Renting a home with proper documentation and moving in it without spending on renovation would have not been easier if Zenify were not there. Zenify.in lists only those rental properties which are in good condition and come with unambiguous paperwork. There are many rental property listing portals. Unlike those, Zenify is a complete rental solution for both property owners and tenants. It promises the ease of selection, the ease of renting and the ease of moving in.
Zenify is a Bangalore-based technology startup that has simplified the process of renting properties to such an extent that tenants just need to book homes of their choice online and move in while Zenify professionals take care of the rest. Zenify’s end-to-end property management technology has transformed what used to be a chaotic business into a hassle-free experience for both property owners and tenants.
Zenify is the brainchild of three graduates from IIT Madras in Chennai: Sudarshan Purohit, Ankur Agarwal and Kailash Rathi. What made them venture into online property renting business is a story. As migrants to Chennai, they faced a number of issues while trying to find a place on rent. The language barrier and unpleasant broker experience motivated them to come up with a solution to address the problems that migrants face in a new city.
Having had a history of family business back in their hometowns, Sudarshan Purohit, Ankur Agarwal and Kailash Rathi had a strong urge to start their own business. They had ideas. They were willing to take risks. They had an undying entrepreneurial spirit. They decided to take the plunge and launched Zenify.in in 2012 after a thorough market research. Their main objective was to create a niche model for house rentals which is beneficial for both tenants and owners.
Among the cofounders of Zenify, Sudarshan Purohit is an electrical engineer from IIT Madras. Currently he is the CEO of Zenify. Ankur Agarwal, an IIT Madras graduate in electrical engineering, was a business analyst with Global Analytics in Chennai before he became the head of data analytics at Zenify. Kailash Rathi, a graduate in aerospace engineering from IIT Madras, was a strategic marketing analyst at Net-App in Bangalore before he cofounded Zenify. Currently he is at the helm of finance and strategy at Zenify.
What makes Zenify stand apart from other property listing portals is the unique business model which empowers Zenify to work between owners and tenants. “Once an owner registers with Zenify, we review the property. If it is suitable Zenify becomes the tenant and gets the right to it. For a property owner, Zenify is the tenant and for a tenant, Zenify becomes the owner. We charge a month’s rent as a service fee from the owners every year. There is no brokerage for tenants. If a tenant discontinues the agreement, Zenify continues to pay the rent to the owner even when the flat is vacant. Tenants registered on Zenify get a broker-free experience, standard pricing and easy terms of agreement,” says Sudarshan Purohit. He sumps the USP of the startup in a number of highlights:
- Fair price to owners and tenants
- Tenant verification
- End to end paperwork management
- Assured occupancy
- A to Z flat maintenance
- Regular inspection
- A dedicated team of maintenance personnel
- Assured rent for owners
How is the competition for Zenify in this business niche? In response, Sudarshan Purohit says that they don’t have to face stiff competition for survival as there are fewer players in the market which only help to find rental properties though online listing while provide comprehensive rental solutions from discovery to documentation to maintenance. Zenify screens the profiles of tenants and owners before dealing with them, evaluates the condition of properties based on a set of parameters, hands over properties with necessary fixtures, signs unambiguous rental agreement with owners as well as tenants and manages the property. Property owners need not take any headache in the process and tenants don’t need to deal with owners.
Ideas are always followed by challenges till they are tried and tested at different phases of implementation. When Zenify was launched, the first and major challenge was acquiring properties. The cofounders found it quite difficult to win the confidence of owners so that they could trust Zenify with their properties. Picking the right kind of property according to the business model was the second challenge.
“Understanding the market, exploring different localities and knowing the psyche of the people are some of the key aspects that we consider while acquiring a property. When we started out, there was very little information about these things. Figuring out which property to pick up and which one to drop was quite challenging,” adds Sudarshan Purohit. The other challenge was to recruit good employees for Zenify.
We took up the responsibility of getting property owners right tenants and that of suggesting the properties based on tenants’ requirements. Neither tenants nor owners need to take the trouble of finding out each other. Thus we began to overcome the hassles we faced initially.
As a result of collective efforts by three cofounders, Zenify displays 2244 active properties in Bangalore and has 3347 registered tenants. The website receives 70000 visitors on an average every month. Zenify has managed to receive 4.15cr angel funding from Manthan Systems, Gana Yantrika Systems and K12 Techno Service for its unique and promising business model. Recently Zenify received Pre A Series funding 6cr from HNI investors.
On a closing note, Sudarshan Purohit says, “Technology is the biggest change maker. We believe in technological evolution and adapting to it from time to time for survival. It is one of the keys to the longevity of startups.”