Local entrepreneur Joshua Brewer has launched a new company to make property management and rental life easier.
Apartment Apps Inc. aims to more easily connect residents and property managers using smartphones.
Brewer, the CEO, started in the property management industry in 2005 as a groundskeeper, but he soon got into the leasing side of things.
“I started seeing there was a problem and we needed some technology throughout the industry,” he said.
So he built a team, took The Company Lab’s CO.STARTERS class and found investors for his company to create a solution.
Now, Apartment Apps Inc. is working to connect residents with property managers through an app and software that makes everything from getting residence applications to making maintenance requests easier, he said.
The app is called Apartment Apps. It’s one app, but depending on the user permissions, the customer sees a different screen-maintenance, resident or staff.
“Right now in the industry, there are companies that have mobile websites where you can log in and pay rent, but there’s nothing [available] as a downloadable, native application,” he said. “With ours, you can see push notifications.”
So renters can get notifications if their water will be out for a couple of hours or an alert about a community meeting, Brewer said.
The technology can cut down on paperwork and more quickly confirm details, such as whether the maintenance man really came at a certain time. For that feature, the company is currently using a QR code that a maintenance worker can scan. Once that happens, the app notifies the resident the work has started. The person scans it again when leaving the apartment, and it notifies the resident that the job is complete.
A group of four investors has invested $100,000 in the company, and one of the investors owns properties in Cleveland and Knoxville, where the services are currently being tested out.
Brewer said that the cost to landlords and property management companies is going to be scale-driven and subscription-based. It will initially cost $1 per unit, per month.
“Our selling point is to go to the community, get them to purchase the software, and then it’s free for the residents to download,” he said.