New Opportunities

Early stage startups are busy. It’s not difficult to fill your schedule each day. I’ve talked on this blog before about saying “no” to some of those things and clearing your schedule to focus. Clearing space to think and create.

But this doesn’t mean you should completely cut yourself off. Thinking and brainstorming alone can only get you so far. You need other inputs. You need to read things. You need to meet with new people. You need to learn about other businesses and emerging technologies.

Doing this opens you and your business up to new opportunities. Keeping pace with competitors isn’t enough. You need to innovate. You need to create new efficiencies. You need to find ways to provide value to customers.

You do that by taking yourself out of the industry and out of the assumptions of the incumbents. Learn from the outside and innovate on the inside. Above all, put your customers first and provide them with a great experience.

Do You Shovel or Do You Wait?

After yesterday’s snow day, I noticed something during my commute home. Some businesses had their sidewalk shoveled, while others didn’t. A gesture like this, although minor, tells you a lot about a business. About how they operate and treat their customers.

In the world I live in (software startups), the snow is harder to see. But have no doubt — every business has snow at their storefront. Issues arise and impact the customer’s experience.

When your customers run into an issue that wasn’t cause by you (the business), how do you respond? Do you go out of your way to make it right? To clear a path and make sure their experience is positive? Or do you throw up your hands and force the customer to deal with it?

Hospitality is hard work. Putting customers first isn’t always easy. But it is the right path. Customers notice when businesses go out of their way to provide a great experience. And they express gratitude for that through loyalty and referrals.

Don’t wait for the sun to melt the snow. Shovel, shovel, shovel.

The City That’s Never Cheap

Renting in New York sucks.

This isn’t news — ask anyone who lives here.

70% of New Yorkers rent. It’s a process we all begrudgingly go through. Because it sucks. Here’s why:

Illustration of NYC rental market

1. Cost

Renting here is crazy expensive with the average currently at $4,000 a month. Add a 15% broker fee (average of $7,200) and the total spend becomes unaffordable.

2. Scheduling

The constant back-and-forth over Gmail is difficult to manage. If you have even one roommate, you end up balancing your schedule, their schedule, a broker’s schedule, and the building’s schedule. Not cool.

3. Headaches

The horror stories of NYC apartment searches are legendary. From the classic “Bait-and-Switch” technique to the “pre-war gem with characterYou don’t need games — you need a place.

Finding your new home shouldn’t be so painful. It’s a burden on your brain, your time, and most importantly — your wallet. But there is another way. And no, it’s not posting on Facebook…

“Hey NYC Friends! Moving to you in a month. Know any good brokers who take a lower fee?!”


No-Fee Apartments Exist!

I know, right?

I know, right?

That’s right. Apartments… without fees. But how?

By going directly to the property managers, that’s how. The real estate sites you visit today are ad-based. You hit the page, they make money, and you’re handed off to a broker who then brings you to the property manager.

“Couldn’t I just go to the property manager myself?” -You, right now

You sure can. Oh, and they even have Leasing Agents who are there to show and rent you the place. Pretty awesome, right?

It is awesome. There’s just a couple issues. First, you don’t know who the property managers are. And second, they’re limited because they only have their own listings. So even if you took the time, did the research, and found their site… they may not have apartments for you. Time wasted.

But if you put all these type of listings together on one platform… wouldn’t that be sweet?

Thanks Spidey

Thanks Spidey

Yes, it would.

And that’s why we created Abode. Abode connects you directly to those awesome Leasing Agents with the no-fee apartments. It’s pretty great.

Here’s Abode
in 59 seconds…

TL;DR = watch video

Built by renters, for renters — Abode makes renting in New York City suck way less and rule way more. Let’s look again at our list above:

When you use Abode to find a place

When you use Abode to find a place

1. Cost

Duh… no-fee means your total spend goes way down. The average NYC renter saves $7,200. That’s 1,387 Shake Shack burgers. Or like — three drinks at a bar.

2. Scheduling

Eliminate one schedule from the equation and things get a lot easier. The process is cleaner when it only involves the person viewing the apartment and the person showing it.

3. Headaches

You know what you’re seeing, when you’re seeing it, and you’re talking directly to the person who will rent it to you. It’s basically Advil for real estate.

The agency model was created in a world before the internet. It’s time we used technology to make this process more intelligent.

Your wallet will thank you.