MadeComfy’s CEO, Sabrina Bethunin founded the company back in 2015 with the aspiration of establishing a customer-oriented property management service focused on short-term rentals where both hosts and guests are at the heart.
It all began when she needed to manage her friend’s Airbnb and realized the whole place had to be refurbished. As a result of the changes, the performance of the property improved and Bethunin saw the opportunity for a business idea. The entrepreneur decided to quit her corporate role and to start working on MadeComfy. The business has now taken off!
Dynamic Business had a chat to Bethunin about how her company started and what she has learnt so far.
How did Made Comfy come about?
In early 2015 I was looking for a business idea as an alternative to my corporate job when my now Co-Founder Quirin Schwaighofer asked me for help to look after his Airbnb in Cremorne Point whilst he was travelling. During his absence, I re-styled his bedroom and took new photos of the property. As a result of these changes, the performance of his listing improved massively. After seeing these results and identifying the Australian market was underserviced and potentially there were thousands of people needing help like Quirin, Quirin and I decided to found MadeComfy.
Had you always had an interest in business? What were you working in at the time you thought of the business idea?
Yes, I have been always interested in business. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and starting my own business was always my ultimate goal.
At the time I came across the idea of MadeComfy, I was working for Kellogg’s as a Commercial Finance Manager, working on improving ROI for business strategies and sales investments.
Did you have any prior experience in property management? What is the relationship between your company and Airbnb? Is there an official partnership or prospects of that?
I am a CPA and MBA, and my background is in FMCG mainly with a focus on Finance. During my career I had a lot of exposure to sales, marketing, and overall business strategy. I had no previous experience in property management.
MadeComfy is independent from Airbnb, for us Airbnb is one of the distribution channels for our properties. We don’t have an official partnership with Airbnb, but we work closely in partnership with them on different matters.
Was it a slow progress or did you drop everything straight away to make your idea a reality?
I dropped everything straight away to make my idea happen.
I tried to start other businesses in the past, but by not having the courage to focus on my ideas I always ended getting bigger and better opportunities in my corporate career, and leaving my business ideas behind. This time, I really wanted to make it happened.
One day taking to a friend of mine, a successful entrepreneur, told me “what’s the worse that could happen? If it doesn’t work you go back and find another job” that was the real light bulb moment for me, it was as simple as that. The next day I handed in my resignation and left the comforts of my corporate job.
Talk us through the process of getting that initial investment. You have some pretty great backers such as Cliff Rosenberg and Investec- how did you create these relationships?
Even when we were very busy at the early stage of the business my Co-Founder and myself valued the importance of going out, meeting people and talking passionately about our business. Not necessarily pitching for money, just building genuine relationships.
By doing that we got a lot of people interested and sharing that passion, some of them became advocates for what we were doing, when that happens they also share information of your business with their networks (is exactly what happened with customers and word of mouth).
That’s how we engaged most of our high-profile investors including Cliff and Investec, I think you need to engage, connect and show how great opportunity your business is.
The opportunities involving big boardroom pitch presentations didn’t work out for us. There is no connection, no real trust, and a lot of competition for capital in the same room.
Read more here.
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