Text messages, phone calls, emails between multiple parties–renters know how frustrating it can be to keep track of maintenance.
With TenantLoop, tenants, property managers and maintenance staff can communicate in one centralized location, saving time and resources for all parties involved.
Last year, Jeff Dinter, founder of TenantLoop, was working with a variety of tech startup founders out of his digital design studio, 3mbassy.
After helping these entrepreneurs with their strategy and product design, Dinter was looking to change up his business from a services company to pursuing other entrepreneurial opportunities with a SaaS product.
After having his own issues with property managers, Dinter began researching the industry and the most current solutions to tenant communication. What he ended up finding was the passion to start his current project, TenantLoop.
How TenantLoop works
St. Louis-based TenantLoop consists of mobile and web apps that help streamline all interactions between property managers, tenants and maintenance teams during the length of a lease. Whether SMS text message, email, phone call or web form, TenantLoop serves as a central location for all of these communications to take place.
“We’ve seen a lot of property managers starting to text their tenants, which is great for the tenants,” said Dinter. “But from the managing side, it makes it difficult to keep track of those communications if they are just relying on text messages. For example, if their phone breaks or the company loses an employee, all of those records are gone.”
Dinter explained when a property manager uses TenantLoop, it helps form a digital footprint of sorts, so it is easy to find information and keep track of the tenant’s stay during the length of their lease.
TenantLoop also allows tenants to submit, schedule and track maintenance requests through the app, complete with the option to take photos or videos of the issue.
Lastly, the tenant has the option to enable push notifications for each step in the communication process.
“Rather than playing phone tag with multiple people, the communication tools within the app help ensure that all parties involved are communicating within one centralized conversation,” said Dinter.
The difference is usability
When it comes to competition, Dinter said that the main difference that TenantLoop offers is a seamless user-centric and product-focused mobile solution. Dinter said that the competition doesn’t focus as strongly on mobile usability as much as the TenantLoop team believes it should.
“What we’re doing most complements traditional property management software,” said Dinter. “The software that focuses heavily on the accounting piece and typically web-based components that help property owners run their business better.”
Listening to early customers
When asked about TenantLoop’s major lessons learned throughout the last year, Dinter said that he realized founders have to be totally relentless in solving the problem they’re going after.
“You’re going to get lots of ‘no’s’ from potential investors, early adopters and partners, but you have to know that you’re the underdog, and you have to be smart and work harder than your competition if you want to survive the early days of forming a company,” said Dinter.
He added that listening to early customers is also one of the biggest lessons the team has learned in the last few months.
“You have a vision of how you think a problem should be solved, but daily user feedback is what validates the current product, or what validates the iterations that are needed to move forward,” said Dinter.
Beta users and official launch in Q1
TenantLoop launched in private beta earlier this year, and currently has over 250 active users. Dinter said that the team’s focus was to work with a small group of users at first to make sure their experience was the best it could be before officially launching the platform.
“Our beta users have been very thrilled with the product thus far,” said Dinter. “It has become a major part of their day-to-day operations, which was a main goal for us during the proof of concept phase.”
TenantLoop is on track to officially launch within the next few months. The team has also raised an undisclosed amount of money this year from angel capital.
What’s next for TenantLoop
While TenantLoop is focused on improving communications between tenants and property managers, Dinter said that the team also hopes to improve those relationships.
“We’re starting with these communication tools on the mobile side, but what’s really exciting for us are the opportunities that will come after those relationships are improved,” said Dinter. “We’re helping property managers save money by streamlining operations, and make more money by improving tenant retention.”
Dinter added that if there are SPN readers who are property managers interested in beta testing the product, they can connect through TenantLoop’s beta signup page.
Mel Lucks is a regional freelance journalist and former intern for Silicon Prairie News and AIM.