What’s in a name? Most ratings sites wouldn't give themselves a name with a negative connotation. But Chicago-based DoNotRent.com is throwing caution to the wind, likely to the chagrin of landlords and property managers everywhere.
Carpets look a little old? Funny smells or noisy hallways? Well, fellow apartment hunters will get all the dirt online before the reviewer taking the tour even makes it back down to the lobby thanks to the real-time mobile review feature the site. At least that’s the idea.
This recently launched website isn’t really much different than typical ratings and review websites that focus on mobile access and social media connectedness. Sure, DoNotRent.com is still in its infancy, but it’s hard not to wonder if it is just a gimmick name, or can actually be a useful resource for renters.
In my home city of Washington, D.C., a search of the site reveals that for the majority of listings, dozens (and in many cases hundreds) of visitors have clicked on specific properties, yet not a single review is to be found. While it’s great to get lots of page views, how likely is a renter to return to the website or refer a friend if there is no valuable information to be had? Time will tell if DoNotRent.com will sink or swim, but it has a long way to go if it wants to engage renters and keep them coming back.