We spoke with Simplirenta co-founders, Melissa Schneider and Jose Andres Mayora, about building an app that makes it easier for people to view and rent properties in Latin America. Melissa and Jose have lived in the United States, Europe, and Guatemala but found the rental process to be far more cumbersome in Latin America. By building their app on Bubble, they have been able to adapt quickly and make changes based on renters’ needs, all without the support of a development team.
What problem does your project solve?
Melissa Schneider and Jose Andres Mayora: Launched in February 2020, Simplirenta helps solve the tedious process of finding and renting a housing property, starting with Guatemala and followed by the rest of Latin America. Our app helps improve the process by removing complex, time-consuming steps and making the process simple, efficient, and transparent for everyone. Thanks to the level of information we provide (virtual tours, high quality pictures, detailed descriptions, etc.) and the fact that we verify all of the information on each property’s list, our users can search, compare homes, and find the perfect one, all from the comfort of their couch.
How does your app work?
Tenants enter Simplirenta and search for their ideal home. They can filter their search based on their needs, participate in virtual tours, view professionally prepared photos, read about our favorite aspects of each property, and much more. Once they view multiple lists and find one that interests them, they can contact us via live chat on our website. We then connect them directly with the landlord, and the user decides if he/she wants to visit and/or rent the property.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
We are co-founders. Jose has a background in finance, while Melissa has worked in operations and has no previous experience in technology. Before starting Simplirenta, both of us moved over 5 times in the past 10 years, in the US and Europe, where the rental process was not as complicated and cumbersome as it is in Guatemala (our home), as well as other Latin American countries. As such, once we moved back to Guatemala, we knew that we wanted to reinvent the rental process and thus the idea for Simplirenta was born. Our friend recommended that we use Bubble, which allowed us to transform our idea into a reality!
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Initially, we were planning to outsource the development of our website, given that neither of us have a technical background. After looking at our options for outsourcing, we quickly realized that it would be too expensive, take too long to launch, and would not allow us to make changes rapidly, which is crucial for gaining important traction. Once we became familiar with Bubble, we realized how powerful it was and knew that it would enable us to build exactly what we needed! Thanks to Bubble, we have the flexibility that any startup needs in its initial stages--we can adapt and make changes based on market needs.
What has been your traction or successes so far?
While our web traffic has been promising from the start (thanks to the information we provide on our listings), we did have some challenges with our initial business model, which allowed tenants to book 100% online. Incorporating feedback from our first users, we have made rapid changes to adapt to their needs. Bubble’s flexibility allowed us to do this without too much hassle. We are confident that our recent customer-driven changes will allow Simplirenta to be the best option for mid- to long-term rentals in Latin America.
What are your future plans for your app?
While we are now exclusively based in Guatemala City, we want to expand to other countries in Latin America. Our ultimate goal is to transform and simplify the home rental process in major cities across Latin America.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 400,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.