Kylie Davis: (00:01)
Welcome to The Proptech Podcast. It's Kylie Davis here, and I'm delighted to be your host. As we explore the brave new world where technology and real estate collide, I passionately believe we need to create and grow a sense of community between the innovators and real estate agents and sharing our stories is a great way to do that. Now the aim of each episode is to introduce listeners to a proptech innovator who is pushing the boundaries of what's possible and explore the issues and challenges raised by the tech and how they can create amazing property experiences. And my guest in this episode is AJ Chand, CEO and founder of InstaRent, a direct to landlords' platform that makes it easier for landlords to manage their own properties.
Kylie Davis: (00:46)
Now, according to AJ, self-managing landlords make up nearly a third of the property rental market in Australia, looking after over one million properties. And that number is even higher in the UK and New Zealand. And InstaRent makes it easy for landlords to manage their properties by providing an Airbnb style mobile app that lets them keep track of their rental properties from anywhere and to centralise their expenses and maintenance. So here to tell us all about it, AJ Chand, welcome to The Proptech Podcast.
AJ Chand: (01:17)
Thank you for having me, Kylie. It's a pleasure.
Kylie Davis: (01:20)
Yeah. It's great to have you here. So look, AJ, we always start with your elevator pitch. So tell me what is the InstaRent elevator pitch?
AJ Chand: (01:27)
Sure, so InstaRent's a property management platform available via a web app and mobile app. And the core focus of it is to enable landlords and tenants to self-manage their property.
Kylie Davis: (01:39)
Yeah, so it's self-managed, isn't? It's not a property managers platform, it's specifically for landlords themselves.
AJ Chand: (01:46)
That's right. Yes. Specifically for landlords and tenants at the moment, and we also have trades that are part of the platform as well, but our core focus is landlords and tenants.
Kylie Davis: (01:56)
Cool. And so what's the problem that InstaRent solves? Why the landlords need their own platform? Why aren't they using property managers?
AJ Chand: (02:04)
Well, I think it started with how many landlords are currently self-managing. I was one of them, when my property journey started, I was self-managing my properties and the reason for that was first, I could build better relationships with my tenants. And also it was more cost effective to do it that way. So property management, I didn't have to worry about property management fees and also just had complete transparency over my property or what was happening and I just liked to be hands on. It's not til later on in my career that I realised that there were a lot, many, lot of self-managed landlords out there and they were looking for solutions that would help them self-manage. But at that time it was only Excel sheets, really. You could just put in the details of your tenant and try and put in as much information as you can and then try and justify it all your accountant at the end of the day.
AJ Chand: (03:01)
So moving from that, that's when the idea of self-management came to me. I started building sort of little pieces of software that were helping me with communication because I was in technology at that time. And then that grew to what is InstaRent today. We initially started with 2,050 users and then we had a lot of feedback and then we grew from that feedback. And now we are at the level of product where we do end to end property management for self-managed landlords and the idea behind that was more to virtualize the property manager. To bring it all to a technology. Imagine having an app that is the property manager.
Kylie Davis: (03:44)
Right. Fantastic. So how many rental properties in Australia are self-managed at the moment?
AJ Chand: (03:52)
At the moment it's 32% of the market. So 1.2 million properties and what we've seen-
Kylie Davis: (03:55)
AJ Chand: (03:57)
Yeah, it's quite big in Australia and globally, it's actually bigger, but Australia is 32% at the moment, 1.2 million properties. And I think that is more due to a lot of landlords that have multiple properties, three or four or five that they're managing at any one time. And it becomes an area where they're looking at cost effectiveness and transparency and how they could evolve their portfolio even further. And in order to do that, they have to really understand what's currently happening with their portfolios. So a lot of landlords are very proactive about it. And with COVID, we've seen that a lot of landlords are starting to look at solutions that brings them more control because the ability to work with real estate agencies or property managers is not quite there anymore. And a lot of landlords that were used to using platforms like Airbnb, for example, have shifted across to long-term, but they were looking for a similar solution. So COVID has seen us grow quite rapidly and also has given us a lot of tailwind going into 2021.
