Landlord Studio brings professional property management services to DIY landlords

Date Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mission-critical tasks, particularly those involving sub-tasks, coordinated activities, or time-sensitive dependencies, are great candidates for digital assistance in the form of an app or a service. Businesses across a wide variety of verticals use apps to manage their calendars, their customers, their finances and more.

For people managing rental properties, an app could help find tenants, track expenses, monitor payments, and handle tax reporting. At least, it would if there were such an app.

Charles Chan, CEO of Landlord Studio, ran into this problem a few years ago as he looked for simpler and less time-consuming ways to manage his own rental property. Most of the apps he found lacked the specific sort of automation he needed, or they didn’t operate on his mobile device of choice. So, he set out to design his own. He custom-built Property Buddy, but, like compound interest, it dramatically grew into the one-stop web and mobile app now called Landlord Studio.

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Landlord Studio connects to your bank to monitor payments and expenses, connects with credit reporting agencies to screen tenants, manages communications with your chosen tenants, and keeps you up to date on everything happening with your rental business. It even collects and manages the data you need when it’s time to pay your taxes.

Landlord Studio is developed and marketed by a distributed team based in New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It makes landlords’ lives easier everywhere—like putting a property manager in their pocket. It also features deep integration with financial institutions and insurance agencies to provide a holistic solution that goes beyond basic rental management. Those institutions can even adopt the app and brand it to include their own financial products, for example, to offer their landlord customers a soup-to-nuts solution for their rental business.

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Landlord Studio has been piloted by ASB Bank in New Zealand, with over 75 percent of users surveyed finding the tool to be a valuable part of the bank’s offering.

"In the second half of 2019, ASB engaged with Landlord Studio to develop a communication to a segment of our home loan residential investor customer base as part of a strategy to offer a value add service to our residential investor customers.

The eDM subsequently developed and executed in partnership with Landlord Studio was very successful, with strong take-up of the offer to use the Landlord Studio app by ASB customers."

Mark Petty, Senior Manager, Home Ownership, ASB.

The app averages 4.9 stars from more than 500 reviews that praise not only its usability and feature set, but also the great customer service provided by the Landlord Studio team.

Apps like this need a reliable, scalable network platform on which to run their services. Charles chose Microsoft Azure for Landlord Studio’s environment, which supports the rapid, on-demand growth and performance that ramps up to accommodate the enthusiastic reception the app receives. Charles and his team also chose to use Microsoft AppSource to publicize and distribute their app and will continue to work with Microsoft to help increase reach and sales to a broad network of account managers at banks and insurance agencies.

There’s a lot more to come from Landlord Studio—new features and new opportunities for landlords and the institutions helping them develop their business. Charles is just getting started. Heading a small team that’s experiencing great success and anticipating continued growth, what pointers does Charles have for others? He sees agility and opportunity as essentials. Move quickly, experiment often, and stay on the lookout for top talent to join your team.

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