Lindsay Sims of Renter's BOOM
Meet Lindsay Sims, founder of Renter’s BOOM
, a socially integrated leasing hub.
What is Renters BOOM?
Renter’s BOOM offers multifamily property managers ability to turn their Facebook pages into leasing hubs. We use Socially Integrated Leasing to give renters the information they are looking for in an unobtrusive manner and provide them an immediate opportunity to set up an appointment to see the apartment units. We use proven techniques in Facebook Apps, Ads and Posts in a simultaneous and seamless way, bringing in more qualified leads for each apartment complex.
How did you come up with the idea?
I started working at a property management company in Elyria, OH in Fall 2010. I was hired to do communications work. I hadn’t had any experience with property management, only with being a renter. I was shocked by the cumbersome nature of day-to-day property operations. I immediately wanted to do something to help make their lives a little easier. I used my background in communications and social media and looked at the things that are the hardest to do or manage that could be solved through communications. Lots of ideas later, Renter’s BOOM was born.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
I was and still am surprised by the direct correlation to how I feel about the business and how well or poorly we’re doing. It took me a few months to figure out that I need to be happy in order for the business to do well. I don’t mean I need to be doing things that make me happy, that’s important, but not my point. I mean if I’m unhappy about how a call went, it spills over into the next call. In order to be successful, I have to be able to manage my emotions and myself. I can’t let a single interaction determine how my day is going to go. That surprised me and now that I know, I’m surprised by how easy it is to manage.
Where did you find your first employee?
I wouldn’t call her an employee, but my Marketing Partner, Keyana Williams, was in the Fall 2011 Bizdom
class with me. She and I hit it off really well and we had complimentary business skills.
What does a typical day in your business look like?
Right now, I’m in selling mode. I spend a good amount of any day either in meetings or trying to get meetings. I also spend a lot of time on Facebook, which is exactly where I need to be for my business.
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Ohio?
I’m not a native Ohioan. I was born in Cleveland, but we moved when I was two. My perspective is as an outsider. But I’ll tell you, I love this place. Ohio has so many business advantages, especially for internet startups. Having lived in three other states, I can say that we are the most conveniently located for travel to conferences and events. Ohio also seems to know that business development should be a priority. There are a ton of incubators and technical advisors. If you’re trying to find help starting your business, there is no better place to find it.
What resources or organizations in Ohio did you take advantage of and how did they help?
I’ve been lucky. I was able to start out in Bizdom Cleveland, and from there I’ve had access to GLIDE
, Bad Girl Ventures
, and Jumpstart
. I haven’t been funded by all of these organizations, but I have received lots of valuable input and direction on growing my business.
Can you share a funny or amazing entrepreneurial experience with our readers?
This is a little funny and a little amazing. I received a call from Dave Crain asking me if I wanted to be interviewed for a magazine/blog/article. I didn’t exactly grasp all the details, but I agreed, mostly because it’d be silly not to. I arrived to find out that I was being interviewed for a yearly feature article in The Atlantic Monthly’s blog. At that point, I was just glad I looked good and wasn’t wearing my usual jeans and cardigan uniform! The person who interviewed me was great and I don’t think that I let on that I was totally shocked and a bit star-struck by the experience.
What inspires you?
Hard work. I’m a thinker. I spend a good amount of my time ruminating. I suppose that’s why the work itself inspires me. If I can think it out and then put my hands to make it work, I’m most fulfilled.
What founders do you admire and why?
I admire Net-A-Porter’s founder Natalie Massenet. Her story is pretty typical, but I like the fact that she’s not confused about what she does and who she does it for. It has to be very hard to run a successful internet startup as a woman for over 10 years without losing a since of self and purpose. She seems to have both and a husband and kids to boot.
What’s next for you?
Who knows, but I’m excited! I love working on this business. I’m finding that being an entrepreneur suites me well. I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.
Interview by Joe Baur