Kylie Davis: (05:04)
Yeah. So this is quite, I mean, so there's a couple of kind of cave, important things that are coming out of this for me from the real estate agent point of view or the property manager point of view. Is that first of all, that there's such a large proportion of landlords out there that are looking to self-manage, like about a third of the market, basically. And also that these are landlords who are what a property manager would call a whale in that they're people with multiple properties. And I guess if you own those properties in lots of different locations, the standard model would require you to have different property managers in each of those geographies.
AJ Chand: (05:42)
Yeah. Yeah. And I think it fundamentally comes down to a core problem that we have with how the properties are managed in terms of an agency. For example, you would have a property in WA, you'd have a property in Queensland, you'd have a property in New South Wales. And what would happen with that is that you'll get four different agencies giving you four different sets of data for your property. And then you will have to correlate it all and put it all together. So landlords want complete visibility. They want visibility of what's happening within each of the properties, what the revenues are doing, what are the RE's doing for these properties? What are the inspections looking like? Are there any repairs? And I think that is what is driving landlords to have everything under the one roof is having properties all over the state that you can manage within the one dashboard. Instead of having four or five different agencies with different relationships you have to manage and receiving different data in different formats. I just don't think there's enough efficiency to manage your portfolio that way.
Kylie Davis: (06:53)
Yeah. So, look, there's a lot involved in managing a property though. And lots of inspections that are required, lots of legislation, and all of that can be different state to state. How does InstaRent manage that complexity?
AJ Chand: (07:09)
So although we entered the market to bring as much technology to make efficient as many processes as we could. We still have to adhere to compliance. So we are a licenced agency in New South Wales. And that is our predominant market. So being a licenced agency means that we are aware of all the compliance changes that are happening within real estate. And we also build a bridge between the traditional to how technology now enters the market as well. So yeah, that's something we couldn't ignore. We couldn't just [inaudible 00:07:49] technology. We had to get a licence as well.
Kylie Davis: (07:52)
Yeah. Okay. Well, that's good to hear. So if I'm a landlord and I don't want to do my inspections because I'm living in one suburb and my property is maybe in country, New South Wales or somewhere else, along my way. How does InstaRent help me manage that?
AJ Chand: (08:15)
First thing we wanted to address was really the 32% of the market, which was self-managed. So they were currently doing it. And that means that they could go and inspect their own properties for that matter. So we're just giving them technology to make it more efficient, however, InstaRent is exploring currently ways to add to our service repertoire. So to get more property managers involved, where we could have inspections done on behalf of landlords, if they choose to do that. So although we are only addressing the 32% of the market right now, the team's working extremely hard to see how we can better capitalise on the rest of the market that would need inspections, for example, or would need someone physically to go out and visit the property. And in this case, InstaRent doesn't do it at this stage, but it is something that's definitely part of our product roadmap as we move forward.
Kylie Davis: (09:08)
Okay. But one of the things that you do, so one of the things, so your platform at the moment is primarily for landlords who want to control that sort of stuff and want to do that themselves. But it does also help at landlords coordinate trades and maintenance, doesn't it?
AJ Chand: (09:25)
Kylie Davis: (09:25)
AJ Chand: (09:25)
So the trades, it's a big part of your property. I think the repairs and the repairs will always happen. And also in terms of managing the tenant relationship, repairs should be dealt with efficiently and quickly as well. So the way InstaRent brings it all together is gives the ability for the tenant to log a repair. So if there's a leaking tap, for example, they'll take an image of that or a video, and they will upload that and then InstaRent and the landlord have complete transparency that will see it straightaway as it appears. Then the landlord also has an option to browse all a tradesman portfolio who are vetted really well through the team. And we only take a select few that will receive the repair request and they will then act to get that fixed, to go out there, quote on the job itself and also liaise with the landlord and tenant via our platform to schedule those works.
AJ Chand: (10:23)
And also when those works are done, then the tenant needs to accept that the work was done. The landlord needs to accept they was done satisfactorily. And then the trades from that point closes that ticket for their job.
