Meet RentSmallSmall, the Lagos Based Startup Making Rent Payments Flexible for Lagosians
Over 20 million people stay in Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria. Hence the housing industry in Lagos is very lucrative for home owners and in turn tough for those looking to rent an apartment. This is because of the scarcity of suitable, comfortable apartments and even when available they are very expensive beyond the average Lagosian.
But a new proptech startup, RentSmallSmall is pioneering a solution to address these complexities that bedevil securing apartments in Lagos.
Launched in October last year, RentSmallSmall is providing an easy way out for people to access rental properties (most of which are furnished). The startup serves as an intermediary to help people find a property for rent (within 48 hours) and pay how ever convenient for them. Be it monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. This is very much unlike the current trend of paying 1-2 years of rent upfront to landlords.
Founded by Tunde Balogun, the platform puts up various types of properties for rent, from apartments for families to office and even studio spaces. All these properties are listed under various price ranges and the startup boasts of affordable housing even as low as N50,000 monthly.
This is pretty competitive considering that the platform currently has only houses on the Island, listed on its platform.
Interestingly, unlike typical house agents that requests for a commission and agreement fee, RentSmallSmall does not. The startup instead marks up the base rent given by the Landlord by 8%.
Asides the affordability and flexibility of the rent payment, customers who rent through the startup are also insured by AXA Mansard Insurance Plc (the startups partner). This ensures that the tenant is insured for certain months against defaults that could come as a result of job loss, critical illness or accident.
And not only does the tenant stand to gain, home owners also have a lot to gain through the platform. Landlords get their homes exposed to a large audience which means that their homes are not vacant for too long.
Landlords also get to rent out their apartments to tenants who have been properly verified. As RentSmallSmall subject intending tenants to dilligent verification which includes a check of their IDs, referees, employment status, and income proofs.
The company also allows for people to join its referral program. Refer a Landlord or Tenant and earn up to 25% of RentSmallSmall’s commission.
Currently, it operates only on the Island and looks to expand to the Mainland before the end of the year, control the Lagos market before moving to other areas in Lagos.
And one major challenge the startup may face doing these is sourcing for more properties on its platform. The startup would need to add to its list of agents which currently has Estate Link, Nedcomoaks and Rydal News Ltd.
It will also face competition from other housing industry players such as Fibre.
Already, it has raised investments from angel investors and has over 90 properties (not yet taken) and about 40 tenants on its platform.
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