The landlord who decides to rent an apartment through a real estate agent (no peer-to-peer) wants this agent to provide services such as insurance against unpaid rent. Therefore, a good argument for the real estate agent is to suggest insurance that is paid by the tenant and not by the owner.
Indeed, several new players have entered this market since 2017 in France. They are mostly inspired by TheGuarantors, a US startup launched by a Frenchman in 2014 which have raised more than 10 million dollars. In fact, TheGuarantors have signed partnerships with large residential owners who become prescribers to their tenants. They are providing insurance that costs about 8% of the rent for the tenant but TheGuarantors will replace the tenant if he can no longer pay (in the limit of $ 100,000). Consequently, this solution helps tenants who do not have a guarantor to access the expensive rental markets such as New York. TheGuarantors goes even further with a second product. For 2% of the rent (each month during the entire lease), the start-up is paying the upfront deposit so that a tenant without any cash can access the market.
As one can read in the table below, six French players have been launched in 2017. Only Cautioneo and Bonapart are offering the rental guarantee (at 3.5%) and the deposit (at 1%), the others are focus on the first activity. Traditional asset managers are very interested by these new models. Square Habitat and Guy Hoquet work with Cautioneo while Foncia has signed a partnership with Garantme.