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Experienced rapid growth during the pandemic? Here’s how to maintain it

  • Written by AJ Chand, CEO and Co-Founder of Instarent

Australian made Prop Tech app Instarent saw a 400 per cent increase in users during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Whilst a sudden and dramatic increase in customers is by no means a bad problem to have, CEO and Co-Founder AJ Chand has discovered how important it is to manage rapid success and understand how to maintain this type of growth.

As a business owner, particularly of a start-up, it’s incredibly exciting when your business begins to succeed and even more exciting if you’re seeing that growth every single day. 

When your business is scaling and user adoption is up, rather than get swept up in the excitement of it all and ‘ride the wave’ of success, it is actually the time to begin to look at the bigger picture, take stock of where you are heading and work out how to manage and maintain that growth in the long term. After all, it’s long term success that is the ultimate goal of any business owner.

Do your research

What are your consumers responding to? Look at why the growth is happening and learn from it.

For Instarent, during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Australia we identified a significant increase in landlords looking for alternative options to manage their properties, outside of the traditional ‘real estate agency’ method.

From our research, we discovered that this increase in user adoption was largely based on landlords’ urgent need to reduce overhead costs and boost their cash flow. Second to this, we found that landlords were also hoping to ensure vacancy rates were lowered by utilising additional services outside of the traditional leasing options. 

Throughout this research process, we adapted our business model to focus on several key areas that would help our consumers streamline these pain points as much as possible.

In response to the global pandemic and the strain it was having on landlords, we also decided to offer Instarent’s products and services free of charge, as a sign of good-will to landlords who were looking for tenants during this time. This allowed us to immediately reduce many of the upcoming costs of property management for landlords and take some of the financial burden off them during these challenging times.

If your business is scaling, scale your technology with it

To keep up with dramatic growth, it is essential you have the right tools to scale your operations along with it. Today’s consumer is demanding a lot more than they were 5 years ago - they want easier, more efficient ways of doing things and they want the technology to support that. 

Your offering may be good enough for right now, but it is important to ensure that as you continue to grow, your offering is growing with it - be innovative, being different, don’t get left behind.

This year has really allowed us to learn from our data and drastically improve user experience, partnering with institutions like AWS, HubSpot and Google, and has allowed us continue innovating.

COVID has given us an opportunity to become very product focused and we have a great team of engineers and support that understand the problem we are solving. We have also developed additional features into Instarent and integrated with other platforms to increase capability.

Hire fresh, new team members

When exiting the start-up phase of your business, something that many business owners would not think of doing, but we believe is essential, is to hire new team members who bring fresh, new and creative ideas to the table. They have a whole new perspective and have the ability to look at the business with fresh eyes. 

And no, I’m not suggesting that you fire your existing tea but when you’re growing as rapidly as we are, there’s room to bring more people on board and you shouldn’t be afraid to do so, quickly. 

We’re seeing this trend all over Linkedin at the moment - especially in the Prop Tech space - they are all hiring, which means there is a lot of belief that this market is scaling,

Keep it simple, get the basics right

Finally, don’t overcomplicate things and think that your growth is an excuse to triple the services you offer or completely change what you are doing.  Remember, you’re growing because people like what you do – it’s important to get the basics right and not overcomplicate things. 

2020 has been a really great time for business owners to look inwards and make sure that they are building their business on a strong foundation.  Rather than being ‘average’ at a lot of things, be the best at just a few – it’ allows you to stand out as leaders.

Audit your own business, ensure that everything and everyone is performing to the best of their ability and that what you are putting out to market is of the highest quality. 

About Instarent

Launched in 2018, Instarent is already one of Australia’s fastest-growing PropTech companies and is the first fully integrated online solution for property owners to manage their own investment properties. It is a ‘set and forget’ end-to-end solution that manages and facilitates the entire property management ecosystem by automating the process for tenants, agents, landlords and tradespeople. Landlords can control all of their finances from one place and rent and manage their properties without a property manager; tenants can search for properties and communicate swiftly and easily with their landlords. The app also makes for seamless communication between landlords, tenants and even tradies.

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