As the year 2018 draws to a close, I thought it would be great to share some of my thoughts and update our customers on what's been happening at Movebubble this year. It's been a very busy year for us, and this provides us with a great opportunity to reflect upon what's been achieved, and what can be done much better next year. Movebubble was, as you know, created to make renting better. I am super pleased to say that we have made several big steps towards our mission this year, and we will be continuing to do so!
The Good Stuff 🎉
I'm pleased to say that we have seen significant growth in our user base this year. Our core focus was increasing our brand awareness in London, our user base of renters, and increasing the number of property enquiries that renters are choosing to make on Movebubble.
In 2018, we saw an increase of 143% in the number of property enquiries renters sent on Movebubble. We've also hit a big milestone of quarter of a million renters joining the app and over 5m visit to Movebubble.com.
Our London Underground Campaign 🚃
We decided to take the plunge and be bold with our very first tube campaign. We ran ads throughout January, February and then again in April and May. Renters responded really well to our campaign, with an increase in downloads of 140% this year.
Our campaign was themed around the situations many renters face, that prompt them to move home, but we put our very own Movebubble spin on it, to engage our audience and make them giggle on their commute. This was also the moment our strap line 'Doing it for renters' was born, and it has been an integral part of our marketing throughout the year.
We Launched 'Map View Search' 🗺
By far, one of our most requested features was to be able to view and search properties on the map. We worked closely with our renters to develop a really cool map view search at the beginning of 2018. From research about existing similar solutions, we knew it was important not to restrict the number of properties renters could see on the map, so with Movebubble, you can view up to 1,000 at a time.
The Fastest Way to Contact an Agent ⏳
With more and more adoption of our partner app for agents, our research found that Movebubble is by far the fastest way to make an enquiry on a property. Workloads are increasing and for a professional renter in the capital, it can be almost impossible to contact agents via the traditional methods of phone and email. Our research showed that on Rightmove and Zoopla, it takes on average 13 hours longer to get a response from an agent, than it does to get a chat reply on Movebubble. Enabling renters and agents to get in contact faster is streamlining the process for both sides of the marketplace, and reducing stress.
In April, we launched our crowdfunding campaign with Seedrs, and were delighted to welcome over 400 new investors, supporting our mission to improve renting. Check out our video for the campaign, and you can have a giggle at me too 🤣 a face for radio perhaps?
Something for Landlords 🏠
In our quest to really improve renting for renters, we are striving to promote the most renter-friendly agents. One big step we made towards this goal this year was to create a search tool for landlords to discover the most renter-friendly agent in their area. We have exclusive data from our renters, as they review agents in the app after interacting with them. So, we made this data public this year, to help landlords choose an agent who will really put the renters first, and provide an amazing service.
Desktop Access for Agents 🖥
Again, working closely with our customers we identified that our agent partners really need to be able to chat to renters on their desktop. This brand new product will be available in December 2018 to our agent partners, and we expect it to significantly reduce the time it takes agents to respond to renter enquiries!
A New Way to Rent 😍
The latest edition is Movebubble ONE. A selection of rental homes, designed specifically for renters. Movebubble ONE homes are created to make the renting experience seamless, and renters can benefit from things like zero deposits, zero admin fees, free WiFi and all-inclusive bills. Movebubble ONE enables us to bring the next era of rental homes to renters - today. A big thank you to Tipi, Get Living, Essential living and Greystar for all their support to make this possible.
Things We Need to Improve
Ok, so there were a lot of great achievements and steps forward towards our goal, but we are passionate about learning and improving here at Movebubble. This means that we need to reflect on what we've learnt and understand what we can do better.
Now that we have more and more agent partners joining the platform, it's important to improve on our account management and customer service skills. Just as we know that renters need a quick and helpful response from agents, we also need to work hard to be available to answer questions and help our partners when they need it. We recently began a new style of new customer onboarding, which has proved a great step in the right direction. We know now however, that is is important to offer ongoing support, to make sure our partners make the most out of the product.
To further help agents manage their daily workflow, we'll need to work more on integrating Movebubble into tools they are currently using. For example, viewings booked in the Movebubble app need to be integrated seamlessly into the agent's calendar. We're also looking at some larger scale integrations, by opening up the Movebubble API to enable other proptech companies to build on it.
Next year, we'll be continuing our focus on user growth and brand awareness in London. We've got some super exciting features in progress and we want to continue to spread the mission of Movebubble, and make renting better for more renters.
Coming Soon... 🤗
I'm excited to announce a couple of new features we're working on over the next few months, although I can't reveal everything of course! Once we've launched the agent desktop product, we'll be looking to develop and improve it, to enable partner agents to share files and photos with renters. We will of course be developing the Movebubble ONE product, to bring more all-inclusive properties to our renters and starting to explore a premium renter offering for those renters looking for a more streamlined and hassle free experience.
Thank You 💖
We know this wouldn't have been possible without our fantastic renters supporting our mission, and of course our agents and build-to-rent partners who are delivering an outstanding service to the renters. It's been amazing welcoming many of you to our customer events this year, and great to hear first-hand about your experiences. It helps to keep us on track and focussed on the mission! So thank you, for your continued support. We really appreciate it.
Let's pull together to make renting even better in 2019!
CEO and Founder of Movebubble