New Island Business: Bid on Nantucket
Ed Tranter, pictured with his family below, has been visiting and vacationing on Nantucket for more than 20 years. I asked Ed what brought him to launch his new web business, Nantucket’s newest way to rent or list a home.
“The idea of BidOnNantucket.com came to me after my family had purchased a home here. Learning what the market was like for a homeowner who wanted to rent, coupled with the experience I gained from renting other people’s homes summer after summer for so many years, got me thinking. In addition to the fact that life today is very fast-paced and that people want to be in control and make quick decisions, they also want to save money. BidOnNantucket.com is designed to address all these concerns.”
“As a homeowner, when I realized that I didn’t have to involve a third party broker to close a rental deal, I could not only speed up the entire process, but also save the renter and myself some money. More specifically, there were available weeks during the year that were left unrented, and I wanted the opportunity to try to fill these weeks myself by speaking directly with potential renters. It was important to me to have control over renting my home instead of having it remain vacant, and I wanted the ability to negotiate a deal that would satisfy the renter’s needs and mine. If I had any questions for the homeowner, I could address them immediately.”
“The concept seemed like a win-win on both sides.”
Launched in March, 2011, BidOnNantucket.com is a real estate rental auction website designed to help Nantucket homeowners reach renters who are specifically looking to vacation on Nantucket.
There is no cost for renters. They sign up on the website for a user name and password and start bidding on their Nantucket vacation rental. Once a renter has registered, he or she may contact the homeowner directly, saving broker’s fees while getting a good sense of what the property is like – location, lease specifications, the homeowner’s rules and island amenities, etc.
For homeowners, BidOnNantucket.com reaches potential renters looking to vacation on Nantucket. Homeowners can communicate directly with their prospective renters, saving money and at the same time screening interested renters for those who will respect and take care of the property. The homeowner decides what level of contact he or she wants to have with a prospective renter.
BidOnNantucket does not get involved in how a homeowner prices the rental. Listing a home on BidOnNantucket does not preclude the homeowner from listing the property with a realtor, nor trying to rent the home themselves.
As a homeowner, there are two listing options:
~ “Featured Listing”, $99/month: the home will be one of four highlighted on the main page of BidOnNantucket.com for one month.
~ “Latest Listing”, free for one month: Sign up, follow a simple three-step process to list your home, and wait for potential renters to contact you – no upfront fees, no back-end fees when you rent your home. Homeowners can post up to ten photographs, include a detailed description, and choose the listing price.
Eventually there will be a small fee for a three, six, nine or twelve month listings, but BidOnNantucket.com promises to have the lowest rates of any rental site.
The homeowner selects the dates the property is available and decides how long the bidding window will remain open, then sets the “Starting Bid” price, the lowest price he or she is willing to accept. The renter cannot ” underbid ” the ” Starting Bid. ” The homeowner may also set a “Rent It Now” price, which is an amount she is willing to take for her property with no further bidding. If a prospective renter places a bid, the homeowner is notified. If a prospective renter is outbid, he is notified. When the bidding process ends, the homeowner contacts the chosen bidder, and the site will reflect that the home has been rented. All bidding activity that takes place can be viewed under “See Bid List.”
The concept behind BidOnNantucket.com has expanded to three other new websites:
BidOnNantucket.com has been gaining interest and traffic since it’s launch in March of 2011. The site will eventually offer advertising opportunities, and promises to never charge high rates for using the site.
WCVB Boston Channel 5′s “Chronicle” recently did a piece on BidOnNantucket. Watch it here.