The online rental startup, and one of many companies looking to transform the rental process, has announced plans to grow its team by 30 after a £2.5m funding round.
With just under 100 properties under management in London, Residently was launched as a response to founder, Tom Allason’s, frustrations renting homes in different cities and the experience of being a London landlord himself. Tom, who previously founded delivery service Shutl which was acquired by eBay in 2013, commented: “I was surprised by how the rental market had failed to move with the times. Why was it you could book an Airbnb in seconds but renting your next home would take weeks full of friction, stress and hidden costs?
“I realised that generation rent would, for the rest of their lives, be spending the greatest proportion of their income on something that had a horrible customer experience and enjoyed no brand loyalty.
“The idea for Residently was formed from this insight, with mission of building a rental brand designed around the renter but which also benefited landlords.”
People are expecting better experiences from companies and as a result, the homes-as-as-service market is growing with it set to disrupt the private rental sector.
As the world becomes more connected and accessible people are travelling more, they’re working from different countries, and for some having a mortgage or a permanent base is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The Home-as-a-service trend offers flexibility and allows people to pay for a home as and when they want it.
The startup currently commits to direct leases of up to 5 years as the landlord’s direct tenant, guaranteeing rent while eliminating void periods for the duration of the tenancy, and then acts as the direct landlord to its network.
The platform offers alternatives to processes that often are pain points in the renting experience; it provides dynamic scheduling of viewings, an electronic sign-up process, no tenant fees and the provision of additional home services including furniture packages, cleaning and laundry services – all managed through a mobile web app.
Residents can move between properties in the network, free of charge, with their services and preferences automatically transferring with them. The firm is planning to launch a second location in an international city later this year.
The London-based firm will recruit for its product and technology teams, including software engineers and designers, as well as customer services. New recruits will be based out of Residently’s offices in Manchester, where there is an existing team of 11 and is headed by chief technology officer, Sam Phillips, former eBay executive and head of engineering at Shutl.
The rise of homes-as-a-service
A subsidiary to WeWork’s coworking empire, WeLive is trying to play the role of ‘Airbnb for homes’ with its short- to long-term serviced apartments targeted at those travelling for work. With WeWork’s recent announcement on rebranding as The We Company and focusing on ignalling that homes-as-a-service is a trend here to stay, each unit is fully furnished with a full-time concierge and housekeeping team, and more all powered through an app. The homes are currently only available in America in New York and DC.