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This new start-up has set out to become the Airbnb for retail and commercial space


Growing up together in the same suburb, Perth residents Ronan Bray, 26, and Daniel Rainone, 24, were constantly coming up with new business ideas and concepts. Having spent the majority of their weekends putting together business plans for these ideas they found a constant barrier kept appearing; the significant time and cost in renting a space to launch their ideas. From this, Popupshopup was born.

Ronan, a marketing manager and graphic designer by day (and owner/founder of www.jobsandservices.com.au), and Daniel, a property developer and previous architect, realised their background and skills were perfectly suited for solving the problem. They identified that traditional leasing meant confusing and complex contracts; long term commitments (e.g. 3, 5, 10 years); costly insurance packages; and being restricted to geographical locations and markets.

“We soon realised this wasn’t just an issue for us as business owners but for real estate agents and landlords too and were amazed to learn that in Australia alone there was around $5.4 billion lost in forgone rent annually,” they told Anthill.

“It was important for us to not only find a solution to these common leasing issues but go one step further so that whether you’re a start-up or global company you have the flexibility to find the perfect space wherever you want and for however long you want.

“We set out to be more than just a listing site and so put together our Popupshopup Services Network which is made up of architects, designers, shop fitters, photographers, videographers, marketers, caterers and equipment hire so that once you’ve found your space we can help set it up, fit it out and get the word out,” they went on to highlight. “It’s the ultimate one stop shop.”

How exactly does Popupshopup work?

“We have made the process as simple as booking a flight or hotel but without any of the hidden costs. We have simplified the entire process so there is nothing left to worry about and this includes the guides we have put together give our user’s information on everything pop up from serving food and alcohol, setting up their space and accepting payments,” the team explained.

You simply search for the space they need whether it be retail, bars, cafes, kitchens, showrooms, warehouses, offices or something unique, look through photos, space rules, amenities and costs (or if you have a particular space in mind that isn’t listed you can contact them to see if it’s available)

Next, you make an enquiry which is then reviewed by the team and the space owner. If approved, you accept the offer and make the payment all through their secure portal.

What are they looking to achieve?

The goal for Popupshopup is to provide users with the flexibility to develop unique ideas and fill space as quickly as possible. “We have also invested heavily in our backend messenger tool so that landlords and tenants can simply exchange questions at any time and track the progress from the initial enquiry, to receiving an offer, accepting an offer, making the payment and finally moving in”.

To ensure their solution was a best fit for tenants and landlords alike they spent months speaking with interested companies, entrepreneurs and real estate firms and found that a significant concern was the legal and insurance aspects of leasing.

“We wanted to build a solution that put all parties’ minds at ease. We partnered with a legal firm who has put together a standard short term leasing contract that can be agreed to by both parties within minutes instead of months and is available directly from our site for free. The next area to address was insurance and after a lengthy search we created a first of its kind pop up insurance package with an insurance partner which saves tenants money and guarantees delivery within 24 hours. Again accessing this is all managed through our site for free.”

James, owner of Sunglass Society in Perth, said, “Today’s retail environment simply isn’t the same as it was as little as five years ago. The line between making and breaking has never been so fine. Popupshopup’s short term leasing allows you to minimise your risk and make new short term feasibility evaluations. It allows you to identify possible downfalls of your original ideas and business models, some of which are almost completely hidden until real-time scenarios are applied.”

Who is using Popupshopup?

The offering has been very welcomed not only by businesses and local councils but real estate companies too. It is the space owner/manager who sets the requirements and costs and has the final say on who can use the space and how it can be used. This ensures they retain all the control and get paid for otherwise vacant space which keeps the owner happy too.

Studies have also shown that short term tenancies more often than not lead to longer term leases and with the solution being used for high street shops to shopping centres and warehouses it looks like a win-win for all. What’s more is it is 100 per cent free to list spaces and the site can integrate directly with industry leading real estate content management systems for even greater ease of use.

A number of reputable real estate companies have already jumped on board and for Popupshopup it seems like this is just the beginning, as more real estate agents and space owners adopt it.

“This type of solution has had a lot of international success in the UK and US but we feel with our services network and vision we can do even more and are excited to be bringing this to Australia. We have staged the expansion of our growth to focus locally in Perth first before going interstate and eventually international. It is important for us to ensure 100 per cent satisfaction for our users and our efforts are 100 per cent dedicated to ensuring this as we grow.”

Popupshopup continues to work closely with various councils, business hubs and other organisations to add more to the cultural initiatives across Australia. They are also looking to use the website to promote what’s on in each city each weekend including food vans, food markets and other sectors as part of the pop up culture. We have also been told they are already working on a new niche solution in the pop up space so stay tuned!