Camran Khan of brightLET
Brightlet founder Camran Khan explains how the proptech start-up is helping make property management easier for everyone…
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
brightLET is a cloud based property management and lettings platform for landlords, who prefer to manage their rental property or a tenancy, directly with their tenants or tradesmen from anywhere in the world - in real time!
The system enables all lines of communication from one platform, by providing a paperless solution that saves time and unnecessary costs. brightLET is the gateway for connecting landlords with their tenants and tradesmen together in the cloud by providing an end-to-end work-flow system, to manage all aspects of a tenancy at any time.
Some of the interactive and helpful features that we offer our landlords, tenants and tradesmen are; a message centre for direct communications, reporting maintenance issues, documents centre to upload documents unique to the property, or to share documents directly with their tenants, a complete audit history from start to finish of your tenancy, accounts management system including rents, financials and expenses, important reminders, appointments, tenancy agreements, inspections reports, inventory reports any many other helpful features to make your day-to-day rental life simple.
What did you do before you started this business?
Before starting brightLET, I was working in London within the media/marketing sector. I have successfully worked and consulted FTSE100 companies and large brands for scalable technology infrastructures and automating manual business processes that could result in huge operational overheads.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
During my time in the corporate world, I built a very good network of people with all sorts of skills and have stayed in touch with people that have mentored me during my time in London. Not to forget Innovation Birmingham creating the UK’s only mini version of Silicon Valley, where you can network with like-minded people and always tap in to resources that you require.
Finance is one of the most common barriers to starting up. How did you access the finance you needed?
Having the technology know-how has saved us as a company about £100,000 in development and technology infrastructure costs. We have found it extremely difficult to access finance or finding an investor that would like to be part of our vision, and that understands technology innovation.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Within the first year of trading we have won an award for Online Business of the Year and recently being featured as the UK’s Top 101 Rising Stars for tech innovation. My personal achievement to date has been, being shortlisted amongst the top disruptive CTOs in UK. This was down to me helping a corporate save £1m in operational overheads by replacing their existing processes with automation.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
We are the first in UK for what we do, and the services that we offer. Our product was also created by landlords, for landlords! Our vision is to create innovative and easy-to-use technology that will eventually completely automate the lettings/rental market. I believe a lot of start-up companies fail because they assume that they are creating what the customer wants. Here at brightLET we have had landlords involved from the beginning by creating focus groups and listening to what they actually want, including the frustrations I personally experienced as a landlord. Our vision, value, innovation and culture completely differentiate us as a technology company, both as a team and what we offer to our consumers. We want our customers to have that personal touch, and to be part of the brightLET family.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
The most challenging aspect of being your own boss is being organised and keeping myself motivated at all times. Sometimes, because you have that flexibility of working your own hours, tasks or work can drag on and take longer than expected. In any start-up the key is, how you can manage yourself, your time and achieving your targets. Sometimes, you can have them daunting moments but the key is to remain patient and positive.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We want to be hitting markets in US and Europe. Our platform is scalable and we have a vision that we are working towards. The vision doesn’t stop here, we have many phases that will always keep us ahead in innovation and what we offer as a company. We have discovered more markets to tap into but this will happen over time and when we have built a good talented team.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
The difference between success and failure is going to be you! Sometimes, working for yourself can make you feel lazy, but learn to execute. Have a notepad that every night you write down your tasks for the week and then tick them off every time you complete one. It doesn’t matter if you couldn’t complete all them tasks in one day, the positive thing is you are completing the jigsaw that will eventually make that picture you want. At times, you will feel demotivated or disheartened when things are not going well for you, remember nothing happens overnight, learn to be patient and be around the right crowd!
Finally, do enough market research and listen to what consumers are actually saying. I have come across people that have an idea and just want it born! Try doing some research and find out, if that is what your customers want. I have in the past asked random people in busy environments for their thoughts on an idea, collated all information and made a decision.