Photo by Paul Szewczyk on Unsplash

This startup helps tenants monetize their skills and ease their rent expense.

Rent is expensive — we all know that. And many tenants have skills they could offer other tenants. An innovative new startup, RentZero, is focused on helping renters to monetize their skills and reduce their rent cost.

Peer-to-peer skills marketplaces have been huge success stories, from Taskrabbit to Upwork, from Thumbtack to Fiverr. However, many people are nervous about doing business with strangers, and many people also have limited time available for a side hustle.

But what if you happen to be fluent in French, and a neighbor wants to pay for French tutoring once in a while? Or what if another neighbor is going to take an expensive Uber trip to the airport but could pay you for a ride instead? Those are high-trust side-hustle opportunities without a big time commitment.

Those are exactly the sorts of use cases that RentZero is supporting with their neighbor-to-neighbor skills marketplace. The cofounders of RentZero are Nick Ribera (a millennial who knows the cost of rent) and Chris Vargas (who owns several multi-unit residential complexes). Over a few cups of coffee they realized that they could build and launch a new digital platform that would benefit both renters and landlords. Renters get the benefit of a high-trust way of exchanging skills with neighbors, and property managers benefit by providing tenants with a perk that can reduce their rent costs, leading to happier tenants and lower unit turnover.

All over the world today, innovative digital platforms are giving people new ways to create value for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. RentZero is a great new example.



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Bret Waters

Bret Waters

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Startup Accelerator, and coach startup CEO’s at Miller Center. Also, I love fish tacos.