Sumu — Rebuilding the Housing Market Through Tech
We’ve observed most major industries undergo innovative and disruptive change, however for some reason the consumer facing experience of residential real estate remains immune to truly transformative technology. We’ve seen positive change in the way we hail a taxi (Uber), how we think about short term rentals (AirBNB), we are even seeing large scale innovation in the automotive industry (Tesla), but the consumer face of residential real estate remains largely unchanged to how it was at the start of the last century. Boston area app Sumu recently conducted some consumer research amongst millennials and, rather unsurprisingly, the most popular discovery tool amongst this demographic was still Craigslist. Surely, we can do better.
The process of finding your next home continues to be frustrating, complicated and perhaps even scary. One thing is clear: the current solutions available on the market do not meet the needs of tenants and landlords in a fashion that technology should. By looking towards other industries and platforms such as dating apps, personal finance and travel the expectation is clear: it is necessary to provide tenants better tools to make more informed and intelligent decisions.
Since launching, Sumu has sought to streamline this process by creating a product by tenants for tenants. By working directly with property managers and landlords, we can remove the friction of a broker, and in doing so save tenants the broker free in Boston’s first no-fee housing market.
“We’re taking a more human approach to empowerment in finding housing through self-posting and better discovery tools,” explains Daniel Tewfik, Sumu co-founder. Sumu’s web app makes it easy for users to post housing or rent an apartment giving people the power to find their own apartment without having to go through the tortuous process of dealing with brokers and agents.
Sumu hasn’t ended there. With the help with local industry leaders and partners, Sumu and their partners formed a group called BOSRETECH to modernize and straighten the housing industry as a whole. BOSRETECH was created with the purpose of expanding opportunities for those that want to break into real estate, innovate inside it, or leave the more traditional, brick-and-mortar real estate space. With their monthly meetup, breakfasts, and panels, they have created a healthy, inclusive environment for millennials to share and converse which is far removed from the ‘stuffy’, exclusive environment which Real Estate often can be.
“With BOSRETECH, we questioned the necessity of after-work only events,” says Tewfik. “With BOSRETECH, we now have inclusive events that are for early birds and night owls alike.”
Daniel Tewfik is at the forefront of technology-enabled real estate, startups, and government. He is the co-founder of Sumu, a tenant relationship management service that lets prospective tenants find sublets, apartment shares, apartments, and housing in the city.
Constantly in search for technology solutions for interesting problems, Daniel has a particular interest in helping communities make specialty podcasts, creating marketing strategies, and being a serial entrepreneur.
Specialties: Urban Planning, Project Management, Housing, Real Estate, UI/UX, Digital Media, Informational Sciences, Product Management, Technology, Startups.