In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Arvand Sabetian from ZipRent.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Arvand Sabetian and I’m an entrepreneur, a real estate investor and a
technologist. I founded the property management company Ziprent in 2018 with the goal to provide the highest quality property management service at the most affordable prices with the utmost in transparency.
- In 2003, as a high school student, I founded a web hosting company, Arvixe, with an emphasis on incorporating the best tech with the best customer service to fill a much needed void in the industry. From 2009 to 2014 (5 years), our recurring revenue at Arvixe grew from $100k to $15M (150x) and in 2014, Arvixe was sold for $22M.
- I entered the real estate investment world in 2012 by taking an approach to acquire diverse residential properties (by type and location). Over the next 5 years, I acquired 50+ units across single family, small (2-4 units) and larger (5-20 units) type residential properties in various locations up and down the state.
- While managing my properties, I still utilized property managers for tenant placement since my units were scattered across different geographical regions. This led me to realize a large void for higher quality, more technologically advanced, and affordably priced tenant placement service in California. As such, I started Ziprent to address that need in 2018 and expanded to property management in 2019.
- Today, after only 17-18 months of operation, by coordinating 13,000+ showings, Ziprent has placed over 300 tenants and manages nearly 500 units. Our goal is to expand across all of CA by the end of 2021.
What problem does your product/service solve?
- For tenant placement, our service utilizes our in-house software to properly and quickly list a property, organize leads, coordinate showings and standardize application in-take while our near-24/7 customer service is there to respond to any specific questions from prospective tenants and to quickly process applications. The system together (human and tech) gives us the ability to help move a prospective tenant through the inquiry, showing, application, leasing and deposit collection process faster than a majority of our competitors (by several magnitudes), giving our landlords’ units an upper
hand on the market.
- For property management: We’ve built an in-house system to automate rent collection and accounting while assisting us in better organization of maintenance requests, lease renewals and communication. Our near-24/7 team is here to help with any and all requests from both our tenants and landlords via phone, email and text messaging.
- In today’s world, to build trust, you must be transparent: By having our software act as the glue between our staff and our processes, we can make sure to consistently provide a high quality service. The software also provides the ability for our tenants and landlords to have visibility into our daily activity – allowing us to build trust quickly.
More about the tech:
- For Tenant Placement – Listing aggregation (think, Turbotenant), remote/on-demand showings (think, Rently), application screening (think, Rentprep), lease generation (think, Yardi/Appfolio) all under one roof.
- For Property Management – Rent collection (think Avail/Cozy), repair accounting, invoicing/accounting, lease renewal automation (think, Yardi/Appfolio), communication (think, remote call center management software) all under one roof.
- Our secret sauce is that that we build our software in-house. Utilizing a mish-mash of external software slows down our competitors’ teams and prohibits them from making critical changes they need to make to the software to be as efficient as possible. When compared to each one of the companies listed above, every piece of our software not only outperforms the software provider’s version of it, but also gives our teams an upper-hand since the software was built with our teams and processes in mind.
What are you most excited about right now?
As we continue to expand, to upkeep the high quality of services we’ve become known for, it’s imperative to utilize our software and communication policies to segregate communication in regards to specific tasks and properties to specific teams. By allowing a tenant and landlord’s calls, texts, emails about repairs, leasing, etc. to be routed to a specific, smaller specialized team assigned to a smaller subset of units, we can assure a “localized service” with a larger foot-print allowing us to take advantage of a larger scale and network of vendors without sacrificing quality.
What we are excited about is that since we built our call center and systems from scratch, we can achieve exactly what’s described above without sacrificing any specific features as would most likely be the case with any company utilizing off-the-shelf software.
What’s next for you?
Expansion – We’ve proven that our services outperform those of our traditional counter-parts as well as those advertised as “new generation” in the greater bay area. Our next challenge will be to effectively expand this service across CA and the rest of the US while ensuring the same level of quality and cost effectiveness.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
For the past 4 years, I’ve personally participated in a 545-mile bike ride. The bike ride takes place over a 7 day period between SF and LA in California. Each participant must raise $3000 to participate and the ride raises over $16M yearly to address AIDS/HIV awareness and prevention between the two cities.
On a more macro level, I’m an avid fan of vast technological advances in logistics. I believe that rapid advances in logistics is the key for improving the lives of billions of people in the world.
Thanks to Arvand for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).
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