Our mission is to build the tools necessary to give smaller landlords and property managers the same advantages that larger corporate players have. From being able to accept PAD transfers right into your personal bank account to running background and credit checks on a new prospective tenant with a few clicks of a button. We’re providing a platform to enable the small landlord to professionalize and streamline their business.
Tell us about yourself?
I have been a software developer and technical architect for 20 years. Todd has been a landlord for a few years. We saw an opportunity when we figured out a way to solve the problem of enabling retail real estate investors to be able to accept PAD transfers into their personal bank accounts – something the banks won’t do.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Only build features as you need them. Start community building early and continually talk to potential customers about what you’re building.
What problem does your business solve?
The primary problem we solve is enabling retail real estate investors to be able to create and configure Pre-Authorized Debit payments for their rentals. Payments can go directly into their personal or corporate bank accounts. Updating payments at lease renewal time only takes a minute. Instead of watching for e-transfers or depositing post-dated cheques, our system allows landlords to create payment schedules, and the rent is automatically deposited into their accounts.
In addition to this, landlords can run what we call a Tenant Verification Report (TVR). This is a three-part report. The first part is an enhanced ID verification, which uses AI to ensure that an ID is real and belongs to the person presenting it. This cuts down on fraud. Second, we check over 200,000 publicly available databases looking for convictions, evictions, etc. Third is a credit report. A TVR gives the landlord an accurate picture of their prospective tenant and helps avoid costly decisions.
The above features are built into our platform, which we are always expanding on. In the near future, landlords will be able to have their tenants perform an inspection using an app on their phones. This inspection will be tied to the lease agreement on the platform, which can be used if a dispute occurs.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Todd’s problem of not being able to accept PAD for his rentals was the original inspiration behind the platform.
What is your magic sauce?
We differ from the competition because we’re focusing on the small to medium-sized investors. They may be active or passive (with a property manager). Banks won’t allow PAD transfers into personal accounts, and other platforms generally don’t do this either. Taking these tools and tying them together in an easy-to-use interface is the key. We don’t have so many features that the platform is overwhelming.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
In the next five years, we want to continue to expand the number of landlords and property managers we’re helping. We want to continue to add value to the platform by enabling them to perform any action that they would need to do in order to run their business.
In addition to what was previously mentioned, we also want to enable payments to contractors and approval of estimates for maintenance. Digital document signing and vacant property advertising are on the list as well.
Once we have a critical mass of tenants, we can begin offering them more products and services as well.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge is the investment of both time and money that it takes to start up a new software-as-a-service business. Understanding your customer’s needs and how to best enable them to run their business better is key. Also, building features that will have the most impact and not just everything from your wish list is a huge challenge.
How can people get involved?
We’re looking to talk to anyone who either owns or manages a rental property in Canada. We’ve helped people who own a single property, and we’re also working with property managers with a few hundred units under management. We have a referral program to help reward those who help us build our business.
You can reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit our website at www.streamlinels.com, or find us on Twitter at @streamlinels. We do have other social media, but Twitter is where we’re most active.