Five Start Ups You Should Know About
The Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference welcomed many new and start-up companies this year. Here are five you should know about.
Audience Town is a consumer analytics platform for real estate.
CEO Ed Carey said it’s hard for people to move, both financially and emotionally.
Being in the business, it’s hard for apartment operators to know where people are moving, who wants to move, etc. – key knowledge points that can help their businesses perform better.
He said Audience Town is there to help educate the industry about trends regarding property, location, and population, especially where Google and Facebook fall short in delivering.
For example, there are 21,500 renters in Huntington Beach and 3,000 of them moved in over the past couple of months.
“But analytics tools won’t tell you why they moved,” Carey said. “You need to know more than that. About a quarter work from home in their apartments. They don’t like cats and dogs as much as fish, and about 10% likely to drive an EV. That’s just four of 20,000 things we can tell you about Huntington Beach renters.”
By being able to predict home journey, behaviors, and interests, operators can gain an advantage in their marketing, such as whether many previously lived in a 3BR apartment, so a community can change its marketing focus and website display to better attract that group.
Zark Parking Solutions
Zark exists because parking sucks, according to Todd Katler, a founder at Zark Parking Solutions.
“It sucks for residents because the average spaces provided in new developments per unit has dropped by about one-third,” he said.
Developers and municipalities are limiting these numbers, and meanwhile, the number of residents per unit is increasing. There are more roommates. This puts a strain on parking overall.
Zark Parking Solutions “makes it better, and really easy,” Katler said.
It takes parking spaces in vacant units and makes them available to other residents for $4.
“This is better financially for the apartment operator compared to doing nothing about those spaces, letting them sit empty,” he said.
Zark Parking Solutions, which was founded by apartment developers for apartment developers, has an API running every single hour to indicate vacancies. Its app displays them and makes them available to be reserved.
“This takes the pain out of the leasing office staff and helps to curb negative community reviews,” Katler said. “We let the resident self-concierge to find their spaces, instead of going to the leasing office to complain.”
Other than a small set-up fee, the service doesn’t cost the apartment company anything, Katler said.
Zark Parking Solutions advertises the spaces and gets the first $1 per unit. Every dollar after that is split 50-50 with Zark and the apartment company.
Consumers want to be educated about the products they consume, where they are to travel, the products that they buy, and where they want to live.
As for No. 3, Resi helps to transform its website experience into something that is unique and memorable, according to its Founder, Grady Newman.
Its highly customized websites showcase modern design and are void of a template look.
“Consumers are drowning in a sea of sameness,” Newman said. “With Resi, you can highlight the unique value of your neighborhood and community.”
They also deliver real-time performance insights.
“Better data means better decisions,” Newman said. “Along with improved engagement, higher quality leads, and less wasted time by onsite teams.”
Resi’s app marketplace makes it easy to work with all the tools in your tech stack and its universal API connects with most every partner.
“Our secret is in our data layer – everything integrates,” Newman said. “There are no limitations in our universal API.”
Its drag-and-drop website tools are easy to use and all data flows into whatever analytics system is used.
“We’re creating a flexible, high-quality website like you would get from an agency, and with scalable software,” Newman said.
The websites are built in “mobile first” design – “that’s what all of your residents and prospects are using,” he said.
Resi websites include lots of native content, which is what Google loves when driving organic traffic growth.
Resi sites are priced at $299 per property per month with set-up fees based on customization. It offers enterprise and term discounts.
With the tenant screening process, it’s a pain to verify income.
Onsite teams grow tired of requesting and reminding applicants to share their paystubs in the process.
Some paystubs don’t look real, said Payscore CEO Mark Fiebig. “It’s a huge problem in our industry,” he said.
Every second of every day, some resident needs to have their income validated. There’s no escape. And then, residents must be reapproved every few years.
Payscore helps to simplify this.
Applicants are sent an enrollment invitation by email or text to get started. They create an account. Once they are enrolled, they are sent an email with a request to obtain their paystubs, which then assures apartment companies they are receiving a fully verified paystub.
“What’s delivered is data from the applicant’s bank,” Fiebig said. “The applicant can review the stubs that are provided, but they can’t change them. There’s no way for them to modify them. It’s the truth about income. A clear, concise, consistent report.”
He said clients only pay for success – when the applicant is approved.
Fiebig said Payscore compresses something that can take weeks into minutes. “There are no delays in getting reports,” he said. “No more 72-hour turnaround time.”
Payscore can be quickly and easily uploaded into apartment communities’ systems.
“We don’t tell you how to do your business, we help you do your business,” Fiebig said. “It’s easier for the applicant, too. Every prospect is treated the same way. There are no more hassles with fair housing.
Collecting data is hard. You can be drowning in it like you would a torrential downpour of rain, according to Jen Tindle, CEO, CRExchange.
“It becomes even harder when you move up the executive chain to have access to all your data,” she said.
“You should be able to consolidate your data and have direct access to all of your data in a centralized place no matter how many systems you use,” she said.
By having that, you can highlight your own unique strategy through custom analytics, Tindle said.
CREx enables this, for example, by enabling a company that uses Google and Yardi, for example, to blend the information.
“These systems ordinarily don’t talk to each other,” she said. “But CREx can pull in data from both.”
The product, which costs $1,500 per month, consolidates it, then pushes it out to whatever system is used, such as Salesforce, etc.
One client, Thrive Communities, can now finally visualize and consolidate its information while eliminating manual processes.
No longer is there a need to fight with your property managers to get clean data on time. CREx Certified partners have daily feeds and integrations already setup for its customers.
CREx Certified+ property managers use CREx Software's suite of advanced analytics and automations. to manage at a higher efficiency, meaning more income for the apartment company.
Its enhanced reports provide analytics that allow companies to grow their AUM.
More Interesting Points:
Audience Town analyzes 280 million people in the US and 100 million events every day. There are 30 million people moving every year, he said.
Automated driving and EV stations will only lead to more opportunities for Zark Parking Solutions.
One Resi website improved tour-to-lease conversions by 40%.
A 700-unit lease-up in Houston by Greystar spent 50% less time processing applications with Payscore.
CREx costs “less than an intern” at $1,500 a month.
Here is the replay: