Finding an apartment is a beast of a task, especially right now. Tediously filtering through bogus listings, scheduling and rescheduling tours, allowing management companies to audit what seems like your whole life, navigating cashier check delivery – the whole process is a nightmare. Then, once you’ve secured your lease, you have the pleasure of dealing with moving in – and eventually moving out and doing it all over again. Problems like the renting process are why entrepreneurs like Bill Smith exist – to solve them.
Notably known for founding delivery juggernaut Shipt, Smith (metaphorically) sits down with publisher and host Brian Calle on the latest edition of the L.A. Weekly podcast to discuss what turns an idea into a successful business, with advice for entrepreneurs at all stages of the game.
Bill Smith was seemingly born an entrepreneur. From asking for a briefcase for his fifth birthday to shadowing his businessman father, our podcast guest has always had a taste for the next big thing.
“I’ve always loved business, I love to build products and solve problems,” explains Smith. Always taking note of his ideas, he has never taken any time off between his ventures. The man is almost breathless with ambition, making decisions with the confidence of someone who has been at this for a very long time.
“As I have built a business and started different things I’ve learned something every time,” he tells Brian, explaining that as you go, if you keep up your momentum, making your ideas a reality becomes easier each time.
So how does one start off? Smith knows that starting out your entrepreneurship journey can be daunting, but at the end of the day, the only way you can make your dreams happen is if you pursue them. “You have to learn a lot of little things, but the best way to learn is really to just get out there,” he says.
As the founder of Shipt, it’s clear that Smith knows a good idea when he has it. After selling the platform to Target for a cool $550 million, he used some of the profits to launch his new venture, Landing. Simply put, Landing is his answer to the tediousness of the rental process, with the solution of long-term, flexible housing.
Landing was born out of Smith’s own issues with renting. While scaling Shipt and traveling frequently, he found that securing a long-term rental was a process that he simply didn’t have time for. “I just remember thinking then that there really should be a better way,” he explains.
Much different than AirBnb, Landing is focused on long-term living.
“Landing is a membership living business,” clarifies Smith. “We are the first company to build a membership for your apartment. We become your primary residence.”
Being a member makes rental living a breeze. “Once you’re a member you can move into an apartment, then just open the app and find your next place when you’re ready to leave,” he says. “You just show up and start living. You never have to deal with a moving truck again and applying for an apartment, you never have to deal with any of those headaches.” Sign us up!
Allowing members to move as frequently or as little as they want to, Landing has residences in 13 cities today – including L.A.
Landing has been such an innovative and desired solution that Smith has people paying for memberships to the app even before it was built.
“Knowing how to market and knowing how to acquire consumers and get them to trust you and try your product is probably the key in anything,” teaches Smith.
From learning how to be capital efficient and retain customers, to finding your next apartment, tune in to this week’s podcast to get some inspiration for how to land your next big idea and make it a success.