#068: Measure & Optimize the Performance of Your Rental Properties (For Free!)

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and your investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

Josh: So, hey, welcome back to Accelerated Investor. I am so excited to be with you whether you are on your way to the gym, whether you’re working out, going for a walk, whether you’re in your real estate office, thinking about investing in real estate, or you’re just hanging out at your house wherever it is. I’m so honored and excited to be sharing with you to be on this journey with you. So excited to have you part of the community, part of the tribe, part of the squad. Thank you for being a, you know, a follower of Strategic Real Estate Coach and Accelerated Investor. Don’t forget to join our private Facebook group for all of our Accelerated Investor members. If you’d go to Facebook, check out Accelerated Investor login and join, we have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of members. We just started the group and we’re growing every week by hundreds of members and we look forward to sharing there with you about your entrepreneurial and real estate journey.

Josh: Today I’m with a special guest. His name is Heath Silverman. He’s the co-founder and CEO of a real estate app and a software program called Stessa, which we’re going to talk more about in a minute and we’re going to talk a little bit with Heath about his journey as a real estate entrepreneur. As a software developer, we’ll talk specifically about his software, Stessa.com and how that can help you manage your rental portfolio. And I’m really excited to be sharing the next few minutes with Heath. So Heath listen relatively new relationship. So I’m excited not only to be doing this interview for our tribe, but also for me personally. I love to use this podcast as a way to meet new and make new connections for myself. So welcome to Accelerated Investor. How are you doing?

Heath: Thanks Josh. Yeah, excited to be here. Great to be on the show.

Josh: Fantastic. So Heath, you own a bunch of multifamily properties, single-family rentals. You’ve been investing for a long time. You’ve been in software for 20 years, real estate entrepreneurship and real estate investing for about the same amount of time based in San Francisco. So let’s just kind of start with what I love to hear about from investors is number one is about their latest real estate investment. Is it multi-family? Is it a single family? Just tell us a little bit about one of your recent investments that you’ve made.

Heath: Yeah, so latest investment, since 2001, I’ve been a real estate investor and I started, you know, with a single-family residence. My first property back then, was a house that I actually bought to live in. But when I got in there, I realized there was quite a bit of work to be done and I brought on a couple of roommates to help subsidize, you know, the rent and the ongoing expense of making all of those improvements. I basically was house hacking the building and I quickly found out that I got addicted to the whole, you know, supplemental income plus in the Bay area, the potential for appreciation. So since then I’ve been investing in real estate and I actually took a number of years off when the market got crazy. But starting in 2009, I started doing a dealer to every single year and now I’m on a pretty good cadence of one to three deals per year.

Heath: This year I’m actually looking to do three deals, two of which are 1031 exchanges. One of them was a duplex that we bought a year ago, did a quick value add, turned it over and took the money, 1031 exchanged it into a 19 unit building over and Roger’s Park in Chicago. And the other one, we’re actually in the process right now of selling a six unit building over in Berkeley that we’ve owned for a couple years. Did a number of value add improvements to it. I can talk a bit more later about the type of buildings we go for, like the sort of value add improvements that we do. And we just got in contract into our 1031 upleg. So this is going to be a new multi-family building in San Francisco that we’re purchasing.

Josh: Fantastic. Love it. and your journey kind of as two separate trains to going down similar tracks. So you have your real estate investments, which we started to kind of unpack and then your journey as a software developer and a founder and CEO of Stessa. So tell us real quick, you know, about what is Stessa as far as helping people really understand their numbers, understand their portfolio, a fantastic tool and, but tell us why did you found it, where did it come from? Where did you get the idea and what does it do for your clients?

Heath: Yeah. It’s a great story. I, you know, I mentioned I started way back when with that single-family property. And I started doing quite a bit more investing around 2009 post financial crisis in the Bay area, at least it was, I mean, there were so many opportunities it was incredible. Single family homes over in the far East Bay that it’s sold for over 400 K in 2006 where all of a sudden available for just over a hundred thousand dollars, a 75% percent haircut. And in 2009 it was a little bit of a scary time to buy with all the foreclosures and everything going on, but these are properties that you could purchase right away. You know, people needed a place to live, get immediate rent, cashflow. I pretty much in the early days, I followed the 1% rule. So I wanted 1%, you know, the rent to be one, each month to be 1% of the purchase price, but plus all the improvements that we had made.

