Long before becoming a real estate investor, I was once a young graduate who had trouble shelling out a large sum to pay the rental deposit. Years later, my goal has been to maximize rental income from my properties, like all other investors. Since I have been on both sides of the table, I have considered these factors which have been instrumental in shaping the company’s services to what it is today.
When I was inspired by companies such as Sayrhino and Leaselock, I was determined to provide more value-added services to communities, ideally a reliable, hassle-free all-in-one software system. Unquestionably, the lack of affordable deposits and the inability to find a reliable tenant are key factors that tenant and landlord can’t seem to get along with. To come to a middle ground in this scenario is where BlueDuck comes in. As you might expect, everyone wants a win-win solution and at a reasonable cost. Therefore, our team at BlueDuck focused on narrowing slices of the problem and addressing the visible symptoms that would positively impact the sublease market today.
In 2020, the answer to the BlueDuck Zero Deposit program has proven to be much-needed relief for some financially burdened tenants in an already overpriced rental market. It is not only tenants who are applauding the cause, but also homeowners, as they would benefit from high-value protection through insurance provided by Liberty Insurance Berhad. As our data shows, less than 5% of our users said they had evicted, which is contrary to popular belief that most tenants tend to abuse this policy. Thanks to the overwhelming response, BlueDuck now serves over 2,000 tenants and owners since launching in August 2020.
So the question is what’s next on the plate. According to a survey, 65% of respondents indicated that a tenant’s gender should be mandatory information for the landlord, followed closely by nationality at 64% and marital status at 63%. What this tells us is that, just like a job seeker’s profile, a tenant’s profile is critical to the selection process. Instead of physically interviewing the tenant, what if landlords could get their profile with their consent and verifiable data, not to mention their rental history and credit rating. It goes without saying that adequate disclosure is reasonable if the tenant also consents to this requirement, as it is a win-win scenario for both. Therefore, by the fourth quarter of 2021, we will launch the ‘BD Tenant Profiling‘ as a complementary service to the Zero Deposit Solution. It should benefit more than 50,000 tenants over the next 3 years.
As mentioned before, our vision is to achieve an all-in-one service that works well for all parties. Now, of course, the process is faster, transparency is unlocked, credibility is checked and risk is mitigated at the same time, and everything is done in the interests of landlords and tenants. Despite the pandemic, our product serves its purpose by meeting the needs of the parties without them needing to be physically present.
With our current proposal to provide a more holistic solution to the market, we look forward to its recovery also after the pandemic. Although we have a lot to offer, we know that there will only be challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Thus, we participated in MaGIC Virtual GAP Cohort 5 which is designed to help us stay competitive in the market. We are thrilled to graduate from the MaGIC GAP Cohort 5, being the top 30 startups on the list. Throughout the program, I met many like-minded people from around the world and was coached by reputable business veterans. This program also helped me to validate if there is a product-market fit and also to evaluate our own business. In the end, I encourage all entrepreneurs to join any competition and cohort to increase their competitiveness and worldview. -Earnest Wong, CEO of BlueDuck. For more information, please visit our website www.blueduck.my.
This content is provided by Malaysian Global Center for Innovation and Creativity (MaGIC).
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