After being what he called a “serial renter” and running into multiple maintenance issues, Justin Morgan and his best friend Michael Bronson decided to make life easier for both the renters and the landlords.
Both CSULB alumni, Morgan and Bronson came together to develop Rentado, an app created to make the communication between renters and their landlords effective and easier.
“The really big apartment communities really had it down whereas the little shops really had a hard time [communicating],” Morgan said. “There isn’t a lot out there for some of the part-time managers to kind of help with some of the different aspects of being a good landlord.”
They started developing the app in 2019 and were able to have a soft launch of the first version on Feb. 22 of this year. According to Morgan, more features are to come with each update.
According to Morgan and Bronson, Rentado eliminates the difficulty in communicating for the mom-and-pop shops by allowing both parties to have access to all types of communication in one location. It is a single sign-on app, meaning that users sign in once and do not have to do so again.
“We wanted this to be very friendly for the renter, that the renter would want to use it and would facilitate the next rental when it became time for that process to take place,” Bronson said.
In the app, users can add up to 1,000 properties in which they will have complete access to information like the date their rent is due, what they owe and rental history.
Users can also report any issue to their landlord by going into the app and can even upload a picture to show what the issue is, said Morgan and Bronson. The app allows users to set up different reminders, like when is street sweeping happening.
“We are trying to provide a one-stop shop to do everything you would need to do to manage or to rent a place from someone,” Bronson said.
For the future of the app, Morgan and Bronson hope to be able to collaborate with rental websites like Apartments.com and through that partnership, have their users adopt the app and thus continue to make the renter and landlord relationship better. They also want to make Rentado available internationally.
Morgan and Bronson both attended CSULB in the early 2000s. Morgan graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration while Bronson received his Bachelor’s in Biochemistry in 2005.
“I loved Cal State Long Beach, we both did,” Morgan said. “It’s part of the reason we want to give back to the community. We really feel strongly about the university. It has really given us a lot and we want to give back as well.”
Morgan and Bronson credit their mentor Wade Martin, professor of economics and director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB, for giving them the confidence boost they needed to start the project.
“One thing we can’t do is give these innovators the drive to do it,” Martin said. “That’s what’s really different and really rewarding in working with these people is they bring that drive and that understanding of what they are trying to do and our goal really is just to make it as easy as possible for them to move it forward.”
Martin said that Morgan and Bronson absolutely have the drive and that “they knew what the market needed there and they were committed to it.”
At CSULB, Bronson was very involved with the student government, serving as the senator for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and later as an ambassador for Robert Maxson, former CSULB president. Bronson is now working as an anesthesiologist.
“I don’t have a background in computer technology, but its been a big passion of mine since graduating medical school,” Bronson said.
Morgan was a middle school teacher for 12 years and now works as a commissioner for the city of Long Beach on the citizen-police complaint commission. He is also the chair of outreach for his son’s school.
Morgan and Bronson have been friends since they were 19-years-old. While in college, Morgan introduced Bronson to his now wife.
“He owes me,” Morgan joked.
Bronson was also Morgan’s best man at his wedding.
Although they come from completely different career paths, the two college friends came together for this project and developed the Rentado app with the help of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB and development teams.
“Our target right now is growth and really helping our target demographic, helping those individual landlords and renters connect and be able to use a really easy system,” Morgan said.