MyBond – a start up journey to scale up to support the underdog renters and the community
Bond with the Tenants
People move for all sorts of reasons, such as moving closer to work, school, and university, into a larger place to accommodate a growing family or start a new life. But, moving costs money, and these expenses quickly add up. With rental bonds running into the thousands on top of all the other moving expenses, this can be a barrier to people moving into new accommodation to suit their changing life circumstances.
MyBond was founded in 2021 by Ray Dib, Joshua Theeuf and Matt Stone. The founders of MyBond are experienced entrepreneurs in the finance and technology industries. MyBond helps by cutting the cost of moving. As hands-on entrepreneurs, they are well versed in nurturing start-ups to grow and mature into successful businesses and are passionate about helping people improve their lives and financial situations.
As people’s lives change, MyBond wants to join their journey. They support people to make a change, take control and open up options for managing finances whilst moving houses. MyBond is a fintech with a heart by making renter’s lives easier by disrupting the rental market, giving people flexibility and choice in how they pay and manage their rental bond and allowing someone to control where they want to live and when they want to live there.
Their motto “one week only” means that people pay one week’s rent, and MyBond takes care of the rest. Their vision is to be the preferred and trusted partner throughout a renter’s life.
Since launching in March 2021, MyBond has helped over 1,500+ everyday Australians in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
Building trust and authenticity
A challenge to begin with, like all new businesses, is gaining the customer’s trust. Early on during their journey, tenants were apprehensive about the service, claiming it to be too good to be true or questioning legitimacy. MyBond implemented reviews on Google and TrustPilot to validate their credibility. Further, to simplify the process of their services, MyBond created demonstration videos.
Another major challenge were the real estate agents. While their questions and concerns were similar, they needed transactional credibility to associate with us. For them it was more of adding business value to the whole process of onboarding tenants through MyBond. MyBond helped the agents by taking the responsibility of owning and chasing the bond from tenants.
Also, there is a stigma in the general assumption that this service is only for tenants who cannot afford or don’t have money. MyBond is for all renters. They do not have a persona on their renters or predefine them, as, at any point in time, one’s circumstances can change, and there will be a purpose to rent. As a result, their customer base consists of many segments from senior executives, single parents, and university students.
Drivers for business and growth
The roadmap to MyBond’s success is mindset, structure, brand, marketing, technology, sales and delivery.
Their mindset is strong for serving the underdog: the tenant, to make their rental journey easy and happy. They instil this internally in their staff to have Accountability, High Standards & Targets, Putting the Customer First, Enthusiastic and Positive, Inclusive, Pragmatic, Curious and Open.
MyBond is an ambitious organisation with a singular goal of financing 10% of all new rental bonds in Australia. To ensure a consistent inflow of new customers, MyBond implements an integrated brand and marketing campaign built on brand awareness and understanding of the MyBond value proposition.
MyBond has a straightforward business model fueled by technology, structure, and delivery that can easily scale while remaining profitable. The primary source of revenue comes from new customers who pay their fees to MyBond. From modest revenues in FY22, MyBond expects to grow to achieve strong revenues rapidly. MyBond assumes a uniform market penetration rate, climbing from 2.5% in Year 1 to 5% by Year 3. Longer-term forecasts show that annual revenues in excess of $100 million are achievable with strong margins. The primary drivers for growth are expansion into new states and territories and growth within each market to reach a uniform penetration rate of 10%.
The roadmap to MyBond’s success is centred around the tenant. With tenants globally being the largest underserved market, there is a massive opportunity to take tenants on a journey from renting their first property to buying their first house and everything in between.
Scaling for Expansion
The hardest part of growing MyBond to what it has become today has been stakeholder management— ensuring that they provide a solution that addresses the needs of their customers, the regulator, and real estate agents. Scaling to new locations is another challenge. They are currently limited to servicing New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, with all other states still in negotiations as the demand for their service grows. They are constantly looking to raise debt to fuel their growth and pursuing partnership opportunities to expand their footprint. MyBond is investing & innovating in their back end to improve models and pilots that focus on actual outcomes rather than outputs, such as automation to make their financial product user-friendly, seamless and ergonomic.
The Road Ahead and building a fintech with a Heart
MyBond is currently developing insurance products, in-going and outgoing inspection tools for tenants, a tenancy report card and launching 2023 a home loan product.
An ancillary service currently being explored is rental property selection for real estate agencies. For example, suppose they can tell an agent how much they should expect to get back from a given property. In that case, agents can be more selective on the properties they wish to manage and provide property investors with an insight into their investment returns before purchasing the property.
MyBond’s founders are focused on business execution while also acknowledging the broader social obligations of any business. MyBond believes that housing is a fundamental human need and that people in crisis frequently require safe housing. MyBond already collaborates with charities that assist families who have been victims of domestic violence. MyBond will be renowned for its contribution to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) stewardship.
Families have been quickly relocated to safe housing thanks to the speed and efficiency of MyBond’s digital platform. MyBond hopes to expand this work to include all underserved communities. Tenant advocacy will be a critical component of MyBond’s charitable efforts. MyBond will raise tenant rights awareness and level the playing field in the rental market.
MyBond is a pure digital player, therefore they minimise their impact on the Environment by being paperless and use sustainable energy to fuel their business and systems. MyBond invests in marketing, and they have adopted Technology as a source and catalyst.
MyBond’s Social Enterprise is enriched by its collaboration with local services and non-profit organisations to assist individuals and families who have been victims of domestic abuse or displaced as a result of homelessness in settling into a new life by offering a new method of paying the initial bond. A program whereby the tenant only pays MyBond’s fee of one week’s rent over 10 months interest-free, fee-free.
A member of FinTech Australia, PropTech Association Australia and Australian Financial Complaints Authority ensures MyBond adheres to ethical standards, and professional practise and management in Governance.
“Overall, MyBond is committed to improving families’ lives and finances while supporting our diverse Australian community. Ultimately, it’s all about giving people flexibility and choice in how they pay and manage their rental bond and allowing someone to control where they want to live and when they want to live there.” – Ray Dib
How MyBond Works