Are your neighbors noisy? Is your heating system too expensive? Will your landlord return the deposit? These are some of the most common questions people think about before renting a house. And, generally, the answers you get are: “this is a very quiet community,”“it depends on how much you use it,” and “there won’t be any problem with the deposit.” However, reality doesn’t always match expectations and what landlords say, and many tenants end up finding unexpected and unpleasant surprises.
(Featured Image: Teresa Castaño and Jorge Guillén / Image Credit: YOVIVÍ)
Teresa Castaño and Jorge Guillén faced this kind of situation and, tired of it, they decided to bring a solution to this problem. They launched YOVIVÍ, the first collaborative platform where tenants can review and evaluate their rental experiences and future tenants can obtain real first-hand information about how former tenants found their experience living in the place they are thinking of renting.
The main goal of the startup is to serve as a bridge between tenants. But YOVIVÍ doesn’t only address tenants; it also targets landlords, who can offer their tenants the opportunity to comment on their experience during the rental and thus obtain a good assessment as lessor. On the platform, people can also get an overall picture of what it would be like to live at a particular address. For example, they learn about the neighborhood of the rental and the services around it.
How does the platform work? Once registered on the website, a user can enter their housing details and write an assessment of their rental experience. Other tenants, as well as the owner, can add reviews and comments for a property. The platform also offers the possibility to contact previous tenants for further information.
For now, the web-based platform is only a beta version. Teresa and Jorge first shared the platform with their friends and family. Soon after, word got out about the useful platform and Spanish media – El Mundo, La Razón, National TV, TICbeat, etc. – began talking about the concept. The founders are currently working on a mobile application to make it easier for anyone to be able to review or find a rental. The immediate word-of-mouth buzz about the platform has already piqued the interest of many business angels and investors.
One thing is for sure—in the first 20 days, YOVIVÍ got great traction. They had over 3,000 sessions and 150 sign-ins (mostly by tenants), and they already discussed the idea of a partnership with another moving startup that will be announced this month. Last but not least, a negotiation with a large Erasmus platform network is in progress. Currently focused on building a community of likeminded people who are willing to share their opinions about their experiences, Teresa and Jorge are confiding the effective business model will be launched in a few months. They say that the startup won’t charge either tenants or owners; instead they are thinking about other ways to monetize the platform.
In the first phase of development, the startup remained focused on the tenants. Now, they are working on getting owners to integrate their properties into the platform and use the reviews as their core marketing strategy. The startup is also announcing that, in a few months, tenants will find flats to rent on the platform, of course with reviews from previous tenants! At the same time, international expansion is on the founders’ minds, as they’re already targeting Brazil and Colombia.
This article was first published in SILICON