No, I’m not talking about a race. And I don’t see my waiter coming from across the restaurant (though that is always exciting).
I’m talking about the Startup I’ve been working on since August 2012. Landlord Advisor was an idea I had sitting on the shelf for a while before I took a run at it.
Building a web start up with no coding experience and no funding was a process of trial and error. Like prepping for an Ironman, Landlord Advisor was a series of ups & downs, hard fought battles, and a few bonks.
But in December 2012 the site went live! I was thrilled. Now all we needed were users. From there would come the ad revenue, then updates and added features.
But the users were few and far between. After 10 months I gained less than 100 users.
And as I tried to figure out ways to bring them in, larger companies with working capital & real staff were offering similar features to their legions of users.
To say I was frustrated is an understatement.
Had I failed? Maybe, but this wasn’t the end.
There was a product I wanted to add to the site that no one else had. It would change the way people look for apartments.
I called it RentSpek. A patent pending method of inspecting a rental before you get locked into a lease. It guides renters through a property and asks simple questions that are calculated into a grade.
It will help renters diagnose potential problems with an apartment or house right away.
It started gaining a little interest, and I realized that RentSpek was more than just a feature of Landlord Advisor… It was THE feature. RentSpek needed to be its own product & brand.
After talking with some associates, I decided RentSpek had to get going quickly.
I began re-branding the companies Twitter & Facebook pages. The freelance developer I was using needed to shift his focus to making RentSpek a standalone product. And we NEEDED an app.
Things moved fast. Mockups were done, graphics were designed and I started soliciting quotes from app development companies to get this app built.
Currently RentSpek is being designed for mobile web. Which means users will need to log on to RentSpek.com to use the service on their phone.
A little more tedious than just tapping on an app icon. This NEEDS to be an app.
Because it makes sense. People are always snapping pictures with their iPhones on apartment tours to revisit later when deciding on a place. We’re connected online to “check in” at buildings.
People will use this app because it takes what they’re already doing and adds a free service to it.
The quotes for the app build nearly gave me a heart attack. $50,000 was about average.
So I set up a campaign on IndieGoGo, a crowd funding platform. That gave me 30 days to raise $50,000.
There are 8 days left and we’ve raised a total of $110.
I remembered the same thing happening when I was building Landlord Advisor. With that project I eventually turned to a website called Elance, where freelancers around the world bid your project.
Just for grins I posted the job, and within hours I had proposals. I found one freelancer who had the best quote & an amazing work example to show me.
My faith in getting this app built was restored… Sort of.
The fact that I found a quote 10’s of thousands of dollars less than the big firms quoted doesn’t change the fact that we have only raised $110.
The frame work is there. The site will go live in a week, we have a marketing plan. We just need some capital.
You endurance athletes know the feeling when you’re blocks away from the finishline. You can hear Mike Riley’s voice in the distance, the spectators are giving high fives and everything you trained for matters for this one moment.
That’s where we are now. If you or anyone you know may be interested i helping us out, you can find all the information here on the IndieGogo page.
If you have any questions about anything… Ever, send me an email.
And as always thanks for reading.