With George Cen
What was the impetus in starting up your company? Give us a quick summary of what it is that you do.
I am the CEO and co-founder of Properly. Along with my fellow co-founders, Michael Lee and Jerry Bai, we personally understand the frustrations of navigating the rental lifecycle. Jerry and I have been renters for a decade and Michael is a landlord of rental properties in 3 separate states. The idea for Properly started when we discovered that all of the rental management software options in the market were developed for property management companies and apartment buildings. For the typical property owner who manages a handful of units, the expense of setting up such software or hiring professional property managers can amount to thousands of dollars a year. Due to the cost, landlords often manage these tasks themselves manually which is inefficient and unsafe (lots and lots of paper).
Properly is on a mission to make all aspects of renting simple by taking on each traditional rental activity that include listings, applications, tenant screening, and rent payments and designing a better and safer way to do it.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Our biggest challenge is getting our product in front of a large network of landlords. These customers manage between 1-10 units which actually make up 70% of the overall market. The traditional property software companies target large apartment complexes and property management firms since they’re able to capture 100+ units from a single sale. As a result, they price and design their products specifically for buildings and property managers. We target do-it-yourself landlords so the challenge in scaling is to figure out how we can educate a large network at once rather than sell “door-to-door”. Our current focus is to form partnerships with companies who share our customer base. We are working on partnerships with housing communities and Fortune 500 companies who want to offer the Properly technology to their customers.
What do you hope to achieve?
Our vision for Properly is to be the one-stop shop for landlords and renters by providing the entire suite of rental services, maintenance, insurance, accounting, taxes, legal services, and more; so that our customers are able to do everything they need on a single platform.
What are some accomplishments so far?
We’ve made valuable connections that have opened the door for potential partnership opportunities and helped us get featured in The Huffington Post. I also enjoy being part of a class of fellow entrepreneurs who share the same passion for starting businesses and building products.