Some of the most successful companies are born out of a founder’s real-life experiences and needs. This was certainly the case with LoftSmart, a platform that allows students to hunt down, apply for, and lease well-rated, affordable housing in the local community.
They recently integrated HelloSign’s API to form the crux of their paperless rental platform. HelloSign was one of LoftSmart’s first integrations and inspired some seriously delightful results.
Read on to learn more!
How LoftSmart Came to Be So Smart
LoftSmart’s founders Sam Bernstein and Sundeep Kumar both experienced first hand the pains of signing a lease in the dark. Sam’s very first apartment rental appeared perfect under most lenses. What he learned soon after moving in, however, was that six times a day a train would whiz past, rattling the entire apartment complex.
Sundeep shared: “Both Sam and I were extremely frustrated with our living situations in college. Sam decided to look outward rather than internalize the frustration and realized that the rest of the student community was dealing with similar issues. There had to be a way to help students find and lease their ideal home.”
Thus, the seedlings of LoftSmart took root.
Sam created a review site where would-be renters could seek honest reviews for local rentals. It didn’t take long to catch hold. There are, after all, woefully few options like this available, with most apartment hunting being done on the hit-or-miss Craigslist marketplace. Not willing to stop there, Sam, Sundeep, and their team of five soon evolved the site. They created a platform that would allow students to not only browse reviews, but also complete the entire rental process online – from application to rental lease.
The result was an ideal solution for an increasingly technology-hungry student rental market. The creation of their platform, of course, included choosing a trustworthy and reliable eSignature solution for all the online rental paperwork.
LoftSmart’s HelloSign Integration
Just as Amazon’s online marketplace is built to showcase customer reviews and provide the means to complete a transaction, LoftSmart allows renters to browse listings, apply for housing using HelloSign’s embedded requesting functionality, request co-signing signatures, and finalize payments in one, easy-to-navigate platform.
Here’s exactly how LoftSmart’s HelloSign integration works.
Property owners or managers first work with LoftSmart to upload and format housing applications and rental paperwork. The depth and length of these documents ranges anywhere from a few pages to 40+. Once the rentals are officially approved, they’re listed on LoftSmart’s platform, right in front of the eyes of thousands of students gunning to rent.
As soon as a student user of the platform finds a place that sounds like a good fit, the student submits an inquiry. This rental inquiry pulls up an embedded, branded application in an iFrame.
The student then effortlessly enters in their information and submits the inquiry. They use a similar online flow to submit a credit check when required (taking advantage of LoftSmart’s credit check integration).
If accepted, the student has the option to complete the rest of the rental paperwork on LoftSmart, and request a signature from a co-signer using HelloSign’s “cc” feature. As a final step, the student the agency or property manager legally sign their portion of the lease right on LoftSmart’s platform. The online, embedded nature of this flow makes the rental agreement portion truly easy and painless for all parties.
Here's an overview of what they see on LoftSmart:
Who Benefits from the Integration?
LoftSmart’s use of embedded HelloSign features has ensured that the entire rental experience is seamless. This gives their platform a game-changing advantage over the traditional methods of crawling separate real estate websites and going through the application process by hand.
“At the end of the day, we want students to have a one stop shop to help them do everything from discover to lease local rentals with the trust, transparency, and convenience of a platform like Airbnb.”
Students, who are largely already familiar with a digital world, are in fact expecting such a solution. They're delighted by the ability to easily browse and select apartments on one site. Additionally, property managers – who may be stuck in a cycle of fruitless renting or management processes – are ready for a better solution as well. They’re excited to eliminate the cumbersome paperwork flows that cause friction and slow them down. Finally, LoftSmart built its platform upon valuable integrations, making much needed updates on an old system.
LoftSmart’s model could very well change the way the student housing market is run, in no small part buoyed by the crucial addition of effortless electronic completion and signing for oh-so-tedious rental documents. LoftSmart’s paperless-ness, along with powerful integrations to perform real-time credit checks and payments processing, truly elevates the value of their platform to their users.
What’s Next for LoftSmart?
Most recently, LoftSmart raised 1.7M in capital to invest into the platform. They currently serve markets surrounding University of Texas, University of Southern California, University of South Carolina, University of Michigan, and more. They plan to expand nationally and provide their service in every corner of the US.
Visit LoftSmart to learn more about how they're rebuilding the foundation of rentals. Tell them we said hi! If you’re interested in adding exceptional, branded signing into your application or workflow, we’d love to help you get there. Explore our HelloSign platform to explore all the options.