Connect with tenants effortlessly - Not a good thing, Usually leads to excess work orders, more "asks" and petty squabbles about this and that.
Automate rent with online rent collection - Not sure how this is going to work. We have a option for people to pay rent via CC, but most people opt to do it in cash/check. Since only a fraction would use this, I would have to add to my work load to manually enter their transactions in here to have data integrity.
organize work orders- Definitely dont want this. If they need something done, they just go the manager and ask. Taking away that element will just create unneeded work orders. We already have a internal system for tracking needed work. I think the last thing we would want is to make it easier for the tenant to complain about things.
...tasks, contacts and more!
I guess this is cool, but we never really have a need for this. You already have to file their rental application and other work anyways, so its not like you wont have this.
I guess I just dont see the appeal. Its cool to have a nice online interface for this, but I know we wouldnt use it and even my friend who runs a 400 unit complex hates moving stuff to tech. Unfortunately, they always add more work then they solve. The last thing ANY land lord needs, is /MORE/ paper trail :)
If you get anything from this, get this- I am a technical, HN user that owns a apartment building. I am (what you would assume) your absolute ideal customer.
And with that, I wouldnt use your product without significant changes.
I think the last thing we would want is to make it easier for the tenant to complain about things.
This is the same kind of disdain-for-customers attitude that leads web developers to build paid services that are really hard to cancel.
The marketing and branding in real estate are also a joke, but it's the customer service thing that really gets me. There's a huge opportunity here for someone to do it right.
Disclosure: I'm an active real estate investor with three small properties.
Dont assume that because we dont want to induce more work orders / complaints that we have bad service.
What you are saying is "bad" is akin to me asking why sites dont have a "Dissatisfied? Click here for a refund" button on every page. Providing absolute ultimate customer service will cause you to go out of business. Customers will take you to the cleaners if they can get away with it and you need to have boundaries to stay afloat. You can find a great middle ground and keep everyone happy doing it also.
And there are guys out there doing this right. I've lived in building that had online portals for customers to submit complaints and it didn't seem to be a problem for them. And I've talked to landlords across the country who run extremely efficient operations with low marketing costs, low vacancies, and high rents because they kick ass for their customers.
Until you rent to enough people to start getting these renters, you've been isolated.
Not decrying a software solution, but while I pay almost every bill online, most of the tenants I've had just pay cash or check, and we have an online option.
Just like any business, you have to set boundaries on how much you will do for free. But why not set those boundaries intelligently, based on how the customer's actual desires match up with your ability to provide services?
Sure, There is a line somewhere to be crossed/not crossed. The only example I can give is maybe along the lines of google. There is no support whatsoever, yet people remain happy for the most part when things break. People love google. But you cant call and complain- You have to jump through a few hoops and fill out forms first. Thats all I am saying- If you make things too easy, your costs will go up with no additional return on revenue in either the short or long term.
Why should my option be "Sue or pay thousands of dollars to move" if the landlord just elects not to fix something?
We fix sinks and whatnot right away- If you dont,they only become bigger issues. :)
Its stuff like "Can I have 13 small dogs in my apartment" that gets to you.
So, "Can I have [more then \d+|a dog|\d+ cats]" automatically gets them a "Your lease only allows for 2 small animals. Does this answer your question?" type response.
I have hated every single landlord I've ever had. They have no online payment systems. I can't lodge tickets easily. I have no transparency if work is being done, if my ticket is moving.
The reason your customers whine is because they LIVE in those properties. You're making a fair chunk of money from having someone live there, and for the most part it seems the estate agents just want to take their cut and have the customers leave them alone.
It's so prevalent that I now assume it's the default case for real estate: sucking.
My friend is a renter and he has wanted a renters interface like this for years.
> "Dissatisfied? Click here for a refund"
are options that are miles apart. When you said that you don't want to maintain an easier communication channel with your paying customer, it is a good sign that customer service isn't your greatest selling point. One doesn't need to buy every product in a shop for 10 years before concluding whether the service is good or bad. A few customer reviews / purchases should suffice.
Dan isn't a bad guy, I can almost guarantee you. Tenants can be difficult to deal with, and there's just a certain status quo in the industry that everyone has come to accept. I'm just saying that there's a better way, and things like RentPost.com and RentMonitor.com are a step in the right direction.
