Disrupt — Or Be Disrupted
by Jason Bangerter, founder of Rentler
Disruption is chaos. Disruption is terrifying. Disruption is disturbance.
Disruption is where I like to live.
Everyone wants to be a disruptor — but not everyone has the right timing or innovative ideas to be one. Luckily, I’ve been able to call myself an industry disruptor, three times in fact.
My happy place, work-wise, is living in a world where disruption is constant; where people and companies are continually and creatively redefining the marketplace to provide the best solutions to consumers. I’m one of those outside-the-box thinkers. I like thinking differently than others. I like finding an industry that is ready for disruption and then going in and looking at how things can and should be done differently. That’s how I was able to start three companies.
My current business adventure, Rentler, is in the property management industry, an industry that is totally ripe for disruption. There was a big need for change; for something that wasn’t just better, but different. Because industry disruption doesn’t necessarily mean offering a better solution or service—it means being different. Better can always be made better. But different, different is just different. It shows the true traits of successful entrepreneurs, like a high confidence level, no fear (in terms of taking risks), adaptability and determination. While it’s good to be better than your competitors, any hope for survival in a booming market means following the rules of disruption.
It’s what I did when I found Rentler. Several years ago I really got into flipping houses. But then the market changed and I couldn’t just pick up and sell. I had to rent my properties out. A situation that presented a whole new host of challenges. I needed a reliable property management product, but I couldn’t find anything. I knew I didn’t want to be a landlord—I’d tried that before and crashed and burned several thousands of dollars later.
So because of my experience, and knowing there were tons of others out there like me wanting to hold onto their properties to rent out, I created the digital solution I couldn’t find but was looking for. And so did some of my industry property management colleagues, AppFolio and Propertyware, but for large properties.
Because we all know today’s industry disruption is all about digital disruptors. Disruptive technologies, like virtual reality and the Internet of Things, have forced entrepreneurs and companies that want to survive and thrive to reinvent their business models and take advantage of emerging technologies to offer different and better services. And with my industry, specifically, we have to look at how to use technology to provide problem-solving solutions that put the power in both the hands of the renter and the landlord to ensure everyone is happy with their renting experience.
I’ve come from a world of listening and watching others and helping them grow their businesses. And I know you can Google how to be an industry disruptor and a page full of ideas and how-to articles will pop up, but from my personal experience I can tell you your best chance at being an industry disruptor is to have a deep understanding of your industry, look at a pain point you or your customers are facing and then use your unique strengths and think outside the box to create something that meets that need.
Knowledge is key with industry disruption. If you don’t keep with your industry and its changes, your customers and potential customers will move onto someone who is — or they’ll be the newest disruptor in your industry like I was in the property management space.
Jason Bangerter is an entrepreneur and founder of multiple companies including: Struck, an award-winning digital-forward creative agency, NUVI, a next-generation social media data visualization firm and Rentler, a powerful online property management tool.
This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.