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l-r William Wu, CTO; Jennifer Bronzo, co-founder and COO; Jason Karas, VP of Growth; Ryan Waliany, Co-founder and CEO

Our Investment In Doorstead And The Digital Future of Property Management

AUTHORS: Scott Jacobson and Elisa La Cava | April 14, 2021

There are 20 million single family residences (SFRs) in the United States, more than 19 million of which are owned by 15.5 million “very small investors,” individuals or families who own one or two units. For these rental property owners, there is little in the way of data or technology to help them understand the market rental rates for their property, find and market to the highest quality prospective tenants, and manage the ongoing maintenance of their rental units with minimal headache. Pain points like these are why more than a third of all SFR owners turn to property managers for help.

Full-service property management for SFRs is a hyper-local and highly fragmented business. And just like the owners, property managers have little in the way of data, tools, and automated processes to enable them to scale and work smartly. Further, there is a misalignment of incentives between traditional property managers and the owners they represent – managers can promise a high rental rate to win the business but do so without consequence if they secure a lower rate. They pitch fast leasing timeframes but have no skin in the game when vacancies stretch from weeks to months. Missteps on both of these fronts come at a high cost; they often are the difference between a homeowner making or losing money on their rental property each year.

Doorstead is here to address these pain points and more which have long been considered “unfixable” by property owners. Doorstead is a full-service, digitally-driven property management company that puts both the owner and tenant customers at the center of what they do. For owners, they eliminate uncertainty by guaranteeing market rents, caps on vacancy, and cash flow. The company invested early in building local data sets and machine learning models, leveraging tens of attributes for a given home to predict market-clearing rents that minimize vacancy while maximizing owner cash flow. The Doorstead guarantee gives owners peace of mind while aligning incentives of the owner and manager.

Doorstead’s digital-first approach starts with pricing and extends throughout the leasing lifecycle, from rent readiness, to listing, to tenant screening and signing, to maintenance and payments. The company’s resourcing model and digital workflow enable them to scale to hundreds and thousands of units within a market, and to markets across the U.S. and ultimately around the globe.

In less than two years, the company has brought 300+ units on its platform in its first market, San Francisco. Los Angeles and Orange County launched in the last few weeks, and there’s more to come as Doorstead expands to more markets later this year.

Like we have seen in the market for buying and selling residential real estate with our previous investment in Redfin, when you eliminate friction and apply data and technology to the transaction, both buyer and seller (or in this case owner and renter) win. Doorstead has the winning approach for the market, and the team to build what we believe will become a household brand. We have been incredibly impressed with co-founders Ryan Waliany and Jennifer Bronzo and the team they have built, and we look forward to working with the company to eliminate friction and increase satisfaction for owners and renters alike.

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