"Our Bench Is Your Bench"

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, in common with thousands of others, the Lola Tech team went through denial and fear. However, with crisis comes opportunity and we were determined to stick together, get through this period of uncertainty and use our time the best we could.

Our revenue was impacted and some of our team had no billable work, so what could we do? We decided to look at how we could be useful by deploying our skills elsewhere. This is how the "Our Bench is your Bench" campaign started. 

We published a banner on our website offering free support for startups and smaller companies that might have just furloughed or laid off IT staff and still needed to keep their businesses running. Just as you might cut your neighbour's lawn since you've got time and energy whilst they're not fit to do it, it was important for us to keep busy and make a difference. 

One of the companies that contacted us was Bunk who are revolutionising the rental property market. Bunk gives property professionals and tenants all the tools they need to rent, without the need for letting agents.

During the peak of Covid 19 there were a great deal of restrictions on the rental sector, including restrictions on movement and viewings.

Bunk had fewer resources than usual to be able to service new and existing customers - however, there was maintained demand throughout the UK as property owners turned to a digital solution. At a time when they were struggling to keep up with demand, they saw Lola Tech’s Covid campaign as a real opportunity. With our help, they managed to streamline their operations and reduce the manual work required to service each new customer so that they could maintain the Bunk customer experience.

First to lasting impressions

Bunk leadership say:

From the first meeting with founders to the final meeting to sign-off work, we were dealing with intelligent and friendly professionals who quickly got to grips with the intricacies of the entire project. Each of the diverse team excelled in their role - and the project was completed efficiently.

Lola Tech’s developers were able to use their expertise to quickly suggest and implement great solutions - but more importantly, they engaged with the business model and pain points in great depth. I can’t stress how important this is - the speed at which the Lola Tech team were able to empathise with our users to conceptualise use cases and edge cases meant that their solution was robust and, ultimately, likely to be in place for a long time.

The technicalities

We deep dived into Bunk’s tech stack and were very happy to find a really modern serverless event-driven architecture hosted in Google Compute Cloud (GCP) built in a Firebase GCP project and leveraging Cloud Firestore and its triggered Functions for most of their platform.

Bunk say:

We post all of our properties to multiple advertising portals to reach over 97% of active tenants in the UK rental market. Lola Tech helped us to expedite the process of getting our property data from our database and onto each of the advertising portals, with a bespoke integration, which drastically improved our operational efficiency. Not only did it reduce the manual input needed from our client success team for this task by around 75% - but it improved our user experience by decreasing the average time to let. These changes were a key contributor to Bunk completing an end-to-end let, from onboarding a new customer, to advertising their property, finding tenants, completing a virtual viewing and a digital offer, signing paperwork, sending payments and moving in, in under 3 days during the peak of Covid - when the UK average is over 20 days just to accept an offer, during ‘normal’ times.