How we built into a $20 million company!

RentMyStay is a technology enabled platform to find a perfect home for any duration. you can choose from Furnished, semi furnished or a shared accommodation based on your requirement. RentMyStay curates and lists properties from various players, providing its customers a one stop shop to find a perfect home based on their need.

We make this possible by focusing on great customer experience, providing wide choice and our deep focus on Technology!

We started with a humble beginning and today we have grown to a scale where we are present in more than 7 cities managing more than 5000+ properties and generate $4 million in revenues annually and growing.

Our Journey

Founded in early 2014, RentMyStay started as an aggregator of Furnished homes and Service apartments with focus on the medium-term segment. Soon we became a top player in this segment filling up 60% of the inventories of some of the key service apartments.

We observed supply gaps in many clusters across Bangalore and decide to tie-up with owners in those localities to furnish their homes and rent it out for medium term stays. This was a great success as all our properties were pre-booked and were able to deliver a 95+% occupancy rates to owner enabling them to earn 40% more rent for the same properties.

We gradually expanded to long term stays and also added semi-furnished and co-living properties to our inventory.

We took bootstrapping to our advantage!

There are funded companies that have succeeded phenomenally and those that have failed even after getting funded. In our case we tried to raise funds but we lacked experience and couldn’t give the time it takes to raise funds. So, we converted that to our advantage.

Being self-funded thought us two things, one to remain frugal and another to chase profitability. This meant we have to constantly innovate and bring options that are much better valued then the competition also at the same time we have to do this profitably.

The need to keep the cost low meant we have to automate a lot of things, hence we invested heavily in technology. WE built superior technology for both Marketing (SEO, tools etc.,) and for managing operations. Today we can proudly say that we are able to manage 3-5x more flats per person than any of our competitors.

The main advantage of being Self-funded was the fact that we could call our shots, which enabled us to experiment new things at a much faster pace!

Surviving the challenges!

Any start-up journey is filled with challenges. Key customers leave, team members leave, legal issues, production issues etc., to name a few. The most challenging of these are economic uncertainties, such as Demonetization, Covid crisis and so on. Which will challenge you in most uncertain ways.

Most important lessons...

1. Building a Great Team!

For any good start-up a strong team is the key, we are proud to have a great team capable enough to handle any challenges that we faced. As founders you have to focus your time on hiring the best team and make sure you have set the right culture in the company that will encourage innovation and risk taking. Everyone in the team should feel it’s their company.

Don’t worry too much about market size initially, if it is niche and unexplored go capture and dominate it. We were always criticized for playing a very small market segment of medium-term stay. But this segment was profitable for us and once we excelled in this segment, we are able to add long term segment which gave us growth. Always look at ways by which you can capture a key segment, once you get strong at it you can always explore more areas. If the market size of that segment is small it will work in your favour since many of the funded players wont aggressively pursue that.

2. Technology should be your differentiator

We focussed on technology from day one, that was a huge advantage later on. Technology takes time to build, building a good SEO backend, organic marketing tools meant we could generate certain leads without any efforts or spend. Once these things are in place, they automatically start delivering results for a long time.

We also had a great backend technology which meant fewer people were enough to handle things and resulted in better customer satisfaction. Since relevant information was visible to all required team members it meant each person had the information to make decisions. This will really help you when you are scaling.

3. Perseverance is the Key:

As start-up founders you are always bombarded with new challenges each time. You can never prepare for them. It’s that never give-up attitude that will help you keep sailing. If you and your team stand together then you can get over any issues.

When covid lockdown was suddenly announced we didn’t know how to respond. It was an unprecedented event. We have to not only provide service to our existing customer but also had to plan on how to handle the business. We had long conferences with the team, we discuss and debated each and every aspect of the business. It was only due to the team work that we were able to handle it. Each and every member of the team was determined to give all it takes to get over this situation.

4. Listen to your customer:

As said by most founders “You learn from your unhappy customers”, it’s very important you listen to your customers. Feedback from an happy customer will help you understand what is going right so you can look repeating that across your other properties. At the same time an unhappy customer will teach you where things are failing. Many a times you will notice that a small tweak to your process or communication can address majority of those. Unhappy customers teach you more as they highlight a deficiency or a problem that you didn’t think about.

We deal with hospitality industry, where at one side we have to deliver a good customer satisfaction on the other side we deal with such a complex commodity which has many points of failure. Such operationally intensive business meant it is lot more challenging to deliver a great customer satisfaction.

5. Focus on Growth:

Growth is the key to your long-term survival. That is the single reason why company raise large amount of money to capture market and establish dominance before someone else does it.

Challenges in daily operation of a start-up is given but it is only how you raise above it to focus on grown and deliver that will determine your long-term success. In today’s world where innovation and technology can disrupt the market you have to keep an eye on what’s happening around you and bring those latest innovations into your team.

At RentMyStay, there were times when we were conservative, now when we sit back, we feel we should have done some of these things more aggressively. It would have enabled us to grow multiple times in this time. Never the less we are happy about what we have achieved and there is always today when we can do even better than yesterday. After all we are here for long-term.

In Summary, when we started, we never thought we will make it this big. Today we are happy to have served close to 10000 customers and grown business in par with some of the well-funded start-up. We cherish this Journey and look to achieve many more milestones.

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