Q&A with Aidan Rushby, CEO of MovebubbleLast Updated: May 1, 2020
“I realised that through harnessing tech, the property industry could be infinitely more efficient and better for renters.” Aidan Rushby, CEO of Movebubble, looks back on the story of his successful property startup.
Aidan Rushby is the cofounder and CEO of Movebubble, and is passionate about property: not about building it or developing it, but renting it. The foreword and preamble to first chapter of the Movebubble story was inspired by the full decade that Aidan spent in a residential lettings agency in Bristol, UK.
Although Aidan clearly had a groundbreaking spirit—he was the Briston firm’s youngest ever lettings manager at the age of just 26, and also completed an MBA degree in two years — his passion for innovation and change was frustrated by a general lack of respect for and understanding of the needs of renters.
He pulled the ripcord and set out from Bristol for London, where, with co-founders Tony Edwards and Logan Hall, he established Movebubble, the capital city’s only renter-dedicated property service, which is disrupting the ‘listings only’ supply-side approach of existing online agencies, and take the prospective viewer through the viewing and finalisation stages of the process as well.
Movebubble places renters front and centre in the whole process of renting a property. Not only does the Movebubble app enable discovery of available properties to let: it also means that renters can book their viewings, and even secure a home, in a simple process that involves only a few taps of a smartphone screen.
The app also connects the viewer with other renters’ feedback about the properties and enables them to give feedback on property viewings that they have just attended, making Movebubble a real-time service. The realtime nature of the service solves one of the cruellest headaches for renters: the delays in getting contacts for landlords or their agents, which often mean that the property listed is already taken.
The effectiveness of the service has not gone unnoticed. To date, Movebubble has secured around £2.75m in funding, with 2016 alone delivering investment of about £1.29m.
10 Questions for Aidan Rushby
Aidan Rushby freed up some time to chat with AGENT about the story of Movebubble to date, and recalled the inspirations and motivations that have fuelled the incredible journey of this successful tech startup.
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
I worked in the property industry for more than a decade, as a Lettings Manager in Bristol, but I was really frustrated with how the industry as a whole was being run and the lack of innovation in the sector. I could see how inefficiencies were holding things back but also identified some ways to improve the industry. In particular, I was, and still am, passionate about technology and realised that through harnessing tech, the property industry could be made infinitely more efficient and better for renters. My overall business goal with Movebubble is to make renting better, more efficient and transparent for renters and agents.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I was 14 when I started my first business, a local car wash. I knew from then on that I wanted to run my own business.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
My dad is a huge inspiration to me. He works in marketing, and runs his own creative agency. I also really admire Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur, for his approach to space technology and his innovations and forward thinking in the sector.
4. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
I think it’s possible, but you have to work at it. I make sure my phone is switched off by 9pm in the evening, and weekends are kept for personal time.
6. What is the first thing you do every day?
Check my emails on my phone and read the property trades to keep up with what’s happening in the wider industry.
7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
The standard iOS screen saver… I haven’t had time to change it to anything else!
8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
Slack – Business Communication for Teams – Slack Technologies, Inc. is a hugely important app for keeping tabs on everything that is happening in the business. It’s great for keeping up to date with how individual teams are getting on without having to get involved and disrupt their team flow.
9. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
House keys and phone – I need to be able to get back in the house! And keeping in touch with people throughout the day is essential.
10. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Don’t get involved with a two-sided industry! With renting, there is the renter side and the agent side. In order to have the best platform and truly innovate the sector, we need to make sure that both sides are happy. This can be a significant challenge!