This does bring up an interesting concept though we can look into... The ability to disable the work order functionality.
Thanks Dan :), and if you ever want go w/ us, just hit me up and we can work a special price up for you for your contribution
Congratulations. Calling someone a slumlord just because they own property and are willing to discuss their business online does not give you the right to slander them.
When you lease an apartment, the landlord's record of customer service is almost never a factor in signing the lease. It just never comes up. And the cost of moving is so high that its unlikely someone will leave a unit because the landlord sucked (I know this from experience). So the landlord doesn't have to compete with other landlords based on customer service, they compete based on the price, location and amenities of the units they offer.
So there's really no incentive for most landlords to be better landlords. The only ones who try, are mostly just doing it to follow the law or out of a sense of fairness.
The market just doesn't really reward landlords enough for their customer service ability...
As a consequence I've had a fair number of landlords over the years, from owners that let out the top floor of the house they owned to apartments in high-rises.
The funny thing is that there is no hard and fast rule that says landlords can't be great, I've had absolutely fantastic landlords and really terrible ones and not always in the place where you'd expect them.
* High staff turnover
* Procedures that suck staff time, instead of supporting them
Being a property manager is, for the most part, an awful job. If you sell real estate, you deal with the owner giving you grief; when you manage a property you have the owner, the tenant, and the suppliers all wanting a piece of your time, and rarely to say thank you. Because you don't need to be a rocket surgeon to work in PM, the pay is low, and most staff are young people looking for something better. When they leave, they take with them most of the corporate memory about the tenant and the property. If you hate your property manager, chances are it's because several times in the past year you've called and been put through to a different person every time.
Lack of procedures is linked to lack of investment in this part of the business (also reflected in low salaries and high staff turnover). Most real estate offices are run by salespeople, current or former. They see one sales commission worth $000s as being infinitely better than one tenancy worth $16 / week. So they don't invest in systems, processes, staff development, or great software. This is the market hole you speak of - but while there's a gap in the market, there may not be a market in the gap...
...EXCEPT that, ironically, a rent roll is traditionally the only asset a real estate business has to sell - without it, you just have a sales team who could go next door and open up tomorrow. PM departments also provide a regular income when sales decrease, which has been the case over the past two years in most of the world affected by the recession / GFC. I don't have enough evidence to support a claim that owners are more willing to invest in their team, particularly property management, as a result of this; but I hope it's the case.
Disclosure: I spend 8-10 hours a day managing and talking to other landlords.
Have you evidence this is true? I work with web hosting and clients can send support tickets at any time, but rarely do. They have the option of asking infinite questions such as, I made a change why did my website break, why is my site not in google for [insert impossible keyword here], I want to change the background color, why is the email from my mom spam... but it almost never happens.
I'm not sure about the opportunity there. If you spent 2x on support costs, what would you get out of it? Tons of referrals when people are moving out? Probably not-- movers are busy and rarely have friends handy who are in that rare moment of hunting for an apt/condo.
Now, SERVICES on the other hand... Certainly there's room for apartment buildings that have great gyms, social events, etc.
Most HNers are very intelligent, hard working and understanding/reasonable. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Not all renters are like that.
Unless you've been a landlord or worked closely with one, it's hard to understand some of the frustrations of dealing with renters. Owning property is not the same as being a landlord.
Some things that we'd think are unreasonable, a renter might think is reasonable. I've had one renter try to not extend lease AND not pay for new month's rent, just because they were only staying for 2 weeks of new month. It's not the landlord's fault they didn't secure a new place in time. The final compromise was to allow them to pay 2 weeks rent. Did it work? No. Think it's easy to get people to pay? No. Think the eviction process is simple and quick? NO.
I think this app would work best in places with atypical renters. Places where the rent is higher than market and the price covers the landlord's time to deal with everything.
So this makes me wonder, was this product developed on the 'they will come' methodology or was there actual end-user involvement and piloting with early adopters during the development phase?
If the latter then you're simply not the target market.
Where I live if you have a property that is 'to let' you contract out the handling of all the details to an agency that manages a large number of properties and you just pocket the cash every month.
