Sometimes the best way to live in your dream suburb is to rent.
The search for a perfect home in the right suburb, however, can be grueling. That's where Jade Costello and Simone Fleming found the inspiration for their newly minted small business, Melbourne Rental Search.
"The rental property market is surprisingly poorly serviced. If you're a prospective tenant, you'll only have a very short time frame to inspect the property. Sometimes agents don't even show up," Ms Costello said . "Often you put in applications and hear nothing."
Seeing a gap in the market between "nothing" and the high-end "relocation agents" who not only secure a property but also focus on settling families in schools and setting up utilities, the duo came up with the concept for Melbourne Rental Search.
"We go to home inspections so our clients don't have to, and take a YouTube video of the visit. We try and show the good, the bad and the ugly. If there's a dog barking next door, we make note of it," she said.
"We are very much in the early stages and we feel like just in the last month, the gamble has paid off. The response has been overwhelming and we've got clients from Melbourne, Perth, India and New Zealand."
Neither were working in start-ups before this venture.
Eighteen months ago, Ms Costello and Ms Fleming were making good money in other parts of the property game, so the decision to leave was difficult.
Ms Costello worked for a real estate agent in boutique property management and Ms Fleming as a leasing consultant for Coles.
"Simone was doing really well, she was on a six-figure salary, so we've taken a huge leap of faith quitting our jobs and saving up enough to get the business going," Ms Costello said.
The pair are working from a home office, but hope that by the six-month mark in September, they will be able to afford office space.
They charge $150 for a one-off inspection visit and $650 for an all-out package that involves finding and visiting six properties and assisting with applications.
"We absolutely want to be transparent about everything we're doing. The worst thing as a consumer is having to get those quotes and not know if it's the final price or not."
Despite that, the pair are still reconsidering their costings.
"We've realised how much work needs to go into it in terms of researching different areas. For example, we are working with a doctor and we need to evaluate how far each property is from the hospital they work at. We've got to review our prices and packages, and we see the real need for more open for inspections," she said.
Ms Costello is hoping that as business picks up, her relationships with real estate agents, such as her former employer, will give her an edge.
"If an agent knows that a $800/week house is going on the rental market in two weeks and they know we're likely to have a client looking in that price range, then can call me and that saves everyone a lot of time and hassle."