Today, more people are renting than ever before, but the processes behind it are still slow, untrustworthy, and impersonal.
At Cios, we help renters find the apartment of their dreams, using technology to create an experience where everyone can feel at home.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a 3-time marketing and product leader at high growth startups in Ottawa and Toronto.
I’ve always had a passion for working with technology, so when over five years of frustration with our renting system finally came to a boiling point, it was only natural that I tried to solve it with tech.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I’d tell myself to be 100x more organized. We had amazing ideas that were 5-10 years ahead of the curve, but we lacked the organization, clarity, and focus to truly execute on our vision.
What problem does your business solve?
Renting as a process is incredibly slow and fragmented of a process today, with little trust between renter and landlord.
What this means is that consumers are losing out, and suffering through crappy experiences while simultaneously not benefiting landlords either.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Five years ago, as renters ourselves, we found ourselves woefully unprepared for the rental process. This became even more apparent once we had to start finding sublets and lease takeovers for one of our roommates who bailed.
At the end of the day, we want to create a renting experience that we would’ve loved as renters and landlords ourselves, and that makes renting as easy a process as possible for the billions of other renters across the world.
What is your magic sauce?
It’s all in the renting experience — we’ve built a platform that makes finding and renting an apartment personalized, intuitive, trusted, and magical feeling.
This is obviously powered by incredible complexity in how we deliver that experience, but as wiser people have said, “behind the simplest products is the most complex engineering”.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In 5 years, renting will be the norm across most cities in North America — powered by a changing workforce, generational changes in our society, and the financialization of housing.
We see Cios as the operating system powering that shift, and want to empower renters in this future with experiences that provide them with the flexibility, customization, and personalization that they need to live their best lives.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
One of our cofounders and a close friend had to step away from the company early in our journey, and adapting to that change was one of the toughest challenges I’ve had to experience as a founder.
Thankfully, I have the support of an incredibly talented cofounder and CTO in my friend Victor Peter, and we were able to adjust course and make the necessary internal pivots to guide us to where we are today.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
If you’re a renter looking for a new apartment or a landlord who’s struggling with a vacant rental, sign up for Cios today at https://cios.so