What's interesting to me is that all the people that I know that own rental properties have outsourced the handling for a %age of the rent. That may be a cultural thing though, but from what I know about the market typically landlords are interested in the monthly payment, not in dealing with the tenants, if they can afford it at all they'll get someone to do it for them.
Maybe that's the market this is aimed at, agencies rather than DIY landlords?
Your response to other elements contacts, tasks, and automated rent collection says to me that the product isn't designed for you. When I've got a team of 4-5 property managers, 600+ properties, some on fixed leases and some on holiday letting schedules, time lost to paperwork is enormous. Actually, I've not worked with an office that hasn't had some sort of technology for contact and property data; managing work orders, automating payments, assigning tasks to other managers are all fairly common now as well (and I see other key selling points in the product, so that's not to be taken as a criticism for 2 years' work).
Think of work orders as a support request for an online company. You get a lot of junk support requests as well, but you have to have something, and the tools to organize as needed. And this is WAY more efficient than speaking with someone over the phone or in person, or taking emails!
If it's easier, the PM will get more of them AND those extras are unlikely to be the important ones. (If your hot water system blows, you pick up the phone; if you don't like the shade of green in the living room, you send a web message.) And if you're a good manager, you still have to respond to them all.
I'm raising this as a genuine fear for a customer reviewing the product. It would be interesting to have some user stats that overcome that fear - eg, "support requests rose by 10% BUT the time taken to respond to all requests actually went down by 20%, saving managers three hours each week, AND this feature was identified by many tenants in their improved satisfaction reports."
Having an in person or live conversation is almost always more costly. Yes, it likely cuts down on the number of miniscule requests that you will receive, but you are likely to get a large number of those via telephone, unless you don't offer that as well, which would be impossible for offsite property managers.
So, in short, yes, I agree with you that the number of silly requests may go up, especially initially. However, to counter this, sorting them takes all of 5 seconds a piece instead of 5 min to listen to them ramble on the phone, the benefits of online rental payments saves you time and money, and the instant organization that comes from having this all flow into one system is in our eyes, priceless.
Thanks for your valuable input!
Im sure the same thing could be said about attorneys. Its the way the world works. Tenants like asking for misc bullshit and landlords hate doing them.
Track the maintenance cycles associated with each apartment.
Here is a tenet feature:
Track work orders to fix a broken appliance.
They might cover the same area, but guess who is buying your product.
#1 we have in place 2 similar systems to track maintenance per unit and rate your units by this number. And another report to be even more granular to the tenant level :)
#2 jiminy cricket, why didn't I think of that :P
Landlords care more about how much it's going to cost to service the elevator(s) vs replace them. When it's cheaper to replace a refrigerator than repair it. They don't care about how efficient the refrigerator is unless they bundle electricity cost into rent.
Tennents care about how much electricity that refrigerator costs them and how quickly they will have a working refrigerator.
Landlords don't like hearing from tennents because it's costing them money. Automated emails are great if the landlord was going to send it anyway and pointless if they don't already do it. Automated rent payments don't really help them when they can collect a late fee in a few days etc. However, automated printing of those late fees is vary helpful. :evil:
PS: Hidden fees don't just pad the bottom lines for CC companies and banks; apartment complex love that action.
Also, wouldn't receiving payments online rather than via checks/cash be easier for you, even if you, say, disable the tenant complaints portion of the site?
PS> I am not affiliated to Rentpost in any way, just amused by your dismissing their effort in strong words.
I had a rental house for a couple of years. I had dirt ground into the kitchen floor that took me two days to clean, I had holes punched in the walls, I had the washer stolen, I had the back door broken in when they lost the keys (despite me living five minutes away with another set of keys), I had a shed literally packed full of garbage, I had evictions that took six months (after flat-out non-payment for months before that, and partly because the sheriff "couldn't find them"), I had fleas in the carpet from a dog that was explicitly forbidden in the lease. I had one whole year where I made zero dollars due to three successive deadbeats - still had the mortgage, of course.
Rental is hell on Earth. I can't imagine doing only rental as a career. I'd end up in the loony bin or up in the bell tower taking out as many as I could before they got me.
> I think the last thing we would want is to make it easier for the tenant to complain about things.
Kinda sounds like a place where I don't want to live. How are your ratings on ApartmentRatings.com?