Kylie Davis: (10:38)
Right. Okay, cool. Now you guys are a mobile only app, aren't you? You don't operate on desktop.
AJ Chand: (10:45)
No, we do.
Kylie Davis: (10:46)
Oh you do.
AJ Chand: (10:48)
We have a web app. Yeah, we have a web application and also a mobile app and mobile app mainly for making tasks like these easier. So taking photos or videos straight off your phone and then uploading it through the app. It's a lot more efficient also when you're doing virtual inspections, for example, walking around to record the house or to take images of the house that's all real time and it works very efficiently so it doesn't lose any data. Which is why the mobile is there also pay on the mobile as well, pay on the app, which is a great benefit. Also notifications real time. As you know, you'd use apps like Uber and whatnot, what might be. So what happens is you will get notified on every step of the way and it's all real time. So we couldn't ignore the fact that we couldn't just go web app and just be software as a service. We really wanted to be a interactive software that helps you manage your property. And the app is a reason for that.
Kylie Davis: (11:49)
Cool. And so things I can pay for, as tenant I can pay my rent and as a landlord, I can pay my tradie that just did the work or?
AJ Chand: (11:58)
Kylie Davis: (11:58)
Yep. Okay, cool. Very cool. So look, how big his InstaRent at the moment?
AJ Chand: (12:04)
At the moment, we have around 12 or 13 staff that mainly consists of developers. We never shy away from the fact that we are a technology company and a product technology company first and a property management company second. So we have around eight developers and four in customer service and also the executive staff on top of that, the core founders and the founders who help drive the business and advisors. So it is quite big, but for the last three years, we have been gaining momentum in terms of getting a lot of staff, a lot of individuals who are actually buying into our mission and our vision to fix this real estate sector. And we've been very lucky to recruit some very talented people in that time.
AJ Chand: (12:53)
So the team's growing quite well. The platform itself is getting thousands of visits a day. It's interacting well, we have over 1000 landlords, so that has been growing quite rapidly. In COVID, we've seen at least a 30% rise in terms of signups. And I guess the initiative that landlords and tenants want to put together to manage their property moving forward, being in this COVID period has really driven that success for us.
Kylie Davis: (13:27)
Yeah. I was really interested in your comment before that landlords who have been used to using things like Airbnb, have been sort of transitioning over to you guys as they've taken their properties off the short-term market and put them onto long-term.
AJ Chand: (13:47)
Yes. So I think the Airbnb is a great example of how it can shift the user's perception of how things are done. So before that, you also had stays and all of that that are still around, but Airbnb really came in with a new set of technology with a new perspective that it should be very easy to do bookings for short terms and communicate through the platform as well. InstaRent uses the same logic. It's the same vision. It is as it's evolved over the last three years, it was initially harder to use at the initial phases as old technologies. And then as time goes, as we get more users, as we get more perspectives, the app becomes a lot more efficient. And the way we see it now, it could take a landlord up to about 10 minutes to set up a property, invite the tenant, set up all their paperwork and set up their payments all automated within 10 minutes.
AJ Chand: (14:44)
And it's set and forget from that stage on. The app will remind you about notifications. It will remind you about repairs. It will let know how your payments are going and it'll do your end of financial year. It will record everything. And that is why I think landlords are making the shift because how easy it is to set up and then run from that point forward? So Airbnb was a great example of how that was done in the short-term industry and the long-term, there was just no platforms or apps that were doing anything similar, which we thought was just not good enough for a market, especially like Australia and how good we are with technology as Australians.
Kylie Davis: (15:24)
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Kylie Davis: (16:34)
So AJ what's your background? How did you get to start up a proptech startup? You said you were a landlord and this sort of began with you asking the question of, do I have to do it through a manager, property manager? But what's your broader tech background?
AJ Chand: (16:49)
15 years ago, I studied real estate, became a licenced real estate agent. And then I started selling with Ray White [crosstalk 00:16:56] property. And then I became a property manager as well while I was selling. So I wanted to really explore that. And I remember walking into the property management room for the first time, and I've just looked at the stacks of paperwork that were lying around for each of the properties and I just pretty much turned around and I said, "Okay."
