Bungalow: Home Is Where the Innovation Is
Be it the suburbs or the heart of a metropolitan city, having a place to call your own is a monumental accomplishment many aim for. Still, today’s estate-driven market makes buying a home far costlier, which causes homeowners-to-be to abandon the ownership trend and settle for a more efficient, versatile, and rewarding model - renting!
Frustrated with their own housing situation, Andrew Collins and Justin McCarty created Bungalow, a designated platform that ensures everyone finds their ultimate real-estate match! Initially envisioned for roommates, Bungalow is also designed for solo residents, families, and occasional renters, and boasts a wide spectrum of affordable-to-rent homes, all technologically and aesthetically equipped.
The platform even enables residents to pay for rent and cleaning fees via the app and offers them essential estate information, like trash pick-up times, housing maintenance tickets, and customer support.
Breaking the boundaries of traditional housing, here’s how Andrew and Justin built Bungalow to become one of the most innovative, purposeful, and market-essential platforms of today!
Struggles Turned Lessons
For most of his childhood, Andrew Collins and his family had been constantly moving from one city to the next. As a result, Andrew had always struggled to establish lasting friendships and find his footing in every new place his family moved to. Inspired by the steadiness, support, and overall power of communities, Andrew knew from a very young age that contributing to bettering people’s lives would become his lifelong mission. This childhood desire led Andrew to Princeton University, where he graduated with honors, before continuing his studies at the master program for Entrepreneurial
Management and Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania. Following college, Andrew signed two projects with prominent Manhattan fashion designers, worth $350,000, and once completed, he continued his career working as an analyst at Medallia.Inc. From there, he shortly joined Global Marketing Solutions, a company Andrew himself helped launch and scale. Prior to creating something of his own, Andrew worked as an entrepreneur at Atomic, a company that would later help support his Bungalow platform.
Justin McCarty, on the other hand, grew up as the son of a single mother who did everything in her power to provide a healthy and comfortable uprising for her child. Driven by science since his earliest days, Justin didn’t hesitate to enroll at Cornell University, where he acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in applied economics and management.
Justin’s career meter rose right after his graduation when he started working at the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch. In 2013, Justin became an associate at the company, and the following year, he was appointed as a manager in its Department of Analytics and Strategies at the company mogul, Uber Technologies. By 2016, Justin had transitioned from Uber to Sprig: Eat Well where he held the position of a general manager and In 2017, he finally became a co-founder of Atomic, which is exactly where he first met Andrew and began contemplating the story of Bungalow.
An Idea is Born
When Andrew returned from college to his hometown of San Francisco, he principally struggled more to find a place to live in than a job. After inspecting the US housing market in-depth, Andrew realized the system had not only been flawed to the core but also in desperate need of newness and revamping.
According to Andrew’s findings, the estate market offered three times fewer housing solutions but the employment industry opened twice as many jobs. After debating the industrial gap with his coworker, Justin, the two decided to dedicate their skills and efforts to ameliorate the ratio of in-city job prospects versus available renting options. In coming up with a solution, the duo intended to achieve a mass global impact and build a strong housing network fit for all communities, requirements, and budgets.
As the child of a single parent, Justin became obsessed with the idea of providing single parents worldwide the chance to raise their children in a healthy and safe environment. As Justin himself puts it, 'We all play a part in teaching and raising the people around us, despite age or background, and I am committed to implementing this vision into each team I work with.'
Aboard the innovation train, Justin and Andrew directed all their focus, determination, and professional expertise in creating a platform that would offer a superb selection of to-rent options that would meet all tenants’ criteria - aesthetical, financial, and practical!
Establishment and Expansion
Bungalow was officially launched in San Francisco in 2016. Since its launch, the company gathered $96 million in funding from 13 key investors, including Founders Fund, Gaingels, Coatue, Atomic, Cherubic Ventures, and Wing Ventures.
Bungalow’s imperative is to locate renting homes and then equip the facilities as per its customers’ preferences. Its premises are fully packed with all technological and practical amenities that make living just about anywhere far easier and simpler.
As a renting platform, Bungalow allows roommate-based, solo, and group living on a budget and uses a designated app that allows its tenants to pay their total rent or roommate share far easier. Not just that, but the app offers cleaning, mowing, and maintenance services as well, all paid just once a month and added to the total rent cost.
Once the app is downloaded, users can register and insert their living preferences and ideal budget. After the destination and budget have been selected, users will be asked if they are planning to move in with friends or solo. In the case of the former, users will receive a $500 bonus just for making referrals to friends.
To regulate the roommate timeliness in paying rent, or the lack thereof, Bungalow makes it possible for each tenant to pay their rent cut individually. Whilst many of Bungalow’s homes are city- based, the platform also features suburban homes as well. Bungalow does not own all homes offered, but instead collaborates with landlords and sings individual renting agreements with each tenant - roommate or not.
The Company in Action
As a new company on the market, Bungalow found it challenging to build a name for itself and attract the right kind of clientele. Initially, many interested parties felt unsure about the idea of sharing a space with roommates, even if it came at a favorable cost. To remove all shadow of doubt and ensure all tenants a safe and superb shared stay, Bungalow inspects all applicants’ residential and personal history, mainly in terms of credibility, origins, criminal records, and eligibility. Even more, Bungalow allows tenants to share their honest experience via writing reviews, which makes a truthful and transparent estate-assessing method.
During the pandemic, Bungalow saw a massive decrease in demanded rentals.
To mend the issue and come back stronger than ever, the Bungalow team consulted industry experts and obtained essential directions which helped the brand sustain even despite the decline in spaces rented. Also, the company overcame the COVID19 losses by going digital and by following through with all imposed pandemic regulations. Instead of just renting on a whim, Bungalow now offers its visitors to book a virtual house tour which makes deciding on the ideal living space much more practical.
With its HQ in San Francisco, Bungalow continues building communities over a handful of metropolitan cities in the US, including NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. Ambitious and willing to expand, Bungalow is further tailoring its services to become even more eligible to spread across other US cities as well as eventually introduce its vibrant rental service worldwide.
By allowing residents to save up to 30% on rent and offering them a catalog of equipped homes for all intents and purposes, Justin and Andrew’s Bungalow provides eager space sharers the chance to uncover and rent top-quality residences whilst reconnecting like-minded individuals in a strong-held community, where sharing a joint space makes coexisting meticulous, affordable and - homey!