The all-new, Renno!

What is Renno?

Renno is a website that helps homeowners visualize what their home could look like after a renovation, order the materials needed, and get connected to vetted, licensed contractors to handle the installation.

Our journey here

I’m going to share more about the experience we’ve built, but first, I’ll briefly explain how we got to this point. In 2018, 2 things happened that led me on this startup journey. The first was my initial experience working with a tech company. I was a Buying Agent at a Los Angeles-based startup called Open Listings (Acq by Opendoor), a company that streamlined the home buying process and gave back 50% of the buying agent commission to home buyers. While many of my real estate agent friends were pissed about this tech company “cheapening the industry”, I was fascinated at how Open Listings was using technology to solve several pain points for homebuyers. 

Also during this time, my in-laws were starting the process of renovating their home. It was painful for them from the time it began until the time it ended. They must have made over a dozen trips to hardware stores, flooring stores, tile outlets, etc. There was no clear scope of work or payment schedule. They had no clear direction on the design. On top of this, their General Contractor would randomly go missing. This project that should have taken 3-4 weeks to complete ended up taking 3 months. The worst part of this story? I referred this contractor to them. Thankfully their home ended up looking great and they didn’t kick me out of the family! 

I remember telling a friend about this whole ordeal and he said “Well, that’s how renovations go!”. I started to talk to some of my real estate clients, friends and family to learn more about their experiences with home renovations and almost all of them had similar stories. People seemed to accept the fact that remodeling your home is a shitty experience that can’t be escaped. I was puzzled. I previously worked at a real estate investment firm and they were flying through dozens of home remodels every month. Of course there were some mishaps, but they had really tight systems and processes around remodeling distressed properties. It didn’t seem to be this unorganized process that everyone was telling me about. I knew this was the problem I wanted to solve. 

One of our first projects.
This is what it looked like after completion.

Getting started

I teamed up with my co-founder, Ryan, who was also a real estate agent, worked in the construction space before and had previous experience in Project Management, and we started Renno. We initially started Renno to help our real estate clients, but quickly realized that we wanted to build a solution for the masses. 

We started by helping clients figure out their design, sourcing materials, pairing them with a contractor that we had vetted (much better than the GC mentioned above, haha) and then managing the entire renovation process for our clients. Ryan and I were also delivery drivers at times and have even helped with the demolition process. We’ve literally put blood, sweat and tears into building this company. After doing this manually for about 2 years, we knew we had to build a digital experience in order to scale this company and serve more homeowners.

So here we are! On the new site, potential “rennovators” can fill out basic details about their space and then use our 3D photorealistic design planner to visualize what their space could look like post-renovation. We focus primarily on kitchen and bathroom remodels but we also help with flooring projects and can assist with other types of projects on a case by case basis. Although we can help you totally re-configure your space, our experience is ideal for people who want to do light remodeling - updating all the existing materials, maintaining the current layout and not changing the structure of the home. Without going to home depot and filling your backseat up with swatches, you can see how materials will work together. You can change the floors, countertops, cabinets, fixtures, accessories, etc. When clicking through different options, you can see how your selections change the price of the materials and you can also get an amazingly accurate estimate of the labor costs as well. Whether you’re looking to renovate in the next few weeks or planning for your future home, our design planner is an awesome tool to get your project started. Check out the new experience here!

This is just the beginning for us. Our mission is to make renovations more affordable, efficient and transparent and to ultimately help more people love where they live. We’ll keep building amazing products and building a world-class support team to continuously execute that mission. 

Thanks for reading!

-Khalief, Co-Founder and CEO

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