Australian entrepreneur Richard Saville created Break Your Lease, a new social platform app that allows people to list their apartment or take up a lease for another rental. It’s perfect for people who face financial hardships or have a sudden life change and need to move quickly. The CEO will tell us more in this interview with TechBullion.
Please tell us your name and about yourself?
I am Richard Sullivan, an Australian businessman and app developer.
Early Life – I was born in Australia and moved to New Zealand as a young child, where I attended primary school. I then returned to Australia to attend high school in Queensland at St. Edmunds College. After graduating high school, I completed Double Diplomas in Business Management and Business Administration. I went on to complete another Diploma in Real Estate Sales, Leasing and Management Licenses before entering the real estate industry.
Career – From a young age, I always wanted to run my own businesses and be my own boss. After spending a few years gathering management knowledge in the real estate industry, I began Reekko Entertainment, a business specializing in booking agency and management services.
Through Reekko Entertainment I have helped bring many well-known celebrities to Australia for performances, as well as manage their time in the country. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Fatman Scoop: R&B Fridays at SinCity, Gold Coast, Australia (2019)
- Sean Paul & Crew: Ivy Rooftop, Sydney, Australia (2020)
- Shaggy & Sean Paul: Ivy Night Club, Sydney, Australia (2020)
- Sean Paul: GPO Night Club, Brisbane, Australia (2020)
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was also in the process of organizing tours and bookings for artists like J Cole, Cardi B, Kevin Hart and 50 Cent. Those events will still likely take place post-pandemic, with dates to be announced.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was already well into the development of an app to help landlords and tenants break their lease without the usual hassle. I identified a gap in the market, noticing many of my friends paying unnecessary amounts of money and rent waiting for someone to take over their lease – that is where my idea began.
Break Your Lease (www.breakyourlease.app) is a social platform connecting people and their leases to one another. Once the connection is made, they are encouraged to do their own research to make informed decisions to break or take the Lease.
The app was released into the Australian and New Zealand Apple App Store in May of 2020 and made available for those in the UK and the USA in August of 2020. The app’s release coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic which saw many needing to break their commercial and residential leases. Acknowledging the demand, Break Your Lease offered free listings for the first month to ease the financial burdens of its users.
What is Break Your Lease?
Break Your lease is an App that functions as a social connecting platform. Its users list the remainder of their residential or commercial leases for others to put in an application to take over the lease. In addition, Break Your Lease lists vehicles, parking spots, and gym memberships. The more information the listing has uploaded (ie; photos and detailed descriptions), the better or faster results of making a connection occurs. Users messaging one another is managed by notifications so it is easy to navigate.
What features and services make the Break Your Lease unique from other rental apps?
The uniqueness of Break Your Lease App is in its simplicity as a needed service worldwide. People need a quick and affordable process to get out of a lease or loan when life circumstances change. Break Your Lease offers a connection platform where people are looking for shorter leases and alternative ways to buying vehicles that are safe as the financial approvals are conducted by the leasing agent.
Renters are owing a combined $57 billion in rent and utilities, could this be attributed to the COVID pandemic?
Global rental market size has seen a shift of population out of the cities to regional areas due to the impact of COVID-19.
COVID-19 created a loss of jobs for some, and the ability to work from home for others. Both enabled people to relocate to cheaper rental areas. The flip coin to this proposition is the rental prices in these now sought after regions may be pushing up rental prices and the regional tenants away from affordable living. A global response to COVID-19 was to put in place such as rental moratoriums where tenants could not be evicted if they were financially affected by COVID-19 and mortgage forebearers to reduce financial hardship. These are set to come to an end globally in June 2020, when each country will reassess ongoing support. There will be more evictions, repossessions and the need for people to adjust their living conditions. Break Your Lease can assist those people with an affordable social connecting platform to list leases and vehicle loans or leases.
The latest stimulus bill includes $19.1 billion in rental relief funds, how can this help tenants ease this rent burden?
While the stimulus will prop up families a little while longer, the main issue is can the government or the families sustain the cost of living on an ongoing basis? Eventually people will have to make the decision of retraining or upskilling for employment and when and what downsizing looks like. Is it reducing to a one car family or downsizing their home? Break Your Lease can provide an affordable social connecting platform to list leases and vehicle loans, ultimately offering a quick solution while downsizing.
In what specific ways is the Break Your Lease app beneficial for both the lessee and the lessor?
Break Your Lease is a resource to benefit both the lessee and the lessor. Firstly, the lessee will find the app user friendly as they list their lease or vehicle loan. The quick connections to people looking for a lease or vehicle to take over and the applications submitted directly to the lessor is an easy process. When the new lessee is approved by the lessor there is a twofold win, the lessee is relieved from the financial duty to cover the rent to the end of the lease term. For the lessor, they remain in control by vetting and choosing the incoming tenant. In addition, The lessor has had no financial outlay in the seeking of rental applications.
In which countries is the Break Your Lease app available, and any success stories to share with us?
The Break Your Lease App is being used widely in Australia and is functional worldwide.
Break Your Lease launched in Australia during May 2020 and within six months gained over 700,000 users. Momentum and uptake was quick and leases didn’t last very long on the App. This is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw students move home, people losing jobs, moving away, and new people moving in for the opportunity of a shorter lease in these uncertain times.
Success Story #1 – A couple who were both adjusting to working from home, were office space poor, no privacy for their confidential phone calls, struggling working with one another. They wanted to move to a larger place, but still had 7 months left on their residential lease. They listed on Break Your Lease and within two weeks had secured a new residence, and found a connection who was vetted and approved by their landlord. The couple were grateful at the speed of the process as they had not encountered this work life balance crossing into their personal lives. Their work and personal lives are much better for the changes they made.
Success Story #2 – A single guy whose working hours were significantly reduced received the government support wage subsidy. He downsized his man toys (his jet skis) to ensure he could service his mortgage rather than get to a point of not being able to pay his expenses and worry about repossession.
We expect more listings in the coming months with government covid subsidies lifting.
Any available opportunities for investors and partners at Break Your Lease?
Due to the Break Your Lease App being sampled, tried, tested and functioning successfully in the Australian market with 700,000 uploads the app is now being promoted on the global market. Partnerships are an option, they would need to be on a global level and in line with the company purpose: to provide a user-friendly service assisting those in financial distress relinquish leases or loans.
For more information, visit the website: https://breakyourlease.app/