Basic Info

Name:
Dan Laufer
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
07/20/2015
Primary Location:
Menlo Park, CA, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Technology
Personal Career Headline:
CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF RENTLINGO
Business Description (One-Liner):

Apartment Finder Service & Source of Expert Apartment Reviews.

Experience Timeline:
11-15 years of work experience

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

Dan Laufer is Founder and CEO of RentLingo, the biggest source of expert apartment reviews.  Laufer is a Stanford MBA graduate and was a 2013 SXSW Interactive Awards Finalist, winner of the 2013 SXSW MBA Startup Competition, winner of North Bridge Ventures Stanford-wide $100K seed competition, and winner of the VentureBeat DEMOgod 2012 award. (Source: AngelList)

My Native AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

I was fortunate enough to go to Stanford for Business School. Seeing all the innovation in the region and having the opportunity to hear from incredible tech leaders and innovators drove my desire to jump into the industry. It also made it accessible whereas before it seemed fairly intimidating to break into tech.

Emerging industry trends?:

Consumers are making progressively larger and more valuable decisions online. The more information and transparency you can offer, the more empowered and more likely to transact they’ll be.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?:

My co-founder and I met at Stanford and quickly recognized the shared passion for adding transparency to the apartment rental process.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

There are a few things I think any good employee values: shared conviction in the direction of the business and having a sense of impact on it. To that end, we’re very transparent about everything internally from our KPIs to challenges we’re facing and future plans. And everyone on the team has tremendous input on how their role should fit into that overarching plan, which ultimately dictates (and enhances) their respective impact.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

We power reviews for some of the largest sites in the industry and that has helped us build credibility and recognition.

I’m very proud of the partnerships we’ve already struck. We’re already powering reviews for some major players in the apartment rental industry and that’s pretty incredible considering we’ve only launched in five markets. We’ve seen strong growth on our site on the consumer side (>20X in the last 18 months) and I think that’s a function of our reviews resonating so strongly with renters.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?):

There are many difficult moments at every step. In fact, it can sometimes feel like it’s never easy. The hardest moment though was at the very beginning. I had a falling out with a would-be co-founder and it stung. We were both too worried about figuring out what the future company looked like and how much of our hypothetical riches we’d own that we didn’t focus on just progressing the business and get the ball rolling.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?:

Take one step at a time. Even Facebook started off by serving one small community. Figure out how to serve one small community well and let that momentum build.

How do you motivate others?:

There are a few things I think any good employee values: shared conviction in the direction of the business and having a sense of impact on it. To that end, we’re very transparent about everything internally from our KPIs to challenges we’re facing and future plans. And everyone on the team has tremendous input on how their role should fit into that overarching plan, which ultimately dictates (and enhances) their respective impact.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Take one step at a time. Even Facebook started off by serving one small community. Figure out how to serve one small community well and let that momentum build.

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