Joe Edgar started his property-management software company because he needed the service.
As the owner of rental properties, he was frustrated that he couldn’t find the software tools he wanted to help manage the process.
So in 2014, he founded Austin-based TenantCloud, which provides online tools that automate the rental process and connect landlords, tenants and service providers.
“Traditional property management software is built for big companies with employees,” Edgar said. “But 60 percent of rentals in the U.S. are managed by part-time, do-it-yourself landlords. TenantCloud is for the do-it-yourself landlords.”
What they do: TenantCloud provides a free Web-based platform that lets landlords screen applicants, receive online payments and create rental applications and lease agreements and store them in the cloud. The software also performs accounting and record keeping tasks and creates analytics dashboards.
Tenants who download the app can use it to pay their rent, which can be broken into individual payments by roommates. They can also make maintenance requests and track renter insurance. When tenants move, they can take their online profile with them.
Service providers such as plumbers or electricians can bid on projects through the online portal and communicate with landlords about projects.
TenantCloud generates revenue through third-party partners. It sells 11 products on the site, including renters insurance and background checks. In addition, service providers pay $35 a month to make unlimited bids on maintenance requests.
Who uses it: TenantCloud is used to manage more than 250,000 properties in 40 countries. The company’s top markets are the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Kenya and India. TenantCloud said it has seen a 140 percent increase in users in the first half of 2017 over the previous year.
Who they are: Edgar is a veteran entrepreneur and investor who bought his first real estate property at age 14. He is the former managing director of the state's J4T Venture Fund and is a principal at Petros Partners, an Austin-based investment and advisory firm.
Investment: TenantCloud, which has 29 employees, raised $2 million in seed funding last year from User Friendly Media and angel investors. The investment allowed the company to expand the offerings it sells on its site. Edgar plans to continue to add services including mortgage refinancing, rental insurance, car insurance and pet insurance.
Biggest challenge: TenantCloud competes in a crowded, highly fragmented field. Competitors include California-based Yardi Systems and AppFolio and Real Page Inc., based in Richardson.
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