If Lovely paid your rent for one month, what would YOU do with the money?!