Kylie Davis: (17:18)
AJ Chand: (17:19)
Yeah. Exactly. "I'd rather sell." But as time went forward, I went into property management because I was really curious about it. And just the amount of paperwork and the IDs we had like IDs for landlords, IDs for tenants, paperwork, signatures, bank statements, all of these things, which-
Kylie Davis: (17:39)
AJ Chand: (17:41)
Yeah. And all of this is very personal to someone and agencies go out like as bad as it might be, but agencies do go out of business or they do sell their rent rolls. And there's all this data that you've collected of both the landlords and tenants that are sitting within folders, then you're going to share, or you're going to lose all completely. It's first, I saw a security risk with that second I saw a efficiency problem with it on how it took, how long to do each of the tasks. And also then looking at it from a landlords and tenants perspective, they weren't really happy with it either. So that was 15 years ago. That's the first exposure I had to property management and real estate. After real estate, I joined Telstra and Vodafone, Optus as well, all three big telcos in networks to architecture, go on to the technology side, to start seeing how networks worked. And that was a great experience to get my first exposure to how technology was in the past and also where it's moving to.
Kylie Davis: (18:50)
AJ Chand: (18:50)
Yeah. And then it sort of evolved from there. Couple of other startups I was involved in all worked for startups that were in the facial biometrics space. They were doing iris verification. They were doing sort of the counter terrorism funding side of it. They were doing AML, KYC, which was know your customer and all of those elements also then gave me that background in technology security, which then exposed me to other development houses that we're working with at the time. And then I think it was my time to develop something. I think I had learnt enough, I had enough experiences. So went into developing, assembled my first development team and started looking at areas that we could focus on. And then at that time, of course I was self-managing. I already had a little piece of software that I was writing. So it just made sense for us to develop that further.
Kylie Davis: (19:46)
Fantastic. So, neat. When you guys kicked off, you got some crowd funding, didn't you? Tell us a bit about how that happened and what that experience is like?
AJ Chand: (19:59)
The crowd funding actually came two years later when we actually started developing and launching out. We had launched around seven months before that, then we went into crowd funding and I think it was more because we were so active from a sales perspective, talking to landlords and talking to tenants, getting them on board on to InstaRent and our mission to what we're trying to solve. And a lot of landlords actually started suggesting this is a good business and it is a good mission and we trust the team. Can we get more involved with it? Can we become investors in it? Can we become advisors in it? And after a while, it became a little bit too much to ignore because we had all this interest from the crowd is what we call them now. And that was what spurred us to go into crowdfunding, crowdfunding to get the people who've been using InstaRent that have been championing InstaRent, that have been giving us feedback, give them the option to buy into this before anyone else. What's the idea?
AJ Chand: (21:05)
And to create referral base at the same time, there was a lot of PR at that same time as well. We were published by [inaudible 00:21:11] at that time with live TV and also IFR as well. So that really brought the brand into the public light and also it got our landlords to have a bigger buy-in, some of our crowd investors to have a buy-in and some investors they invested into InstaRent then became customers of InstaRent and then use it as a benefit for their property portfolio. So it was a win-win for everyone. And also it was because we went to a point where we really realised that in order to start raising for a startup from previous experiences, I believe that we would need the product that was live. We would need a team, a stable team behind it, a product that was live that was scaling, that had customers before we even went into any sort of funding round and the crowdfunding was the first one.
Kylie Davis: (22:07)
And so what platform, who did you crowd fund it through? Did you do it through a [crosstalk 00:22:11]?
AJ Chand: (22:11)
Yeah, so there are some really good crowdfunding platforms out there, but I think what we went with was Birchal. Birchal is based out of Melville, is probably one of the most successful crowdfunding platforms in Australia. And it was good working with them and launching our crowd fund, getting our message out to the public and to their network. And that's how we ended up raising with them.
Kylie Davis: (22:37)
Fantastic. And can you tell us how much you raised through them or is that classified?
