"Oliver" App Eliminates Broker Fees

Looking for an apartment in New York City, but don't want to shell out all those brokerage fees? Now you don't have to, with Oliver.

This app, launched in Manhattan about a month ago, looks to pair renters with apartments. Oliver features listings directly from landlords and gives users the freedom to search and schedule showings in just a few taps. Simply pick a time slot to see a listed apartment and Oliver will schedule it for you. To find the right place for you, Oliver offers filters such as price, number of bedrooms, amenities, and pets. "All the other players - Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, RentHop, NakeApartments - are `lead generation' platforms and their revenue model comes from charging middle men. We plan on eliminating that by becoming the Uber for rental where you actually connect directly, seamlessly with the apartment / landlord," explained Oliver co-founder Yossi Shemesh. "There is no doubt the middle-man is going to disappear."

Oliver has raised a $1 million seed round fund from New York real estate angels following its successful prototype tests in August 2014. Since launching in Manhattan last month, Oliver has seen 2,000 renters visit the app and has helped match about 200 renters with apartments a day. The company plans to expand its service to Brooklyn this week. Oliver is available for iOS devices and can be downloaded from the App Store now. Oliver is free to download and use. It is unclear if Oliver will be makings its way to Android or if the service will expand outside of New York at this time.

Photo: © Oliver Online, Inc.