Rentprop4u is an online rental management platform that aims to connect owners with tenants.
At a glance:
Founders: Nagaraju M, Ravi M and Asha M
Where it is based: Bengaluru
Year it was founded: 2016
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
House hunting can be a difficult task. Nagaraju’s friend faced a similar situation when he arrived in Bengaluru from Bihar to pursue his Master’s degree. He was looking for an accommodation, and like anyone new to a city, he encountered trouble like not being able to find the right accommodation on rent close to college.
Meanwhile, Nagaraju’s uncle, who happened to be a landlord, owned a dozen single-bedroom homes in the city.
Nagaraju says: “I got an idea – why not help my friend by convincing my uncle to rent out one of his houses? My uncle was convinced and he offered him a place under my assurance about the property, its security and maintenance.”
It was then that Nagaraju thought there was a need for a trusted source to connect a landlord and a tenant. This is why he started Rentprop4u, a property management and rental solution platform for landlords and tenants.
Building a business
“For owners, it’s just a click away from renting out their property, and for tenants too, a click away to find their desired property in their preferred location,” says Nagaraju.
When he had the idea he roped in his cousins Ravi and Asha. Nagaraju has completed MBA in Finance and Marketing, Ravi has an MSc in Multimedia and Asha is a fashion designer
The owners upload details of their property - the amenities, locality and their preferred tenant type and, based on this, Rentprop4u proposes the market rent for the property, with a detailed explanation about the rates.
Rentprop4u promotes the property to find the right tenants as per the requirements of the owner. It also does the screening of the tenants and takes an approval of the same from the owners, and the platform also provides assured rent to owners. Owners start receiving the rent from the first month itself, irrespective of whether the tenants occupy the property or not. Rentprop4u takes the ownership for all maintenance of the property.
The team charges the owner a month’s rent as a service fee. For owners, the team offers two service plans - First Tenant Move in (FTM) and Periodical Move in (PTM). Under the FTMplan, the services starts only after the tenant moves in. In the PTM option, the team takes 30 days or a mutually-agreed timeframe to rent out the property. The owner starts receiving the rent after the agreed period, even if the tenant has not occupied the property.
“After the owner chooses the plan and agrees to all the terms and conditions, we sign an agreement for three years,” says Nagaraju.
What about the tenants?
Since it is a marketplace-like model, the tenants choose their desired property on the platform and can block the same by paying a fee of Rs 2,500. The team arranges a property visit for the tenants, and in case they do not like the property, they can choose from other options.
“We will help them until they find their desired property. If nothing works for them, Rentprop4u will repay the Rs 2,500 that they had paid to block the property,” says Nagaraju.
What makes them so different?
One of the biggest challenges for Rentprop4u was onboarding properties and convincing the owners.
Apart from the likes of Tiger Global-backed NestAway, and Delhi-based ZiffyHomes, there are several other startups in the space such as StayAbode, Placio, Flathood, Rentroomi, RentMyStay, CoLive, Stanza Living, and many others.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, the residential rental market in India is pegged at $20 billion, of which urban spaces account for $13.5 billion. Delhi-based co-living startup CoHo pegs the co-living market at $10 billion.
“Now we do receive a lot of referrals from the owners. Secondly, our business model is such that picking the right property is extremely important. Understanding the market, knowledge about the area and psyche of the people are some key aspects that need to be considered during acquisitions,” says Nagaraju. He adds that close to 60 percent of their properties come through customer/client referrals.
“We were transparent with regard to market rent for properties. We ensure that we educated our customers on the demand for their property and the prevalent market rental rates,” says Nagaraju.
He adds that they always check the background of the tenant before taking approval from the owner.
“As for our initial difficulty in finding the right employees, we invested more time and some additional money to ensure that we found the right people. With a good work culture, employee engagement programmes, team outings and skill development programmes, we have ensured that employee retention is higher,” says Nagaraju.
The platform has a total of 650 active tenants, around 520 listed properties, and it receives an average of 30,000 visitors every month (40 percent owners and others; 60 percent tenants).
The team’s immediate target is to acquire 1,000 properties within the next eight months, and within the next three years, the company aims to acquire 5,000 properties in three major markets - Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.