by Stephen Ursery
Renew, a cutting-edge solution that automates and optimizes the entire resident renewal process to drive NOI, today announced its official launch. Founded by Rob Hayden and Kevin Murphy, two veterans of the rental housing industry, Renew has secured more than $8 million in seed funding and has an advisory board composed of some of multifamily’s most prominent thought leaders.
“It is thrilling to finally share with the industry what we have been quietly working on, and perfecting, for the last couple of years,” said Hayden, CEO of Renew. “We spent the last two years building our software and strategy in partnership with some of the industry’s most highly regarded property managers to ensure we have the tools and resources that enable operators to transform how they execute renewals and view resident retention. By bringing modern technology and holistic thinking to this often-neglected component of the resident lifecycle, apartment operators can take advantage of an invaluable opportunity to retain residents, generate new revenue and increase asset value.”
Major investors in Renew include Upfront Ventures, Goldcrest Capital, Allen & Company LLC and Walkabout Ventures. RXR and top executives from WC Smith, two companies that develop, own and operate apartment communities, are also key investors. Renew’s advisory board of apartment industry members includes Holli Beckman, chief marketing officer at WC Smith; Daryl Smith, chief marketing officer at KETTLER; Greg Lozinak, a former c-suite executive with a strong track record in multifamily investment management; and Jake Holzman, senior vice president, operations, at Imagine Homes Management.
KETTLER, a strategic partner of Renew, is implementing the solution across its portfolio after recently completing a successful pilot project.
“Renew has had a powerfully beneficial impact on our communities,” said Cindy Fisher, president of KETTLER. “During our pilot project, we were able to reduce the workload of our onsite associates, increase resident engagement during the renewal process and speed up the time to a renewal decision. At the same time, we were able to assess residents’ likeliness of renewal and to gather actionable insights into the reasons why they moved out. We view Renew as a key product within our centralization strategy.”
Aditi Maliwal, partner at Upfront Ventures, praised Renew’s solution to a market inefficiency.
“We invest at the earliest stages of companies and are always on the lookout for businesses that have founder-market fit, and we believe Renew is that type of an organization,” she said. “Rob, Kevin and the Renew leadership team are experts in this market. They have identified a tremendous opportunity in the rental housing space for operators to revolutionize renewals, retention and resident mobility on a national scale, and we are thrilled to support this team. This is an opportunity for the apartment industry to embrace a completely new approach that will drive serious business results. They are a team that has the background, relationships and execution ability, which is what got us most excited about investing in the company.”
Renew’s high-powered software, which integrates with leading property management systems, provides operators with a centralized renewal tool and retention strategy while interacting with residents to help them more easily navigate the renewal process. The solution automates outreach to residents in order to understand a resident’s propensity to renew, delivers renewal offers with dynamic pricing and leverages insights to create a curated resident experience, all of which drive an increase in renewals and faster renewal decisions. When residents make quicker decisions, operators can reduce vacancy loss, improve occupancy forecasting and make better real-time pricing decisions. The software also captures valuable data about resident needs and living experiences, while also providing team members with unparalleled visibility into renewal pricing and where individual renters are in the renewal process.
In addition, Renew enables operators to more easily move a resident who is leaving one of their properties into another community within their portfolio. It also empowers operators to seamlessly facilitate same-property apartment upgrades for residents who need more space, but not a new community. Likewise, the software allows operators to turn move-outs into a revenue stream by providing leads to other operators for a fee.
Hamilton Point Investments also is using Renew across its multifamily portfolio.
“Renew’s dynamic pricing gives me another powerful tool to incentivize residents to make decisions quickly,” said Tyler Billings, director of revenue and marketing at Hamilton Point Investments. “By offering time-based early bird pricing, I can reward residents who renew quickly, and the improvement in renewal speed helps me forecast occupancy and set pricing more efficiently, while also adding revenue from residents who do not meet their deadlines. This product alone has given me a 140% return on my investment in Renew and is a big reason we have implemented the product across our entire portfolio.”