We had the good fortune of connecting with Haleigh Erwin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haleigh, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Five years ago, I moved to Denver, CO from Chicago, IL and I immediately fell in love with the city and all it has to offer. I have always had an interest in the rental business, and while in Chicago, I spent several years working as a property locator. As a property locator, I had the opportunity to find rental properties for clients, but my search was limited to certain buildings we had contracts with. Being unable to look beyond a limited market never sat well with me, and I felt like I wasn’t able to fully personalize my clients experience. Don’t get me wrong, I always found a suitable rental for my clients, but I never felt like I was able to find the 100% perfect fit.
I’m a habitual renter and having moved almost every year for the past 9 years, I know how difficult and time consuming it can be to search and tour rental properties. Relocating to Denver from Chicago gave me first hand experience to understand how difficult the Denver market can be to find rental properties, especially when you don’t know the area well. From the numerous apartment sites, search engines, and private rentals who often don’t advertise online, it can be extremely overwhelming to navigate. Not to mention how fast these places rent! I wanted to create a company that eliminates the stress associated with finding a rental property. With so many people moving from out-of-state, I wanted to be able to not only help combat the anxiety associated with searching for a new home, but also create an avenue to educate and promote the unique neighborhoods of Denver in an all-inclusive, unbiased, seamless experience.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I launched Rent Detective Denver in early 2021, so my concept is really new to the Denver market! As an entrepreneur, I’m constantly discovering new ways to improve my business and finding avenues to network with the people and business owners of Denver. I think the biggest obstacle of starting a business is getting the word out about what I can offer to renters and why my concept is special.
What sets me apart from the other Apartment Locators and what makes me most excited about my brand is I offer a variety of packages that allow consumers to tailor their experience based on their needs. I always speak with my clients through an initial phone consultation which personalizes the experience off the bat. With my Nancy Drew package, I’m able to help promote the diverse neighborhoods of Denver and help potential renters find a good locale to fits their lifestyle. With my Magnum PI package I spend more time with my clients to get to know them and I find every unit available that will fit my clients’ needs. I don’t get paid any commission from buildings so I am able to work on behalf of the renter and utilize every different search engine. I want to get renters the very best deal possible and I don’t want them to miss out on an opportunity just because I am not partnered with a certain property rental. Finally, with my Sherlock Holmes package I go tour my clients’ top three properties; I not only create a video and/or live stream of each visit but I advocate for my clients and question landlords/property managers to ensure my clients’ concerns and needs will be met and the rental will be a perfect fit. Having an expert do this on your behalf often makes asking tough questions easier and clients feel they are able to make a fully informed decision without being “sold”. No matter which package my clients choose, my favorite part about this business is finding someone their perfect place to call home. I can relate to these renters and I know how difficult it is when you keep losing out on places and not knowing where you are going to end up. It’s my job to look out for their best interest and keep reassuring them we will find their perfect home.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Denver is such a great place to live and there is so much to do, so first I’d convince my friend to spend longer than a week visiting! First, I would take them to Red Rocks to hike the trails there and check out the amazing venue and views. I’d plan our visit so we could catch a show later in the evening so they could truly experience the diversity of the venue. The next day, when we returned to the city, I would create a personalized food and beverage tour. Denver has so many amazing breweries and restaurants so it’d be difficult to hit them all, but some of my favorites are in the River North Art District or RiNo, so that’s where we would start. We would have to go to First Draft to try beer by the ounce and enjoy their patio, stop at C-squared Ciders to play some oversized games and New Belgium at the Source Hotel to see some great views of the city. We would venture towards the downtown area and grab some dinner and margaritas at Rio Grande. One day we would hit up Coors Field, hopefully sitting in the first base or right-field areas where there is an awesome view of the Rocky Mountains, and see the Rockies take home a win. I also wouldn’t forget to schedule some exploration of the multiple parks around Denver. We’d go to Washington Park or City Park to walk the trails and experience the plentiful green space perfect to set-up games for a park day with friends. On the way home, we’d stop at Cherry Creek’s farmers’ market to pick up some goodies to feature in a home cooked meal. To end the visit, we would spend the day in LoHi at the Contemporary Museum of Art Denver followed by an evening at Avanti which offers multiple food vendors and an awesome rooftop bar. Hopefully by the end of their trip they’d be ready to move to Denver!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my family, specifically my brother and sister-in-law, Brett and Deb. They have been so supportive of me and this company from day one. I was hesitant of the idea at first, but they were the ones who helped me pinpoint my concept, put together surveys to send out, proofread materials and reassure me constantly that building a business takes time. I wouldn’t have been able to take a chance on myself and this company without their continual support and encouragement.
Instagram: Rent Detective
Facebook: Rent Detective
Yelp: Rent Detective