AJ Chand: (22:41)
No, that's all public actually. It is a crowdfund so [inaudible 00:22:46].
Kylie Davis: (22:45)
Yeah. There you go. It's very transparent.
AJ Chand: (22:49)
Yeah. I think we breed transparency from how we develop products to how we communicate where the company is, being honest and transparent is the best policy for us. Yes. So we raised 333,000 off the crowd fund and that was we were targeting to get to around 200,000. We surpassed that and it was one week before Christmas, so it could have been better, but it was one week before Christmas that we closed around. And I think more of motivation that the team was so driven, knowing that we have accomplished a crowd fund going into the new year 2020, and it was looking so good and it still is. But at that point we didn't think about it.
Kylie Davis: (23:42)
And then COVID.
AJ Chand: (23:43)
Yeah. At that point no one knew about COVID. It was just so much enthusiasm in the market at the end of 2019. And [inaudible 00:23:48] especially in proptech and FinTech and travel tech and were like, we are all just raring to go for 2020 and it's all done within a year.
Kylie Davis: (23:56)
Yes. Yes. I think the sooner we get to 31st of December, 2020, the happier everyone will be. Right? So look, you guys what's your relationship with tenants? Does InstaRent attract tenants, can landlords find tenants through InstaRent? Tell us your tenant story.
AJ Chand: (24:20)
Tenants are more important to us in terms of a landlord and tenant relationship. Our technology is built as much for tenants as it is for landlords. And the biggest gap in the market we saw was like, you'd say like you have some software in real estate as well for real estate agencies, but no one really addresses the tenants needs or gives them any value-add services that they can use within. It's mainly concentrating on the golden egg, which is the landlord, but InstaRent, we saw that differently because I've been a tenant as well. And most of our staff here rent at the moment. So we looked at going, okay, what does tenant need? And we went through case studies, tenants hate applying for properties, does paper applications for four or five properties that they might visit. And again, supply details, bank account details, ID information.
AJ Chand: (25:18)
Also, there's no transparency when they get rejected from a property, which is if you don't know what you're doing wrong, how do you improve? And so that was one of the key factors, no transparency around that. There was no ability to apply in real time or to schedule an inspection in real time, if they wanted to do you had to attend the open houses and what if you couldn't? It just didn't seem fair. It just felt like the control was within the agencies and the landlords. However, the tenants had no control and they're the ones paying your mortgage. They're the prime ones paying your rent. So InstaRent actually brings together a rental resume of sorts, where you can put all your details in at once and then you start applying for properties.
AJ Chand: (26:07)
And when you apply for a property, if you get rejected, you get told why you got rejected. And we will constantly as well we will talk to our tenants and find out their needs and send them links to properties that they might be interested in. And because it's self-managed, it moves a lot faster because landlords want a tenant as soon as possible. So they want to track, they want to have a look at how the tenants are tracking within the platform to get all the agency, to get the tenancy agreement, for example, and also Equifax checking in terms of the tenant background checks and all of that, making sense of all of that data to see who's the most likely candidate for their property. So InstaRent's algorithm makes it all very simple for the landlord.
AJ Chand: (26:56)
It actually classifies all the tenants and makes them all visible and ranks them based on their credit checks or their bankruptcy checks or whatever might be the tendency background checks. So then the tenant also has the option to pay rent through it. So the rents are within the platform. They can do inspections through it. If they want to do video inspections, that can do that. If the landlord does not want to go to the property and just wants in video satisfactory, he can request that, they can log real time repairs and see what's happening with it. They can see which tradesmen have been assigned, when it's getting done, and then the traides talk to them directly, so the landlords, and it just means that everything happens a lot quicker within the ecosystem.
AJ Chand: (27:43)
So tenants can also connect utilities through us, they can connect gas, electricity, and they can organise [inaudible 00:27:51], they can do all of that. And instal all of that within their expenses as well. Because we always ignore that tenants have their financials to do as well. They pay rent, they pay electricity, Foxtel, internet, and that should be all logged within the expenses section as well because they have taxes like everyone else does. So tenant was a core focus for what we did. And I think it's paid dividends right now because tenants are the ones recommending their landlords to join InstaRent because they want to use us to manage their property.
