The Pitch: Effortless Housing
Every month, an entrepreneurial EUR student is put in the spotlights in ‘The Pitch’. The entrepreneur answers five personal questions related to entrepreneurship and gets thirty seconds – and only one take – for a video pitch. This edition, master student Strategic Management Fabian Dudek presents us his company: Effortless Housing. Many international students moving to Rotterdam experience problems with securing housing while still residing in their home countries. In some instances, students are obliged to pay a large sum for the deposit based on a room they only saw on a few obscure pictures. Dudek’s venture Effortless Housing is an internet platform that aims to bring transparency to the process by mediating in the process. For a fixed sum of 295 euros, Effortless Housing supports the process of selecting, arranging, and paying a room.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
“Being a student in Rotterdam I soon realized that my budget wasn’t large enough to cover all my expenses. Because I knew my landlord had a lot of rooms he wanted to rent out to students, I imagined I could help him in the process and earn a provision. Later on, we decided it would be more convenient if I would send the landlord an invoice for my delivered services, so he could deduct that amount from taxes. Therefore, I registered Effortless Housing as a sole proprietorship. In addition, I have an entrepreneurial background. My dad is an entrepreneur, and I always had little projects going on to earn money on the side.”
What makes a good entrepreneur?
“At first, you need to be able to think in an abstract way to mentally develop a good business idea. In order to bring it into practice, a broad range of skills are required – especially if you are initially completely on your own like I was. I had to do everything myself: accounting, website development, sales, and maintaining the business itself for instance. This is actually very valuable, because it gives insight in the entire business process, including how the daily activities of my staff look like and where challenges may lie ahead.”
You learn from your mistakes. What mistake have you learnt most from?
“Quite honestly, at the end of every month I could pinpoint numerous points of improvement. In the end, most mistakes are worth it because they allow you to grow as an entrepreneur. The most expensive mistake for me was made with websites. I didn’t have the knowledge required to check the work that was being done. As a result, I ended up spending too much money for the value we got. For this reason, I hired a CTO (Chief Technology Officer) who is in charge of the website development, and in a team of developers currently builds a new website for Effortless Housing.”
I imagine being an entrepreneur isn’t good fun every single minute of the day. What could be a downside?
“You have to want to be an entrepreneur continuously, because you basically never stop working. I cannot just leave the company for a week doing something else, because no one is going to jump in for me. Therefore I feel very responsible, especially since I started hiring people for it. Additionally, as a person I have expectations of myself and of the company, which make me pressure myself a bit too much at times. A negative consequence of it is that I have problems letting go of things sometimes.”
Do you have an example in the field of entrepreneurship?
“Of course I do read about entrepreneurs having very inspiring stories, such as Richard Branson. Myself I do get inspired by people who have an extraordinarily talent that I like to develop to such an high extent as well. This could be very determined people, people who look at things from unconventional angles, or very inspiring speakers for example. However, I am not the type of person who adores one entrepreneur in particular. LJa