Livvehomes.com: A story of grit and persistence that is changing India’s Home rental rules
Livvetripled its count of houses to rent out over the last 1 year to almost 5000 houses across the country. The heady growth comes after a shaky start in which they were at the verge of closing down at least twice and from there has grown on to be one of the strongest and the only one of its kind property management company in the country.
Josy Mathew, Founder and CEO is a serial entrepreneur who is changing the rental ecosystem in India. His previous startup 53central.com was aquired by Askme.com and from there he went on to starting Livve- A safe and secure property management and real estate analytics firm that today serves over 5000 owners and 20,000 tenants across the country.
“No longer will any tenant be turned down a safe and secure society living experience due to an owner’s prejudice and neither will they be financially burdened by it.” Says Josy Mathew,Founder/CEO Livve
Just as Airbnb brought about a massive change in the short-termrental industry, Livve has brought about a massive change in the rental ecospace by offering tenants fully furnished houses with a zero-deposit model across various cities in India. They have achieved a scale very few can boast of in a short span of time.
Josy and his team initially struggled to convince home owners to rent the apartments to them and give Livve control of the entire rental cycle. “When we started approaching the first set of home owners in early 2016, there was a lot of resistance. I remember being abused and asked to leave, without even getting a proper chance to explain how the owner is actually better secured through our model, once the owners learnt that we wanted the house furnished in a luxurious way in their cost and with just a month’s security,” he recalls.
In the initial days, the number of issues Livve faced with owners not abiding by the contract terms, not following protocols, abusing, aggressive behaviour, not returning deposits given were a great hassle and often times quite disheartening. But one by one, Livve convinced owners to give their houses to the company and slowly that has changed how a great portion of owners in Bangalore and Chennai now rent their houses. Strict contractual terms, strong operational and legal processes combined with the great experiences owners have had with the team, referral signups is what drives more than 40% of the onboarding process today of the company.
The first year they faced a near shut down scenario with some owners who were not happy that they were renting houses to tenants without a deposit at all and faced quite a few backlashes as these owners created a lot of operational issues for them to manage the properties, but over the next 3 years they built up scale and now operate around 5000 full houses across the country making them a part of the elite category in the property management sector.
But, the pain was worth it, if you want to have a firm grip over customer service. Livve, in its earliest avatar as operated as an aggregator before founder and CEO Josy Mathew decided to change tracks. Today, Livve, which has so far raised about $6.5 million from various angel investors straddles all business models—Lease, Franchise, and ‘managed”. It expects the managed and lease models to account for 60-65 percent of its inventory in the next two to three years.
Josy admits that scaling the managed and an assured rental model took them a lot of time and money: “The excellence one needs to build in the backend become critical. You need to have extensive patience dealing with each owner, each tenant, societies, various local bodies and then comes recruitment, training and operating capabilities. Initially, it was all just the grit of the founding team and the first five members that made it work.”
Today Livve offers an assured and reliable source of rental to owners who own a rental investment property and to tenants an extremely well kept, safe and secure living option. They have partnerships with every premium builder brand there is in the country and are right hand man to any owner purchasing a property as an investment vehicle.
With its own branded furniture showrooms, supermarkets, gate management and property management systems, Livve is looking to own the complete lifecycle of the apartment living experience for owners and tenants by 2025.