Its about when a tenant complains because he wants all new appliances because he thinks they use too much electricity. Its about when a tenant wants to get 100$ off his rent every month because he now has a sick uncle living with him. Its about when a tenant wants to have huge Christmas decorations in the front of his door but his neighbors dont like it.
Its easy for people on here to idealize a perfect "landlord and me are buddies!" dream, but its not how it works in the real world. A apartment building has costs, salaries and other expenses to keep afloat. If we listen to every complaint from a tenant (and as such, make it easier for them to do as such) we start losing money.
You might say "Well, it will be a better place to live then!" - Great, great for the tenants. But this is a product to be sold to land lords, NOT tenants. You will have a tough time selling me on "Make your tenants happier and make less money doing it" I'm fine (and they are fine) with the current situation.
This is not a restaurant. We do not depend on referrals, walkins or other methods. Dont apply the restaurant methodology to owning a building because it doesn't work. In a restaurant, you keep everyone happy so they come back again. Spilled something on you? Free meal. Steak was cold? Come back for half off.
Just doesn't work like that in renting.
It's very different being a landlord and thinking about how a landlord 'should' do things. There are just things that being a renter you never get to experience or just hear about in passing. You never get to experience dealing with completely unreasonable renters or constant complaints.
Ever had to deal with a renter that thought it was OK to not pay (at all) if they 'only' stay for 2 weeks into the next month before moving? Good luck trying to reason with them. Good luck going through eviction process which is long and time consuming. Good luck getting the money.
I also once had a Roommate From Hell who paid a token amount of rent to me rather than to the landlord... thus turning him into my Subletter From Hell... and when I tried to get him to pay the rest of his share of the rent, he gave me a lecture about how screwed I was. (And because of the damage that his chain-smoking did to the house’s lobby area, I lost my security deposit.) I called his successor the Roommate From Limbo because on the one hand, he had WHITE POWER tattoos, played the same Hank Williams Jr. tape incessantly, and had loud s/m sex with his girlfriend, but on the other hand, he paid his rent on time.
At any rate, I’m not sure a tenant who bombards a landlord with incessant frivolous complaints through a trouble-ticket system is really that much more annoying than a tenant who does the same bombardent by telephone.
It could work like that if there was Yelp For Landlords.
I have heard nightmare stories about 'Turn' taking weeks to complete because of the high turnover rates in our city.. As well as managers being at whits end 1/2 the time because of workload. We really tried to develop our software to ease these tensions. In some of the companies we have studied, we were able to reduce the workload of the company and reduce the stress.
And in doing so, hopefully we make a happier rental env for everyone :)
Managers spend massive amounts of money trying to find new tenants for a unit. If you have yearly turnover b/c you intentionally stay disconnected with tenants, this will increase your overhead, not the other way around. Hire a college kid to sort through the work orders and prioritize them accordingly.
It probably also depends on the area - my complex hovers around 70% and I didn't bother with anything below 50%.
Maybe not, but with more information available online now your next potential tenant will be able to take that into account. (And don't think I didn't notice you dodged the ratings question). Places with better reputations will attract better tenants and have better occupancy rates.
what features would you like to see for a landlord/manager?
Setting up tenants for an online account is optional. Heh, I wouldn't want to create more work either. However, if tenants are setup w/ an online account w/ rental collection online, the amount of paperwork would be slashed to a fraction. Every thing would automatically be digitized and collected, and your staff that normally collects the 800+ checks a month (400 units * 2 tenants) will have more time to sit at the local starbucks and browse hacker news :). Oh, and that is for non 'turn' months. 1000+ unit managers spend weeks during turn. We can turn those weeks into days :)
I'd address each of these things but I am tied down at the moment. Basically, it sounds like it isn't for you, and it won't be for everyone.
But if you could get people to use this system surely it would be easy to program (assuming such a system could be added by rentpost) responses to common questions - that surely would save time in the long run (i.e. a 2 minute call turns into 10 seconds selecting the right response).
As an ex-tennant and now a home owner I have always thought that the real estate and rental markets need a serious shake up. I realise the problems faced by people renting property in terms of fussy customers and time wasters. BUT that is a problem for "you" to fix, it shouldn't affect me (a hypothetically sensible, non-fussy, customer).