Kylie Davis: (28:24)
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Kylie Davis: (29:16)
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Kylie Davis: (29:34)
So look, over the last couple of years, we've seen a lot of stuff, a lot of technology and adoption going on in the traditional property management space. And there's a lot of tech out there that's sort of now trying to make property managers jobs more efficient or easier. Do you think that the bar's being lifted?
AJ Chand: (29:55)
Yeah, I think so. The bar has been lifted and that is purely due to what the consumers are demanding. And the key fundamental for us was the grandest vision is to learn the experience of landlord and tenant. Make that as efficient as possible, where they can do it themselves. And then InstaRent also has the ability to release that software to agencies when we have learnt enough, when it has automated itself enough, when it's learned this algorithms have developed to a point where it makes the agency's life a lot easier. Also looking at some of the softwares that are used by agencies at the moment. I wouldn't name it, but there are a lot of softwares that are used by agencies that are failing to innovate. They're failing to learn from the customer interaction. For them, the customer is the agent. For us, the customer is the market. So there's landlord and tenant. And if you're just going directly business to business, you will never learn what is actually needed, what the demands of this technological lead driven landlords and tenants are.
Kylie Davis: (31:05)
Yeah. Yeah. And so what do you think the next five years holds for property management and in this sort of tenants and landlords space? Do you think tenants and landlords are the right words? They're so mediaeval.
AJ Chand: (31:28)
Well, the way we refer it to is the tenant, that's their home. And regardless of who pays the mortgage, it's their home. They have moved in and they've got their furniture there. And the landlords, they are property investors, that's what they are. And property investors and any investor is going to look at efficiency, transparency, and capital growth. That those three things maximising rental yield is it's first and foremost, especially in the COVID market and post COVID rental yields, relationship with tenants, making sure the ability to pay, making sure you're managing your asset. So, yeah, landlords and tenants, maybe not property investors and homeowners.
Kylie Davis: (32:12)
So you mentioned before that you've noticed that since COVID hit, you guys have grown quite considerably because especially had this influx of short-term landlords move out over onto the platform. What do you think the kind of wash out of COVID is going to be on property management from what you're seeing?
AJ Chand: (32:41)
I think agencies have built a model where they mainly rely on their sales and not their property management over time. And that's why you see a growth now where a lot of companies that are emerging that are only doing property management. If the business is reliant on the sales side of the business to keep everything going and property management is secondary. We will see that a lot of property management or rent rolls will go up for sale. So that is a sad reality about how sales drives the agency model.
AJ Chand: (33:19)
Also with property management, it is going to shift drastically, I think as well because of users being more technologically advanced, I think users would look at more options in terms of how much they're paying commissions for property management. And I think that will increase competition. That means that a lot of property managers might just price themselves out of the market. So a lot of variables in terms of property, what's going to happen post COVID. But I think we all very aware that it is going to be a downward trend for a while.
Kylie Davis: (33:58)
Yeah. And so what do you think the next five years holds for property management? What's your crystal ball tell you AJ?
AJ Chand: (34:06)
I think as always good property managers will always survive no matter which market and is based on the relationship and trust that they will survive. But efficiency and technology will definitely be what drives the next five years. And at the end of five years, if agencies are willing to let go of, "That's how we've always done it." To now embracing the technology and embracing efficiencies and doing what a startups do all the time, pivoting their business models and the strategies to better compensate for what this market holds. I think that will be the winning factor for the next five years. But I think the writing's on the wall in terms of automation or algorithms and technology, that will be more predominant in this market.
Kylie Davis: (34:53)
So what does the future hold for InstaRent? I mean, you've had your crowdfunding late last year. You've had a biggie this year. Where are you guys headed?
