We are publishing an interview of Mr. Nagaraju M, CEO and Managing Director, Rentprop4u.
About the founders
Founders are Ms. Asha M, Mr. Ravi M, and Mr. Nagaraju M. Nagaraju M is the CEO and Managing Director of Rentprop4u, while Ms. Asha M, Mr. Ravi M serve as Managing Directors.
Nagaraju focuses on acquisitions and sales functions in the company. He may be just 29, but he has hands-on experience of five years in the highly competitive and niche property management business. He went on to complete his MBA in finance and marketing, and consequently worked with leading real estate players as a business development executive. He co-founded Rentprop4u in February 2016 with his friends Asha and Ravi. Nagaraju credits his success to his ability to take risks, listen, and constantly learn, and the fact that he’s able to visualise his goals and focus on them.
Asha oversees business tie-ups and marketing. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. Her administrative and leadership skills coupled with a calm temperament help in resolving any challenges faced by the company.
Ravi takes care of finance, digital marketing and property management services. He has an MSc in Multimedia. Ravi is passionate about photography, cinematography and design.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
The idea for Rentprop4u was born from a problem that Nagaraju saw many of his young migrant friends faced when they had to rent a property in Bengaluru. The security deposits seemed exorbitant for young professionals who had just started their careers. Language was a major barrier when dealing with local brokers, and lack of documentation on the part of owners added to their woes. Nagaraju thought that an online solution without interference of the owner or the broker could solve these problems to a large extent.
He proposed the idea to his friends Asha and Ravi who were convinced in the viability of the project and decided to back him.
What we essentially do is take the worry out of owning and renting a home. With an innovative online and offline offering, Rentprop4u provides a one-stop solution catering to all the property needs of owners and tenants.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Home seekers can search and book online from Rentprop4u’s verified listing of their properties. In addition to zero brokerage, tenants have the option to pay the security deposit (five-month rent) in three equated monthly instalments (EMIs). The company takes care of all the documentation work and offers assistance with moving and utility connections too. An added advantage is the facility to make rental payments online.
From finding the right tenant and performing a complete background check to offering assured rentals and managing the property, Rentprop4u provides full-service rental and property management for owners. Be it a single property or a large portfolio, the company is so confident of its tenant placement services that it guarantees to let out the property in less than 30 days or start paying the rent to the owner within a month.
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
I can say it’s Freemium for tenants. We help them find home of their choice at zero brokerage. We do not charge them a single penny.
As for owners, we charge them a month’s rent as service fee for managing their property. That’s our revenue stream. However, we do not charge them for property visits, paper work and other services. We act as a bridge between the owner and the tenant. We help the owner find the right tenant and the tenant find the right home.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
With regard to tenants, our target audience is students/bachelors, corporate employees, working professionals and others.
For students/bachelors who are new to the city and find it difficult to deal with local landlords, Rentprop4u can help them find the accommodation of their choice without owner interference. No more untimely visits by the owner or eviction without notice. We aim to ensure a peaceful stay for our tenants.
As for owners, we focus on apartment and villa owners, builders, NRIs with properties back home in India and others. We help resident- and NRI-property owners to realise the full potential of their real estate investments.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
The company already has 200 plus registered properties and more than 400 users in just a year. With almost 25,000 units lying vacant in Bengaluru, we think there is a huge market potential to be tapped in the city. We intend to replicate the model in other cities such as Hyderabad and Chennai soon, and then take it across the country. We have plans for overseas expansion too.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
From a bootstrapped company with an investment of just Rs 10 lakhs, we have achieved a turnover of Rs 1 crore within a year of our operations. We did face hurdles initially, and I am happy to confess that we managed to overcome those to move ahead.
Success does not come overnight. When you decide to become an entrepreneur, you have to be totally committed to the cause. There is a lot of hard work and dedication, and you also have to be ready for come sacrifices. In the initial stages, I faced some issues in convincing clients. I have to admit that there are times when I have lost hope. But I also bounce back quickly. However, when succeeded in convincing our first client, my confidence level multiplied. And there was no looking back. That’s why I believe that every step is an entrepreneurial journey and success is never ending. The most important thing to hold on to I patience and diligence, and never-give up attitude. Today I stand proud that I’m a successful leader and an entrepreneur. Success is not an overnight occurrence. It can take years or decades to become a role model or inspiration to others. In our case, it is just the beginning. So I remain a partial define of success.
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
For tenants we also help with move-in (assistance with residents/owners’ association formalities and finding movers and packers) and utility connections (telephone, internet, etc) if they need. We are looking at tie-ups with numerous utility-based companies to offer additional services to our customers.