Smart Livein provides tenants houses that are fully furnished with a television, internet connection, kitchen utensils and more.

Not just essentials this startup manages your groceries and health too if you are a tenant
Atom Startups Saturday, May 27, 2017 - 22:29

Karunakar Raju’s job as a software professional required him to shift houses quite often. It always depended on the length of the project. Sometimes it would be just six months and sometimes longer than a year. And each time he moved into a new city, finding a place to stay was the biggest hassle. Several available services also didn’t make it easier. 

And this is not an uncommon problem. Moving cities for work has become a common phenomenon.

“It is a very unorganized sector. Finding the right place is a tedious and expensive affair to pay the broker and with the security deposit, money recovery also is always an issue. Moreover, for software professionals, we never know how long we will be staying there so furnishing the house and accumulating things accordingly is always an issue,” says Raju. 

To address this issue -- something he faced personally many times – Raju founded Smart Livein in Hyderabad with his mother Seshumani in October 2016. 

Smart Livein, according to Raju, connects the dots between technology and living spaces. It helps people identify a place, individual owners, takes their flat and refurbishes it to suit the kind of people moving in – be it bachelors or a family. 

It rents the flat on behalf of the owner and takes the responsibility of bringing it up to the standards of the tenant and ensures everything is in place before you move in. It even takes care of monthly rent collection. 

So say, you are moving to Hyderabad and need a place to stay. All you need to do is sign up on Smart Livein and select a place to stay from those listed on the website. If you already own some amenities, it even lets you pick semi-furnished or unfurnished houses. Once that is done, Smart Livein’s Site Managers help you visit the place and move in. 

And when it says fully furnished, right from a sofa set to an LCD TV with DTH connection in your living room, a bedroom with brand new mattresses and pillows to a kitchen with a stove, refrigerator and utensils and a dining hall with all the required furniture, every single detail is taken care of.

It even offers an internet connection. And all this is covered in the monthly rent. One only has to pay extra for water, electricity and other value added services like helping your children find a school.

Every contract is signed for a minimum period of six months. And once that is done, Smart Livein also takes care of issues, if any. 

“Say there is a problem with a light bulb, or a leaking tap, our people will come and fix it for you. We have also tied up with some companies that can come and render these services. So the living space is entirely managed by us, saving you time,” says Raju. 

The idea is to completely cater to the requirements of tenants and even the owners. 

Revenue Generation

There are three types of furnishing services offered by Smart Livein. 

First, if an owner offers a fully furnished house that Smart Livein helps find a tenant for, it charges the owner a commission of around 15%.

If the house has to be furnished, Smart Livein has tie-ups with furniture players like Pepperfry, who will invest initially in furnishing the house. The owner can then pay them back in EMIs. 

Tenants also have the option of investing in furnishing the house if they are taking the house for a longer period. In such cases, instead of the owner, the tenant can pay the EMI.

Smart Livein also offers to invest in furnishing the house and paying monthly EMIs. In such cases, they charge the owner 35% of the rent he receives on that house.

No commission is charged to tenants for the houses Smart Livein helps them find. 

There are other players in the market that offer house-searching and renting services. But the differentiating factor that Smart Livein has is the value-added services it will be offering over and above the essential services already mentioned. 

“We are planning to offer services like grocery, entertainment, travel and more. We are tying up with renowned brands and will soon be integrating them on our platform,” Raju says.

One such service it has already integrated with is in partnership with NanoHealth, which is a social enterprise that helps in bringing cost-effective healthcare to people’s doorstep. Through this tie-up, tenants in Smart Livein’s network get discounted services to ensure health and wellness. It has also tied up with continental hospitals.

To make transportation easy for its tenants, Smart Livein is also tying up with cab aggregator Ola. Through this, tenants will get discounts from Smart Livein to make transportation a lot simpler and cheaper. 

It is currently in the process of also bringing on board grocery services. The idea is to render all essential services to its customers under one platform. While its customers can currently avail these services offline through its customer care, Smart Livein hopes to integrate all these services by the next quarter. 

Started with a bootstrapped investment of around half a million dollars, Smart Livein has around 100 apartments in Hyderabad listed on its platform and has found homes for over 300 customers since launch. 

It currently works out of T-Hub, its incubator. "Providing a nurturing and supportive environment, access to intensive business support along with financial and mentor ship support, incubators help realize the true prospects of an entrepreneur future. T-hub is playing a major role in  mentoring, providing space to Smart Livein and has given us guidance, helped in connecting investors and industry leaders through networking  and helped us grow," Raju says

The next immediate focus for the 20-member team is to launch its app in the next two weeks. 

It then plans to expand operations to Bengaluru and Pune within the next three to six months. The idea is to garner at least 1000 customers by the end of this year.

And once it expands operations, the idea is to build a network not just in India but across the world. And once a tenant is part of the network, moving houses whenever and wherever will be completely taken care of by Smart Livein.

This article has been produced with inputs from T-Hub as a part of a partner program.

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