ZenCasa is a platform as a service that provides tools to help roommates live more harmoniously without any of the awkwardness. We look to help landlord retain their tenants longer term in order to further a relationship. Managing the relationships of the roommates allows for improved compatibility and living. Through a payment portal we can become the complete solution for landlords and tenants through a personal branded portal.
Are there any nagging issues that you have with the operation of NYSCI?
ZenCasa seeks to solve the issues of living with strangers by providing a place for tasks purchases and grievances to be clearly laid out for the members of the household. Our target end user would be roommates in a co-living community, Students living with roommates, fraternities/sororities, and people with roommates that they may not know. Our customers would be the landlord/housing coordinator that would be able to verify all the issues through a dashboard and can look at the residents.
Are there any nagging issues that you have with the operation of NYSCI?
ZenCasa has done primary surveys and interviews to validate our assumption and identify potential target users. We have also created an affinity map to expand our horizon and search for opportunity. Apart from that we have been reaching out and talking to:
From that we have discovered that the most common concerns and problems for co-living spaces is cleanness, payment and picking the right people to live with. This gave us an opportunity to continue exploring this topic in detail and seeking for the right solution.
The AirBnB hosts that we talked to have mentioned about key handling and housekeeping process where they have to use Keycafe and hire cleaning service. They hope that we would consider these features be included in ZenCasa’s platform as well.
We are conducting a group interview since we have number of volunteers from the primary survey before Thanksgiving holiday.
ZenCasa is currently reaching out to building managements, real estate brokers, and superintendents to give us more understanding of the building management system and explore if there are any area that we could cover in our platform.
Co-living community market is growing in an exponential rate in major cities in the US. We see this as an opportunity to develop a platform that would keep all the payment, communications and paperwork in one place. This can be beneficial to the homeowners and tenants.
As for landlords, building managements who are still using a conservative way with their tenants such as using checks for rent every month, fax or home phones. This platform would assist them from screening their desired tenants, keeping lease agreements, posting announcements or notice and payment tracking.
Most of the primary survey respondents stated that they do not have any house rule or agreement between them and their roommates. This would give us as a medium to share common agreements as everyone will have the same understanding of living together in that specific place.
Primary survey showed that 33% of the responders discuss with their roommate via texts and emails. Although when it comes to resolve conflicts majority of them would prefer confrontation than texting or email. This is where we can address the opportunity that our business would prevent the conflict from happening in first place by having house rules or an agreements.
At the moment we have not yet discovered any product or service that are heading over in the same direction. But since we are planning to combine products and services in our platform we are seeing these existing services as our competitors.
Major competitive is Google where potential target users are using shared document such as Spreedsheet to manage tasks, emails for communication, Google calendar for reminder and schedule payment.
Whatsapp, Line, Imessage, Gchat and other messaging software
Venmo, Splitwise, Chase Quickpay and other online banking system
Amazon, Jet, Boxed
These players are the leaders in their categories, we see them as secondary competitors and some of these businesses could also be our future business partners.
ZenCasa is an online portal and mobile app that provides both tenants and landlords with particular relevant views. The tenants/users would be able to provide a place for household tasks, purchases, shared calendars, bill payment, and issue dispute to be taken care of in one easy to navigate application. The landlord view would only give a rental payment report and allow for them to view escalated issues to verify mediation was attempted.
We have a clean and easy to understand interface, utilizing some of the most popular and in demand services easily accessible from one location. The ability to split bills with SplitWise, purchase through Amazon, and schedule through Google Calendar creating a simple portal to do all the everyday things you normally would do in one location.
ZenCasa was created with the goal of relieving the pains of roommates who are unhappy with their current living conditions and those living with strangers to create accountability and tranquility through organization.
The ability to resolve their issues in a non-confrontational manner while also generally improving their enjoyment in the home. When living with strangers, many are put in an awkward position where they would prefer to remain cordial with their roommates but may not completely get agree on living preferences. This would put all the issues in a place where they can be discussed in a respectful place. Landlords would also be able to look at the issue disputes to verify that roommates attempted to work out issues prior to the tenant requesting to move either to another unit or cancel their lease.
By creating a platform that users can complete all their household tasks, purchases, and scheduling allows for the users to focus on more important things. By incorporating all the different plugins from different programs will allow for the users to still use their favorite applications with confidence that they are secure in everything that they do within our application. Landlords have a way to receive their rent payments, repair requests, and verify issue disputes in one easy location as well.
Landlords and tenants will both benefit from the solutions presented through Roommate Sanity. Through our research speaking with users, the use of a universal tool for all their housing needs was something that was missing from the market. The use of a clear platform utilizing the most popular APIs that will allow for a seamless transition. Landlords can also benefit from the platform, through customer interviews we discovered that tenant apartment share and co-living has become a more popular way for management companies to fill larger units without sacrificing on their rental fees. Allowing for the management companies to also improve tenant relationships while also providing useful will greatly improve their retention rates of current tenants.
The potential customers are real estate management companies, as well as individuals living together in apartments. The initial target segment would be co-living communities as they have the user base and would also be able to test the concept best. The customers/users would typically be between the ages of 18-35, middle-class, young professionals living in major cities.
The customer would be looking for a way to manage the relationships among their users, while also providing a full suite of applications in one spot to make their living experience as easy as possible. They would be managing multiple buildings which will all would have multiple rooms that are not-single family homes.
The market has shown massive growth year over year, with more people focusing around major cities, property values rise leading to more and more people living with roommates. Current census data shows that there are 9.8 million households within the US that say they are living with roommates. The growth of co-living communities is also indicative of these trends with communities that are solely dedicated to young professionals living together. The total addressable market for ZenCasa would be anyone living with roommates as well as management companies that seek to rent out individual rooms in units. The beachhead market would be millennials living with roommates and co-living communities.
Apart from primary survey that we have already done. We are planning to break down research into 3 parts to validate and gain feedback at each level of our process. This would give us a stronger understanding of the users, market and hopefully a clearer direction towards our goal.
We are focusing on the volunteer tenants and observe their behavior when they are in their apartments. We will be installing a Video recorder in their shared space like living room or kitchen and observe their routines and communications.
Conducting along with early prototype and design direction to create journey mapping, user scenarios and design review. The goal for this phase is to prevent errors and also improve errors messages. We are hoping to map features for ZenCasa to meet the needs and build a clearer information architecture.
Having a group of usability experts evaluating early design, prototype and-mock up website against established guidelines.
Test and record the interaction between the users with design, navigation, content.
Discuss with a group of users to learn about user attitudes, ideas and desires.
We are planning on having four different streams of revenue:
< 30 Units / 10$ per tenant
< 30-100 Units / 7,5$ per tenant
< > 100 Units / 5$ per tenant
Monthly : 19.98$
Yearly : 199.98$
Free trial : 30 days
We are going to create a review system for every tenant in the system which in return will allow us to better categorize specific traits for each of the tenants. The idea will be to be able to give out information to building managers or third party providers upon a fee depending on specific request made. By allowing to release such information we are giving more power to the apartment or building owners to ensure they will get tenants that will be respectful of the premises and help the process of matchmaking. Every piece of data collection will be stored in our servers and thus all the information will remain undisclosed unless further request.