In Nigeria, accommodation is one of many challenges families, young graduates and workers face. This is due to the demand for advance rent payments of at least two years. As a result, many are unable to seek decent accommodation because they cannot afford rent advance.
While this challenge is age-old, the Nigerian government has not done enough to resolve it either through building low-cost housing or legislation that will protect tenants, leaving them to the mercy of homeowners or landlords.
To address this domestic challenge, a proptech company has rolled out an innovative solution to provide accommodation to Nigerians without stress. The company, RentSmallSmall, is co-founded and led by Tunde Balogun.
The company runs by linking home seekers to landlords, according to Techcabal. In so doing, tenants do not have to pay an agency, legal or inspection fee. Also, the company is helping to ensure that monthly rent payment is possible in Nigeria based on its survey, which showed that 88 percent of Lagosians want to pay rent monthly. Through its app, RentSmallSmall allows users to view properties and also schedule an inspection virtually without having to seek the help of an agent.
“There is also the option of virtual inspections, which gives sufficient information just like the physical inspection. This is all driven by technology, which shortens the time it would ordinarily take to conduct these activities in the traditional rental system,” Balogun told Techcabal.
“What we also offer our landlords is the guarantee of verified tenants, steady income, and quality property management. Landlords are keen on getting the best tenants for their properties, and we help them achieve this using technology,” he added.
Balogun started his venture after finding that most people who need homes do not have the upfront payment required.
“For me and my co-founders, it was about providing a solution and that meant tackling a system deeply rooted in culture and habits,” he said, adding, “We believed the systems obtainable in other climes could also be had here in Nigeria. What was required was dedication and commitment to the vision. It is why we started to empower Nigerians with choice and access to quality housing, using technology, to give them peace of mind, and remove the stress and challenges that come with the entire process.”
Balogun has a background in business management. He has previously conducted real estate business in Asia and other developed countries. But commencing RentSmallSmall didn’t come easy, Balogun said. According to him, their big task was providing access to quality homes.
“The housing market is filled with poorly built properties, and it takes a toll on property managers because it means the bulk of our time is spent fixing issues. We have taken the hit for these issues and have received the vitriol of customers, though we do not own the properties. However, it is what fuels us, to see that people are able to live in homes where,” he explained further.
Balogun said the vision of his company is to use technology to drive transformation in the real estate and property market. The company has made progress in this regard since it started operating three years ago, he said.
He added that he intends to expand to all states in Nigeria and also other African countries. “We see ourselves as growth drivers and will remain committed to this responsibility,” he said.