I've always thought; if the contract says I can do X, making it a bit hard to do X is just not providing the full service. Random example; when we had a minor wiring issue in one house I lived in it took about 3 days to talk to the landlord properly, and another three for someone to come and do the half hour fix.
This was for two reasons; firstly the maintenance system my landlord had was complicated and disorganised (basically, a list he gave his "guys" each day and they did as and when...). And the reason it took three days to get the problem to him was because of the soft blocks he had put between him and his tenants to discourage time wasters.
Could this solve all those problems?
What country are you in? Do they not have modern banking?
No "convenience fees"
Free online banking, setup automated payments, one offs, transfer money to other banks in the UK instantly, etc
I assume you're talking about the US?
All of the above with no charges, although they may have a requirement to have direct deposit set up.
In the UK using cheques for anything is the rare exception. The plan is to phase them out within a few years, but already hardly anyone uses them any more.
It's the exception for banks, but credit unions are generally good to their customers. The few dealings I've had with BofA for example left me wondering why anyone would ever deal with them. At my credit union the people are friendly and when I used to go to a branch they actually knew me.
I pay everything by CC, but she writes a lot of checks. She's not what I would call a luddite, she just doesn't trust other people with her money.
I'd simply go insane if I had to remember to pay bills.
Why not, say, just log into your online banking and arrange an electronic transfer to the landlord's account on a set day of each month?
I think this was parent poster's point - that in some countries (even those less advanced than America in other ways) the banking system allows much greater convenience. Most people in Western Europe have the option of paying their rent electronically without writing a cheque and without incurring extra fees.
The difference in customer service between say, an Archstone community with amazing online customer service from online bill-pay to online maintenance requests to say, a complex that runs by paper and phone calls, is night and day.
This service solves such a big problem that I myself have been rough drafting a similar website but looks like these guys are way ahead of the game. Congrats and I hope it does well, I know I certainly would use it as a tenant.
The main phrase:
Start Simplifying Rent™ in the RentPost Cloud
If you make the lady at my leasing office read this, she will be like 'What????'
Connect with tenants effortlessly
I don't think the landlord wants to connect with the tenant. He is interested in collecting rent.
"We're just getting warmed up; get on the bandwagon."
Why should I care that you are warming up?
You don't want to invest in yesterday's technology.
I don't care about technology, I care about how you can solve my problems.
We want to work with you to continue to build RentPost to best fit your needs; we listen!
So you are suggesting that RentPost may not fit my needs.
I think you are in the same market as this software:
Look at their website. It's not pretty like yours, but the website copy is all about the customer's needs/problems.
Find out who's late paying your rents in seconds.
Over 100 reports at your fingertips for you to analyze how your properties are doing within seconds.
Regardless of your opinion (and mine) you should A/B test your headline to maximize the traffic/attention you are getting.
Though my guess would be that majority of your customers will be non technical. If the technical audience refers your website to non-technical people, you want your page understandable to them.
Still, hats off to you for actually sticking with a vision and building something. Best of luck and great job,
Make me understand the pain I am in. Real estate is painful, but as you have undoubtedly noticed, people think the pain is a natural part of the package and they can't separate the two.
How about automatic late notices? Projected vacancy and turnover assistance? I mean, those are really painful and annoying processes (at least to me), present me with a punch-by-punch pain tour and offer the solution.
Additionally, for heaven's sake, drop the buzzwords and market talk. I feel like you designed the site first and tried to shoehorn some content in there. Property managers care little about the "cloud" or "we're easy to use!". They want to get paid on time, how are you helping them?
Best of luck! I think there is massive potential here but I tend to think you are going about it the wrong way in your presentation. As rwhitman has said, it seems like you are trying to solve tenants' problems, not the landlords'. Noble indeed, but not the best strategy.
And I'm not talking about the 1-2 unit owners...I'm talking about multi building companies with $600K in yearly revenue who haven't even bothered to setup a 1 page site with their phone # and hours of operation.
If you are going to take on this market, you are going to need a direct on the ground sales team.
From an end user perspective, I think the design looks totally awesome. And, I would be thrilled if my property manager would adopt this.
We aren't pioneering the space here either, there are half a dozen competitors.