AJ Chand: (35:04)
We are headed in the same trajectory I think startups as you know, I think we are not a startup anymore, we're a scaleup and we're scaling and taking a lot more market share within Australia is our core focus at the moment. However, there are prospects to take InstaRent model to the international markets as well. And as a team, we are just committed to growing our team to learning more about landlords and tenants and making our product a lot better. That is our core focus at the moment and scaling and making sure that we give the right service. And I think you can't always separate technology from service. They go hand in hand when it comes to proptech and property management, especially. So do a lot more work on that side, listen to our clients, build a lot more trust and push InstaRent as a very good global player, but starting domestically and making sure that we learn as much as we can from this market.
Kylie Davis: (36:08)
Fantastic. And look, if there's 1.2 million self-managed landlords out there and you've got 1000 or so landlords on your platform at the moment. You've still got a lot of runway for growth here I'm assuming.
AJ Chand: (36:22)
That's right. And we do. We do have a lot of growth and also, but also we're not keen on making some crucial areas that sometimes startups make, because growth is also something that is a scary path, because it's all that we all dream of it. Once you start growing at a level, you have to make sure that your development house grows with you and your sales and your marketing, and your customer service, all scales at the same rate. So otherwise it becomes a little bit overbearing and you could easily de-motivate the whole team. So it is slow and steady for us. It has been for the past three years, but like I said, that is not because we are driven by generating some infinite amounts or revenue or what might be. It is driven by us really committed to learning this industry, learning what the problems are and giving a solution that will not only stick now, but it will stick for the next 20 or 30 years. So I guess it's a long game.
Kylie Davis: (37:26)
Yep. No, well done. Well, look, I look forward to hearing more about your success at InstaRent. Thank you so much for your time. It's been great talking to you.
AJ Chand: (37:36)
Thank you, Kylie. Always a pleasure.
Kylie Davis: (37:38)
So that was AJ Chand from InstaRent. Now, normally I focus the podcast on technology that helps agents and property managers. But I wanted to get AJ onto the show because I think there are some really important lessons the industry can learn from how InstaRent and similar disruptors look at our market. And as I mentioned when we interviewed Mina Radhakrishnan from :Different last month, innovation is not just about doing what we do a bit better or a bit faster. It's actually about looking at the curve balls that are being thrown at us and working out how we deal with those. And the thing that each of these disruptors in property management have in common is that they're not just looking at how they can offer our traditional customers, the landlords, a better service. They're actually asking what the service experience is like for the customers of our customers and what can be done and improved there.
Kylie Davis: (38:33)
And invariably, when the customers of our customers or our tenants have a better experience, that flows back to improve the experiences for all parties in a rental property transaction. So I love how the growth of InstaRent was crowdfunded by what is effectively a group of raving fans. It shows how motivated so many people are out there to support better experiences in renting. The strength platforms like InstaRent offer, is for landlords who do have larger portfolios and who see their investments as their job. And this gives them the tools to manage those properties seamlessly and have a whole property portfolio view, which is virtually impossible in a geographically managed structure. I also love that InstaRent looks at the tenant experience and is looking for ways to streamline and make that easier. Now will every tenant want to a rent through a private landlord? No.
Kylie Davis: (39:27)
And will every landlord want to manage their own property? Highly unlikely. But the fact that tools like InstaRent are not only making it possible, but super easy. And has that core group of raving fans at its centre is part of the growing evidence that demonstrates that we as an industry are being fragmented and that we need to work hard to remain competitive. So what do you think?
Kylie Davis: (39:51)
Now, if you've enjoyed this episode of The Proptech Podcast, I would love you to tell your friends, drop me a line on email firstname.lastname@example.org, say hello on LinkedIn or on Facebook. You can follow this podcast on Spotify, Google Podcast, Anchor and Apple iTunes. I'd like to thank my audio support Charlie Hollins, the fabulous Jill Escudero and our sponsors Smidge, official wines of the proptech community, Direct Connect, making moving easy and HomePrezzo, now part of ActivePipe and making email marketing easier than ever before. Thanks everyone, until next week. Stay safe and keep on propteching.
Content marketing strategist, researcher, journalist and presenter specialising in the real estate industry. I'm passionate about proptech, digital disruption and all things property, big data, leadership and entrepreneurial ideas, have an MBA and specialise in social and digital media content creation and automation.