26 Oct Clickr is ready to disrupt the property management industry
For most people who live inside a gated community, you are very familiar with the infamous remote or “clicker you receive when you move in. They are easy to lose, easy to break, but you have to have it if you want access into the property. They provide a slightly inconvenient layer of security for apartment complexes and housing communities.
What if there was a better way?
Daniel Siemek found himself asking the same question, and now he has an answer…Clickr.
Back in 2010 as Siemek was nearing the end of college, he and his girlfriend (now wife) experienced a problem while living in their gated community. Her ex-boyfriend, who still had a remote to get into the facility, was harassing her. They tried asking the complex to take away his access, but there was nothing they could do they said until he turned in his remote.
Something about that didn’t seem right to Siemek. He did some research and found out that the actual remote system was invented in 1973. The technology itself had not evolved at all, even though the rest of the world had. That gave him an idea.
He graduated in 2011 with a degree in economics and a minor in statistics from the University of North Texas. His first job was an internship with a mortgage banking company. By the end of that internship, Siemek had created significant value for the company, so much so, that they created a position specifically for him. From there he, he was promoted several times into a different division once a year until he was the VP of Strategy at the age 28.
Earlier this year he left his corporate job and took a month to backpack through Europe and clear his head. He returned on July 1 and on July 11 he incorporated the company, Clickr, hiring on the development team.
Clickr is a mobile app available through the Apple Store and Google Play that replaces your remote. Property managers can monitor and revoke access in real time through their computers. If there is an incident on the premise, they can easily check the logs to see who was on the property.
Another useful feature allows tenants to send their friends invitations. Each invitation lasts 24 hours and is good for one use. This means no more searching through text messages to find the PIN code. Once you have the app, that is all you need. This makes things easier for the tenant, easier for the visitors and allows the property managers to know that there is a visitor.
Properties can also present their brand by showcasing their logo and background image to the remote. There are even more features in progress to enhance this experience even further.
Clickr officially launched on September 29 with a 275 unit apartment complex in Fort Worth. They are starting in DFW because they want to dial into the market. There are over 1000 gated communities in DFW alone. Then there are hundreds of housing communities which are not apartment complexes. They are trying to break into some of the actual housing communities and self-storage facilities as well.
They have secured two more clients this month and are working on potentially bringing on 20 more next month.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
We’re disrupting this industry every aspect of the term. I want to do that on purpose. I know it’s going to be more difficult to do that. The software industry, especially in the multifamily property management industry charge on per-tenant usage. If you are a SaaS company like we are, you’re looking at $3 per unit a month. The issue with that is it’s exponentially more money for a complex that has 1500 units versus 100.
When you look at our operating costs, the costs that we manage, the line is about 150 units. Once you get to that point, the marginal cost of each additional in it is really almost nothing. We didn’t want to penalize larger companies for adding more units. What we decided to do is change the whole model.
Rather than charging on you per unit, what we do is we charge a fixed fee per month regardless of the size of the organization and then we recommend something called pass-through pricing. You actually pass the cost on to the tenants. If they have 500 units, it’ll be $1 per tenant per month. If you have 1000 units, it’ll be 50 cents per unit per month.
This model is different to this industry. They’ve never seen it. It’s difficult to educate them, but that’s kind of our challenge. In addition to that, this is the first time this solution has been implemented, and the ability to manage assets in real time is there. We have to deal with that challenge of educating them.
All of the gates on their property will have their own internet connection, not Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. We have AT&T or T-Mobile. This is a non-technical industry that we’re going into and we have very technical components that we have delicately present and get their buy-in.
When you talk about a monthly commitment, right now my largest hurdle is educating and getting a commitment on the sales side. We are having progress but we’re not at a point where the dominoes are falling and everyone is coming on board yet. If we were to talk last month, my challenge was development. I use developers, they are all referrals and friends of friends of friends that are talented, but we are located all around the United States. Some of them work other jobs. We don’t necessarily have the money to go get an office space, get everybody in and work as a typical nine to five or anything like that. These are the kind of challenges that are popping up right now from a technology standpoint.
What are some of your goals over the next few months? The next year?
My goal is to do an update or a push every two weeks. That’s what I’ve given my head of technology every two weeks we need to be making incremental improvements in the technology.
On the sales side, we need to be at 25 paying customers by the end of the year. The shot clock started on that. I have a sales partner as well and we need to be at 25 paying customers.
Over the next two years, I want to expand outside of just gated entrances. We’re going to take an outside-in approach, gates being the outside band of a complex. The next step we’re going to go in, and we’re gonna do like the gym or the office room or all the amenities and facility like the doorway. We’re going to do those next. From there we’re going to go to the garage doors for tenants. Maybe one day we’ll do actual door handles of each entity in it, but I don’t know about that yet.
Those three components are kind of the two or three-year plan to start developing more technology in that space and then grow sales. We are going to stick with DFW at least through mid next year, try to master it, and then we’re going to work on an expansion. Maybe we’ll get an influx of capital to grow it outside of DFW. This industry is very about handshakes. People want to meet you in person before they buy from you. You really need somebody on the ground that can market to them live and talk to them on the phone.