Drew Mitchell was one of the original founders of Rent Like a Champion. Drew started the company while in graduate school. The company’s real estate expert, Drew works in real estate development in the Northern Indiana and Chicagoland areas. He has a BBA and MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Mike Doyle began working with Rent Like a Champion in 2010 as a college sophomore and hasn’t looked back since. Mike sets the vision for the company, helps clear obstacles from the path of his team, and oversees the general operations of the business. Mike attended Notre Dame, graduating in 2012.
1) What is Rent Like A Champion?
Rent Like A Champion is an online vacation rental platform catered specifically to college football fans. These are people who are passionate fans, returning year after year to see their favorite team play – oftentimes with a group of 8 or more. With a group of this size, splitting up into multiple hotel rooms is simply not a good option. Rent Like A Champion allows fans to rent nice homes just steps from campus, giving you the convenience of home during your weekend away.
2) What about the business makes other similar companies such as AirBnB unable to compete with you?
While there are several vacation rental companies out there, we set ourselves apart by really focusing on event-based rentals. What’s more, we cater to non-traditional vacation markets where this type of service often does not exist yet.
3) How did you come up with the idea?
Rent Like A Champion was actually started as a student housing company! The three original founders (Drew Mitchell, Jordan Curnes, and Derrick Shenk) were buying properties near Notre Dame to rent for a year at a time to students. One year there was a vacancy, and being entrepreneurial guys they started brainstorming on how they could generate cashflow from the empty house. Weekend rentals was thrown out as an option, and we haven’t looked back since.
4) How has Chris and Mark been as investors and Sharks?
Chris and Mark have been extremely helpful. Each of them is incredibly plugged in and extremely responsive to any questions that we may have. They are constantly offering suggestions, critiquing our ideas, and helping us think about how we should be moving forward. In short – they’ve been great partners!
5) How does the business combat any issues such as the house being trashed?
When people hear about what we do this question often comes up – and the reality is that this does not happen. We have done thousands of rentals, and the incident rate is only 1.9%. When there are issues, the average damage charge to the security deposit is only $97. Our typical renters are families, and they are extremely respectful of the homes. What’s more, we recently added a $1m insurance policy to each of our rentals to further protect our homeowners.
6) What advice would you give to Young entrepreneurs who want to start a business?
Just go for it! Clearly you want to do your research, but you can go down the rabbit hole of doing nothing but analysis and diligence until you talk yourself out of every single idea. The reality is that you’re not going to know if something is viable until you start talking to customers and trying to sell it. Don’t get caught up with entity formation, creating a bank account, having the perfect website – get out there and start selling your idea!
We would like to thank Mike and Drew for speaking with us.