I'll agree that some form of pounding of the pavement and sales are going to be required. Just be picky in that regard -- there is a massive range in the quality of sales people, and the ones that genuinely care about the customer (instead of themselves) are also in the minority.
I think you'd be wasting your time to focus on anything but these people, ever.
Otherwise you'd be selling to the type of person that would find 10x the complexity from introducing a computer and the internet for every bit of simplification that your service provides.
My last landlord added me as a friend on Facebook when we signed the lease, and was actively attempting to use email and smart phones to facilitate communication. I've heard similar stories from other folks, so we may be at a tipping point where landlords are more open to SAAS tools, primarily because of the ubiquity of mobile apps and Facebook etc
What about modifying the initial workflow from the Tenants perspective and allow Tenants to make rent payments to Landloards who are not yet even on this site?
Seems like the easiest way to address your potential market (landlords) since there is certainly a huge demographic of renters who would like to use this service from the payment perspective. Changing the focus on the landing page to be directed at the Tenant -- as in PAY YOUR RENT NOW, and focusing on the benefits to the tenant as part of your conversion process.
While I would love it if you'd prove me wrong (go, do it! be a success!), your responses here appear a little naive. Spending 2 years building something like this is very impressive, but it doesn't sound like you've talked to very many customers. (I get that just from the vague statements you're making about "these days", "starting to realize", etc.)
I know nothing of the space, so I can't comment to that. But it does sound like you would benefit greatly from doing some customer development, Steve blank style.
Like I said, I know nothing of the space, so I wasn't even aware of competitors. I think that's good news that there are others already succeeding, now you just have to do things better than they do!
That said, how do you know they're doing so well?
Another spin on the idea that I'm sure you've thought of: what about targeting this software to a bigger client, the companies that run apartment buildings? Include a notification system (so they can notify all building residents), and you could start to build building-based online communities. Anything like that in the works?
The last place I was in, the company my landlord used for online rent collection charged 1.50 per transaction...to the tenant. That's in addition to whatever fixed monthly fee the landlord was paying.
As per the pricing for the software, we know it's cheap and will be considering price hikes in the near future. We wanted to come out of the gate swinging and get some traction.
Does the target market behave more like consumers than businesses?
It also doesn't state if there are transaction fees, which you mentioned in another comment.
Thanks, oojacoboo. You're a lifesaver!
My company targets business owners as well, and at first I buried our phone number on the contact or about page. After talking with some customers I decided to not only make it more prominent, but to put it at the top of every page. Best change I ever made, the conversion rate of people who call us is astronomical.
Business owners, especially ones in 'offline' industries, often want to hear your voice before they decide to work with you. Anyways thats just my 2 cents, congrats on the launch!
I once had a landlord where I was doing online bill pay from BofA, and they would mail the landlord physical checks, but the landlord wouldn't accept them. Apparently they periodically would think the bank's automated check was junk mail and would toss them in the trash and persisted to accuse me of not paying rent. So I will never mail a rent check again without a physical check in a handwritten envelope.
Unfortunately both of my previous two lacked even an email address. My job has a contact email for employment verification and I had to get a special phone number from HR for my landlord because they didn't use email. This company probably has two dozen properties around town (each with multiple units) and doesn't even have email. Sometimes its amazing when we step out of our tech field and see how normal people live and work.
That being said - if you could convince landlords to give you 20 minutes for a demo, I bet you could sell a lot of them on it. You would probably need a sales team for that though.
When I get my utility bill - he calls and leaves me a voice mail with the total and then I combine it with my rent on a single check and send it in. That's not efficient by anyone's standards. Best of luck to you guys, maybe my next landlord will be using RentPost!
I think a great market for a product like this would be real estate agents that do some property management (10-25 units).
Do you have any thoughts on lower tiers? I have 1 rental unit. On the one hand, $9/month is pretty low; on the other hand, paying the same as someone with 15 units is psychologically painful =). If it was like $20/unit/year for 1-4 units, that'd be pretty cool.
Re: pricing, I agree that a smaller or freemium plan would be nice, but for people who don't need anything from you to do automatic collections (i.e., everybody outside of the US ;) ), it would be quite hard to see how you could make money off them.
I'm guessing it's not meant to be like that.
