March 9, 2016
Today, Washington, DC based property management company Atlas Lane is publicly launching. Having run quietly for the past few months while testing their platform and services, the company will now support Washington, DC and parts of Maryland within the beltway. Unlike other property management companies, Atlas Lane was created to focus on being obsessed with service and technology.
Atlas Lane plans to disrupt the $13.4 billion rental market, one that is often out-dated. Rather than simply adding in various levels of technology, they plan to find a balance between that and high quality service offerings. More specifically, ensuring technology does not hinder the experience for either tenant or property owner, and instead adds value or improves necessary communication options.
“Property owners hire us solely for peace of mind,” said Atlas Lane CEO and Founder Trever Faden. “We take care of compliance issues, help them avoid legal fees. We make sure we have someone out there checking and keeping things up. It’s a beautiful hybrid of tech and human beings that go into making that happen. That’x the crux of our business. The reason we are not building software for property managers are because they are crap. We need startup people, people who care about the experience. Experience where they never expect it. That’s the fun part for us.”
Prior to Atlas Lane, Faden was the cofounder of marketing platform RebelMail, which he was bought out of last year. During the transition Faden was tasked with identifying a property management company to handle his own investment property, which resulted in lasting distaste for how the industry functions. From Faden’s time at RebelMail he learned that providing high quality service combined with technology could upend the industry, and in turn will now bring the same approach to property management.
“As a builder of technology companies, I know the allure of picking up and moving to Silicon Valley, but quite simply, D.C. is the best market for property management in the country. Having the greatest percentage of renter-occupants as compared to all 50 states, means that D.C. is the ideal home for Atlas Lane and a great first market,” said Faden.
Although technology will be an important component of their business model, they also want to ensure it does not burden either the tenant or property owner. They will be using the basics such as making it easy to pay rent online and make maintenance requests. However, as part of their approach to preventative maintenance and providing peace of mind, Atlas Lane will also connect you to their operations team with live video through an app. In doing so, their team will be able to troubleshoot things on a detailed level, assess if something needs an emergency repair, and does not require someone to come out late at night or during off hours. They play to have someone available for requested 24/7. They will also focus on a communication first approach for payment reminders.
“We will do a soft check on the payment system to make sure they have the proper funds, we will remind them they need to have the proper amount in their account, and if late, have the tennant say how late,” said Faden. “If they are going to be substantially late, we are partnering with a few providers that will float you the rent interest free for up to 6 months. Instead of incurring a late for or any of that stuff, we just do the soft check, they give instant approval, they give you rent interest free for 6 months. Now property owners are happy, and it’s a beautifully simple way to do this if you know how credit works.”
The company is currently focused on onboarding clients within the DC region, and will strategically expand as they identify how to scale their services. For now, they are not currently seeking outside investments. Faden wants to ensure quality and peace of mind are always at the forefront of what they do, and believes that may be impossible when raising venture money.
“My interest is in retaining control of our quality,” said Faden. “A lot of that is totally impossible when you raise venture money. We, in this business, want the flexibility to grow super fast, and go oh.. service quality isn’t where want to be, and decide to stop growing as fast. There are some strategic people to bring on board in some very limited capacity, but I will never compromise a lick of control that would create a worse exp.”
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