Rentround: Rajdeep Dosanjh
Rentround is a comparison site that allows landlords to find letting agents
Name of founder: Rajdeep Dosanjh
Date launched: July 2019
Number of employees: 3
Age of founder: 34
Which university, if any, did you attend? Aston University
Rentround is a comparison website for landlords to get matched with the best letting agents for their requirements. Founder Rajdeep Dosanjh describes Rentround’s startup journey below…
Tell us what your business does:
We are a letting agent comparison site. We give the opportunity for landlords to compare letting agents fees, ratings and services in their area. Landlords using our site are able to save on rental costs and find the best letting agent for them.
Our income is generated from letting agents paying a listing fee on our site. In return, they get leads in the form of the landlords running comparisons on the platform.
Where did the idea of your business come from?
|I am a landlord myself. When looking for a letting agent I became increasingly frustrated at finding a good one. Fees weren't clear and there wasn't much transparency on which services each agent provides. I then thought to myself – create one myself!
Through research, I saw a few companies doing something similar. However, these companies weren't providing the transparency on fees and ratings that I was looking for. So I then created a quick site to see if there was interest.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Once I knew there was interest, I then pushed the platform and created a far better proposition for landlords and agents. Testing the market before investing heavily gave us the confidence that there was a demand.
What were you doing before starting up?
My previous roles were in banking and finance. I have worked in director roles for Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon.
My experience is mainly in regulation and technology, looking after projects such as Brexit, GDPR and MiFID 2.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, right from a young age. I got offered a job at Deutsche Bank straight out of university during the 2008 financial crisis – at that point, banking became my main focus.
However, my entrepreneurial spirit soon came out and I created Rentround, as well as a few other companies in the mentoring world, and a martial arts club.
How did you raise the money?
I funded the company with my own money from my banking and finance career.
This avoids me having to pay back loans etc and allows me the freedom and ownership of the company’s decisions.
Describe your business model and how you make money.
Letting agents pay to list their services on Rentround. Prices start from £14.99 per month. Even if they get just one successful lead from us, the profit from that far exceeds our fees for a year. It's really a no brainer for agents to join, especially as some agents get up to 50 leads from us in a month!
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The main challenge was improving the platform while experiencing fast growth, and the time pressure this creates. I had to ensure landlords and agents got what they needed from the site, while responding to queries and networking in the industry.
I also needed to juggle approving the site designs and working on which new features we should release. It was difficult to manage the time but with a number of sacrifices, it all came together.
However, the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur is how to discipline despair. With hours and hours ploughed into starting a new company and the uncertainty on whether it's going to do well, the tension and pressure is really high.
What was your first big breakthrough?
The first big breakthrough in my mind was when the first 10 agents signed up to the platform in the first three days. This removed any doubt in my mind that this idea may not work.
It showed a real market need for a good letting agent comparison tool and agents were keen on raising their number of leads.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
When things go wrong or you get bad feedback, it can really affect entrepreneurs. I had many days at the start of Rentround where I felt really down at negative events.
However, it's important to discipline those moments and not let them become bigger than they actually are: don't let you get them down and draw upon good things that are happening.
Don't let momentum drop and keep trust in yourself to deliver. Discipline your despair!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I want Rentround to have cemented its position as the number one place to go to compare letting agents.
Internationalisation and diversification is another focus: we have a number of potential markets where we feel there is also a gap for a similar model. This includes other industries and locations across the globe.
So within five years I would also expect us to have broken the barriers to these other industries and locations.
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