After raising the seed fund, we have to select a particular model to scale up. We have been running marketplace for hotels' inventory for long term basis, we also had PGs and apartments as well.
We decided to make 2 more experiments:
Experiment 1: continuing with market place. We kept on adding inventory and making the base strong. Tried to standardize rates and services. Setting up basic quality checks.
We realized, depending on a 3rd party for providing services makes it very difficult to control quality and maintain standards. Any bad review because of others were bringing the brand down. We eventually thought to restrict it to people who can deliver quality and finally decided to exit it as it was not generating expected customer review.
Experiment 2: Luxury properties as service apartments for long term stays.
Our first property was by name Sunshine Villa in Koramangala. It was a 8 bed room villa. Every room had attached washrooms, beds, TVs, storage space, and everything necessary for staying. We also set up a kitchen. Has some tasty food there, used to have lunch multiple times. Also found some great workers, by getting them from a known source from our marketplace model.
the property: https://goo.gl/maps/qgmHd8WYXXxsFtzy6
We opened it for daily bookings as well. We started to perform really well and were the best rated on Booking.com and also among the better rated on Airbnb. We have been able to establish it in a good way.
We thought it would be a money churner, but there were a lot of ups and downs in business. We found it difficult to get right unit economics. We also understood that rooms are not a very preferable option for people in Bangalore for long term stays. And corporate bookings are total waste of efforts. They will negotiate a lot and compare your service on lowest cost basis. Their payment terms are so delayed. Getting business from them means giving them incentives in some or other way. We did good from individuals, but it required a huge effort to keep on changing rates, respond to customers on daily basis. Because of this manpower costs were high. We got one more property for short term, trying to optimize costs and business. Brought it under separate branding of Zion Stays. But we realized that this experiment was not making sense any further.
Experiment 3: 1bhks and Studio apartments on long term rentals. Which are fully furnished and offerd all basics like internet, TV, gas and basic kitchen utensils. Our aim to give freedom of moving in an out without any deposit ot brokerage was finally coming true with this experiment. Initial reviews by customers gave a huge confidence. Some of the intial customers are still me friends.
We expanded across the city with this model. We started with HAL, then Indiranagar, Manyata Tech park, AECS, HSR, Marathahalli, and so on. We still are expanding in this form. We completely pivoted to this model. We are rated the top in this segment. We have had a good control over the total quality and complete customer experience was controlled by us.
Thus we formed SimplyMoveIn.com in its current form. We arrived here with huge experiments, a good amount of burn as well. But every time we had only one thing in mind, how to give the best to the customers. This is what has driven us till now, the customer reviews are the thing which keep us motivated to go out and deliver the best every day.