"Your rental property now comes standard with it's very own web dashboard"
When I see an error like that, I lose a great deal of respect for the company. Either it means it's worked by people who lack understanding of grammar, or lack the motivation to proofread their work. Neither is a great signal for me.
The website is BEAUTIFUL though.
Looking at the comments you may want to adjust the pitch a bit to show that it makes the day to day management of units more efficient. If your tool can identify bad tenants quickly a landlord can address them before it forces other renters to leave. Also easy reporting of problems, however minor, prevents small issues from becoming large ones. For instance a leaking tap is much less costly to repair then a tap and a water damaged ceiling and floor.
Other efficiencies could be the tech itself removing the lags of phone and voice-mail communications, using template replies instead of having to write fresh emails or make long phone calls for all situations, rapid forwarding to contracted service providers for repairs, and tracking of expenses for similar items and services. One of the big complaints of property managers is that they mostly get calls for bad things or when tenants and strata owners are mad. If you could make communications more formal with a tool like this you could minimize the time managers have to sit on the phone and be yelled at which could make for a happier workforce and cut some of the BS out of the workday.
Oh and look into Strata managers also
Expect a lot of resistance to landlords letting tenants pay with anything but e-checks, though. Think about adding something like automatically sending out emails to tenants to remind them to pay the rent (opt-in on first payment)?
Oh, and I think you might be underpricing yourself.
It might be more useful to have a live demo system people can log into both as a tenant and landlord to see how it works.
There are others too... http://appfolio.com http://buildium.com http://propertyware.com http://tenantfile.com and others. This isn't a new idea, people have been using property management software for years. We have just taken a slightly different approach to implementation with automation and communication between the two parties, landlord/tenant.
Our ability to automate a lot of the managers monthly activity sets us appart. Rentmonitor currently only does 'after the fact' accounting, meaning tenants still have to bring in a check or pay an e-bill. Our system allows tenants to pay electronically through their site and submit work orders.
So the time savings w/ our software can be huge. As well as payments getting 'lost' or not recorded doesn't become an issue anymore.
Oh and BTW, I would NEVER rent a building from DanBlake. He's the type of person who gives the industry a black eye, as well as ensuring that the indutry stays at least 10 years behind the tech curve.
That is all.
I didn't see a mention of being able to accept credit card payments, so if that's not in this version yet, here's a vote for having it in the next version.
Good luck with the property owner sales end of this business too. As a tenant, I love systems like this, so I hope to see it in use someday.
I worked on vaguely similar concept about 12 months ago and it is definitely an interesting space. Our angle was to try to remove the need for a real estate agent by empowering landlords.
My advice for your system is to get out there and sell, sell, sell. You'll only get better by direct sales, you'll only get traction via direct sales. They won't come to you, you'll need to bust your ass convincing them to get on board. If you do that then the copy doesn't mean a thing.
This looks so awesome, but I'm not your market. I'll post this on my buildings HOA board.
I dont' like that section all together though... needs redoing.
Other feedback: I am overwhelmed how great your design is.
* Allow roommates to collectively pay their rent online without the landlord being a customer of RentPost. You then turn around and cut a cheque which is mailed to the landlord. Included with the cheque is the upsell to subscribe to the service.
* Allow tenants to submit maintenance requests, etc, turn these into an email to the landlord. The property manager could simply reply to the email, but you could also give them the option to manage the "ticket" online & you could ease them into your service.
On a different note, hit up the Property Management trade shows!
We haven't thought of the 2nd concept at all. I'll have to bring this one up to the guys.
And yet, no hover states on your buttons :P.
+1 for you :P
We are currently working with our merchant provider and our dev team to support Canada.
I can let you know ASAP of any updates. Just give us your email via rentpost.com/contact form.
thanks for the input :)
Edit: Come on, the site design is a rip off of the product site of i.a. http://backpackit.com/
I think I see what you are trying to get at. We used a very popular design philosophy right now. Same reason why all tires are round :P
This is a really cool resource to see the hottest, freshest websites weekly: http://abduzeedo.com/tags/sites-week
Thanks for the input, we love to hear from both sides of the fence.
> You will not find anything that is more user friendly, period
If you write 'period' does that mean you don't need a period? It's the only sentence in the list that doesn't end with punctuation.