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The Round-up Vol 11: Renters Are Becoming Stakeholders

As you read this, renters are becoming stakeholders in our community.

July 18, 2020

Welcome to the Round-Up.

As you read this, renters are becoming stakeholders in our community. Think about that for a minute… For the first time ever, you don’t have to just write check after check to your landlord. Now you can participate in our community in a meaningful economic and social way.

We’re of course referring to Rentership, and we’re pretty pumped about it if you haven’t noticed 😎. What most people told us was impossible, we brought into the world on Independence Day. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

On that note, welcome to The Round-Up.

Interesting Reads

Love for Rentership

In the days since our groundbreaking announcement of Rentership in Fast Company, the love and light keeps pouring in. People from around the world have taken an interest in turning every renter into an owner, and why wouldn’t they?! We’re as inspired as ever to bring Rentership, now available at Gravity, to as many people around the world as possible.

Our Co-founder and CEO, Calvin Cooper, was profiled by technology and innovation group OhioX. He dishes on a wide array of topics including Rentership as a new alternative to renting or homeownership, philosophy in the technology space, what he’s reading, and his favorite place in Ohio.

And, well, it’s safe to say Calvin’s been pretty busy lately. He also took some time to visit with the Wise Up! With Cristina podcast. Calvin and Cristina talk about Aristotelian ethics, what our Founding Fathers wanted for us, and what it means to be connected to community.

Click below to listen to the podcast.

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Housing in Flux

For anyone who thought the coronavirus would be the pin to pop the nation’s home sales balloon, well, think again. It’s more like a pump breathing air into the summer sales season. Record-low interest rates (a government tool to combat the recession) are leading to a flurry of homebuying, especially in “socially distanced” suburban areas outside of New York City and other densely packed cities.

Meanwhile, as more people give up the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, the burrough’s apartment vacancy rate rose to the highest on record and rents actually dipped for the first time in 18 months. (Hey, maybe the characters from Friends could actually afford those hilariously spacious apartments again…)

Bottom line? Millions of Americans have moved due to the pandemic and young adults are proving to be the most active relocators, with nearly one in ten aged 18 to 29 saying they’d moved due to the pandemic—many moving in with family. Here’s something else to keep an eye on: Fewer tenants paid rent on time in July compared to a year ago (for anybody who needs it, The New York Times has a primer on eviction prevention).

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Reshaping Cities

The coronavirus is likely to reshape U.S. cities from both a demographic and economic perspective, including by bringing younger people and businesses into urban areas. Cities got younger during the Spanish flu of 1918 and Richard Florida expects the same to happen due to Covid-19 (Remember we told you about the suburban flight of New Yorkers? That only applies to those who can afford it—aka older adults).

The coronavirus won’t necessarily create new preferences, but will instead accelerate shifts that were already underway. The magnitude to which these shifts take hold will depend on the length of the crisis, and, inherently, the economic fallout. Read more from Professor and City Lab Co-founder Richard Florida.

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Corporate Struggles

With the virus resurging in various hotspots around the country, it’s becoming clear that the initial government aid to corporations may not be enough to stave off further negative impacts such as job cuts and bankruptcies.

United Airlines, for one, says it could furlough 36,000 workers when federal money runs out on October 1st—and demand for flying is still far from pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, more than 120 companies have already declared bankruptcy due to the coronavirus. And that’s before Texas, California, and other states slowed or totally reversed their reopenings.

Don't be surprised if the federal government steps in again.

Featured Property

Library Park

Newly Renovated? ✅
Pet-Friendly? ✅
Offering Rhove? ✅

Library Park is breathing new life into the historic charm of the Discovery District. It’s a new apartment development linking Columbus’ history with its future in a creative and thoughtful way. Here, historic apartments are restored and new homes are created in the spirit of honoring the neighborhood’s past and promise.

Check it Out

Parting Thoughts

If it’s feeling like we’re living through history lately, well, it’s because we are.

A global pandemic is reshaping society right this minute, and in ways we can’t foresee. Cities and suburbs are evolving. Activism is leading to meaningful progress in the fight against systemic racism. And the economy has been upended.

There’s no better time to disrupt one of America’s oldest (and, frankly, old-fashioned) institutions: Housing. The democratization of real estate was thought to be far-fetched, but we’ve done it. Rentership is a real thing. A real way to become a stakeholder in your community. And now we’re going to bring it to as many people as possible.

Until next time. 

Quote of the Week

"When I thought about Rhove, I thought about how we would build a system in real estate that could better serve society."

Calvin Cooper, Co-founder and CEO of Rhove, speaking on the Wise Up! With Cristina podcast