Temporary laid-off because of COVID-19? Ask your landlord to lower the rent in the right way
Our colleagues, friends, neighbors around have been temporary laid-off as well as so many people in Norway. As of today, there are more than 400,000 people laid-off and might have liquidity problem while the governmental support takes time to arrive during the significant increase in requests.
And not only Norway is being affected by the quarantine. It's estimated that more than 60,000,000 jobs are under cut or layoffs in the EU only.
What it does
sprovid - is a free online service that helps temporarily laid-off tenants to get a discount for rental payments during the Coronavirus quarantine. We verify your current financial status and compare it with the one before the quarantine using the most reliable source - your banking statements. When it's clear how you've been affected and lost your permanent source of income, we generate a special page with a certificate you can share with your landlord to give him/her valid and rational reasons to give you a temporary discount until the quarantine will be over. You can also download for free a template of a temporary rent reduction amendment. Just fill in it and sign with your landlord!
So, in just 2 minutes you get:
- a certificate as proof of changing your salary and recommended temporary rent;
- a template of a letter to your landlord - just add the name;
- a template (and sample) of temporary rent reduction amendment - just signed it!
How we built it with ❤️
These days it's important for the whole team to find the fastest way to deliver innovation to our users and customers. This is why we've selected to build our sprovid solution using the most flexible and fast-to-develop tools and services.
Frontend We use Ruby on Rails with ReactJS on the frontend to deliver the most advances and real-time consumer experience.
API providers And we use account aggregation services Tink and Neonomics to build strong connections with banks and enable us to access more than 3000 banks at a time.
Testing on a focus-group During the hackathon, we tested sprovid with a focus-group of Norwegian tenants (22 people). We tried to make a product easy-to-understand and use. And of course, we got great feedback from "our testers". It helps us to understand how to explain our solution to everyone.
While the solution looks pretty straightforward, a number of challenges have been faced. We have experienced team with proven (11-12 years) experience in:
- software development;
- data science and machine learning;
- sales and marketing;
- business management and development.
Our skills help us to stay focused during the hackathon and to solve challenges that we are faced: we divided our tasks into parts (depending on our skills): so while our great programmers developed a solution our sales guys worked with focus-group. Time was limited and we tried to implement some good ideas (feedback from focus-group) to our solution. At that moment our business developer checked information about legal issues - to be sure that we don't need to apply for a license. And of course, our data scientist worked on training Machine Learning (ML) algorithm to work better.
PSD2/OPEN BANKING APIS
Not every single bank has stable or reliable API connections for 3rd party providers. Information availability regarding various account types varies among banks. Other minor issues faced with auth and identity KYC is not yet available in all banks.
We use API provider that covers not only Nordics but also The EU. So soon we can provide our service for each country in the EU. At the hackathon, we were focused on the Norwegian market.
So, if you rent a house in Norway and you're temporarily laid-off - try our solution today! If you'ra non-Norwegian, please, watch the video with a demo of our product (step-by-step from A to Z).
Transaction categorization is still needed to be improved with more data collected with labels assigned by account owners. In our case, it's necessary to determine salary income transactions and rental payments to provide valid and reliable results.
While sprove solvency verification solution is already tested and validated with 2000 landlords in Bergen every new solution for the traditional real estate market needs to prove and be explained easily for landlords. Even, for totally new solutions and tools, which should make their life easier.
Within limited time and hackathon the team:
- developed solution based on the core solvency analysis;
- simplified the process for both, tenants and landlords;
- made a message for tenants to send their landlords;
- prepared a special temporary contract (amendment) for parties to define and regulate agreed price reduction.
What has been learned
We found that working on something within limited time showed us:
- how we are a well-coordinated team;
- how we can support if something doesn’t work out;
- how we are passionate about what we do;
- how we believe in the product and team.
This is the most valuable lesson we learned during the hackathon.
The solution to be tested with more users amid different situations and banks. The next steps for us:
- test and improve our product;
- launch it in the EU;
- select API provider for the USA (selecting between 2 providers)
- launch product in the USA;
- transform our product (after coronavirus) to the tenants' solvency verification service (paid);
- launch it.
The current beta version is available in Norway but could be fairly simply and quickly scaled to 12 more countries, incl. Germany, the biggest rental market in the EU. That's why we selected an API provider that covers all countries in the EU. We see the following numbers about temporary laid-off people:
- more than 400.000 in Norway;
- 58.800.000 in the EU;
- more than 37.000.000 in the USA.
And 1/3 of citezens in these countries rent houses/apartments.
So, if you rent a house in Norway and you're temporarily laid-off - try our solution today - Start you application now!
If you're non-Norwegian, please, watch the video with a demo of our product (step-by-step from A to Z) - https://youtu.be/zxol-e_RHRc
Try it out