Snug – Transforming Renting

My guest in this episode is Justin Butterworth, a serial entrepreneur whose innovations have already changed how we rent property in Australia, and who, with his latest venture, “Snug” is working to shake us up all over again. Snug is focused on making renting easier. It has three key ways it does this – Snug Match helps property managers find the best tenants faster, BondCover which is seeking to transform how a bond is paid and managed, and a truly revolutionary new venture that is looking at how we could use superannuation with a rent-to-buy investment scheme. Justin with his background as an economist is a great example of the fresh thinking that’s driving innovation in real estate, and turning long-held truths about how we do things on their heads. I hope you enjoy this episode.

00:57 Justin gives us the Snug elevator spiel and we discuss the pain points of renting from a tenant perspective which Snug is seeking to reduce from multiple different steps in different applications into one single system.

02:58 Justin talks about his career, starting as an economist and his first startup, Rentahome which was later sold to Stayz.

05:17 Justin talks about how his desire to solve Australia’s number one issue, which is housing led to the creation of Snug Match which uses AI to connect tenants to the property and in doing so, makes life easier for property managers reducing the time it takes to lease a property to just 30 minutes.

09:59 Justin talks about how Snug is a transformer rather than a disrupter and how this thinking led to BondCover, a digital, cashless bond that reduces the cost of a typical bond from $2000 to around $66.

14:09 Justin talks about some of the legal and regulatory issues he has faced with BondCover and his plans for relaunching it.

19:47 We explore the issues around the fact that property management is a highly process-driven industry which often puts the process ahead of the people. Justin analyses the data of what frequent churn of renters does to the relationship between tenants and landlords and how superannuation funds could play a role in this space.

24:23 Justin discusses how the housing system is becoming less suited to the way we live and work and its impact on retirement. Could a subscription system where you can have a premium exclusive subscription as a second option over a standard residential tenancy agreement be an alternative?

27:18 Justin ‘unbundles’ the idea of homeownership and the exciting opportunities this sort of thinking starts to create. Could Snug be the Spotify of homeownership and the start of a new kind of fractional ownership?

31:05 Justin brings it all together – SnugMatch, BondCover and a subscription model that offers some astonishingly visionary thinking and the exciting opportunity this offers to property managers and the rental business model.

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