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The app that takes the stress out of house rentals – The Royal Gazette

Updated: August 17, 2022 07:46

Tom Allason, Founder and CEO of Residently (Photograph provided)

Bermudian tech entrepreneur Tom Allason and the team at Residently have revolutionized the UK rental property market with an app that takes the stress and pain out of the rental process.

Launched in 2017, a network of 8,000 rental properties in Britain use Residently, and thousands of tenants have downloaded the app.

In 2020, Residently offered its software to property managers and estate agents in the UK and then rolled it out to their platforms.

Although it does not charge rental agents, Residently receives a percentage of the rent if it finds them a new tenant.

Tenants on the app can access and rent properties, arrange viewings, and order in-home services such as furniture rentals, cleaning services, movers, and utility setup, with Residently earning a commission when services are ordered.

Tom Allason, Founder and CEO of Residently (Photograph provided)

Mr. Allason, the Founder and CEO, said, “The app gives us a relationship with the tenant. They give notice or extend their lease on the app, so we know which properties will be available and when.

“We’ve created a rental ‘super app’, an account for your home throughout the rental lifecycle.”

He added: “What we’re trying to do for home is what Uber has done for transportation. Uber has built a consumer brand around an app to make transportation frictionless.

“We take the stress and pain out of the rental process – we think that’s what’s really a game-changer.

“This is what makes it possible to transcend rental. The biggest problem with renting is the lack of ability to plan ahead. This translates to a mad scramble each time you want to move and a decision between paying rent on two properties at once or rolling the dice and accepting a compromise. After a few swipes, we are led to believe that the only way out is to buy.

Mr Allason said: “The next step for us is to start generating revenue in the UK. We started by developing the tenant experience, then we built a network and showed that we could grow it. Now is the time to monetize it. »

Next stop: the United States, the largest service market in the world.

Residently is set to launch in the US this year in tandem with a US strategic partner. A pilot in New York has already finished.

While Britain has about five million rental units, Mr Allason said, the United States has some 42 million units and represents a market worth more than $600 billion a year.

“It’s the same process we went through with Shutl,” Allason says of the tech company he sold to eBay for an undisclosed sum in 2013.

“We are building a leading product and experience in the UK, a relatively defensible and under-the-radar market.

“And once we figure it out, we’ll take it to the United States.”

Mr. Allason, who spent much of his youth on the island, is based in Bermuda.

UK-based Residently has 55 staff working in offices in London and Manchester, and currently has one employee in New York.

The idea for Residently came to Mr. Allason after several unsatisfactory experiences as a tenant.

After ten years as a landlord, he decides to renovate his London home and begins looking for a rental for an 18-month stay.

He said: “I was looking forward to the promise of renting, the flexibility and the ability to live in a different part of town and in a different type of property.

“Given it’s been ten years since I’ve rented before, I assumed things had moved on a bit. The short version is that they didn’t – every part of the experience sucked.

“I thought, ‘Someone should do something about this.’ As a smug owner, however, I didn’t think anyone should be me.

“But then over the course of three years I moved to San Francisco, San Jose and eventually Seattle and each time I had the exact same rental experience. And with that, the realization that what most people in the world will spend the most for the rest of their life, rent, has a shitty customer experience and no brand leader.

“I couldn’t reconcile that in a world where we expect to get a taxi, takeout or travel in seconds.”

Mr. Allason added: “The idea was very simple. What if we created this new standard of experience for rentals? What if this experience became the norm?

“The idea is to build the brand for the most important and underserved segment of consumer spending.”

Residently recently raised £5m from existing shareholders and new investors, including a crowdfunding component.

The organization plans to organize another round of venture capital within a year.