Heath: And then over the years I kind of started getting into bigger buildings. I realized single-family rentals were a bit harder to manage. So I got more into multifamily. So all along this time, this was all a part time job. I was spending, you know, weekends, evenings, doing all this real estate investment all while working my day job in technology. So I’ve been working in tech for, as you mentioned, just around 20 years and you know, number of big companies, small worked at Intel, had a number of startups. Actually I founded three startups myself with my. The same co-founder every single time who also as it turns out is one of my main partners for real estate investing. And in 2016, the two of us were like, you know, and we’re both doing all these tech startups, we’re investing in real estate.

Heath: Like we really should do something together again, you know, really where our passions meet. So, you know, we want to do something, the intersection of real estate and technology. Took time off, we were white boarding all these, all these big ideas. And of course now that we actually had some time, we got totally distracted by our real estate portfolio and doing these sort of micro optimizations. And it turns out we looked at one building in particular. It was an eight unit multifamily property in Oakland. And this is a building that, because we had day jobs that had been on autopilot for a number of years and over, you know, a few weeks of analysis. It was crazy. In just a few weeks, literally the doubled value of the building. It was mind blowing. So it was a combination of operational improvements and also we found some interesting ways in a the rent control area to increase the rents that didn’t impact tenants in any meaningful way.

Heath: And if you want to get into some more specifics. So it was things like, you know, swapping out the property manager to get, you know, that price down. Because now we were at a bigger scale. We were able to negotiate better on rates. We swapped out some of our, you know, regular providers like landscaping, gardener, all that. We found a water leak, which reduced the water bill significantly. And then finally Oakland is rent controlled for older buildings. We realized that a number of the units in the building were subsidized and we bought it with these built units were subsidized where we hadn’t really dove deep into them and we realized that we could just contact the agencies and get them up to fair market rent for the area overnight without having to pay a dollar more. So if you’re looking at that, and if you know about multi-family, multi-family is all based on the NOI for the building.

Heath: That’s, you know, the NOI basically equates to what the building is going to be worth raising alone. And so and in Oakland at the time, you know, competitive areas and this was a nice part of Oakland or on Ivy Hill, somewhere in San Francisco, cap rates were at around 4%. So every $333 a month that you can add to the NOI equates to, you know, a about a hundred thousand dollars in value. And over the course of this two weeks, we were able to basically add about $3,000 a month in NOI. So $36,000 a year just from this combination of, you know, improvements in apex and getting the rents up of it.

Josh: So you added a million dollar value…

Heath: Million dollars of value in a couple weeks of work. Like holy moly, like one, three things. One, why did we not done this before and why are we not doing this with our other properties? Two, most of the stuff we did can be totally automated with technology. So as product people, and I’m more on the business side and our founder is our CTO and engineer on the engineering team. But you know, we were like, yeah, we can, we can build something that can do a lot of this work automatically and it’s free. I started asking around to other investors and realized, hey, there’s a huge market for this.

Heath: It’s crazy, I spoke to a couple hundred investors and I’m speaking to all these guys. I found out that most people, they manage all their properties with little more than an Excel spreadsheet that they update manually. And most of them, they have no clue if they’ve made or lost money except one time a year when they get a recurrence from their accountant. It’s crazy. So we were like, hey, what if we just made something that people can see performance in real time?

Heath: We can automate a lot of, you know, what’s being done and even bigger, you know, we were thinking, you know, you look at real estate, real estate is the biggest asset class in the US like $40 trillion, right? It’s the biggest lending category in the US. And since the financial crisis, home ownership rates have been hovering around 50 year lows or the number of renters has reached all time highs, we dug a little deeper and saw that, you know, most many Americans today are viewing real estate as one of the best longterm investment vehicles. And it turns out, you know, when you look at rental properties, about 70% of rental properties and these are going to single-family homes that are rented and multi-family buildings. They’re actually owned by individual investors. So people like you and me, mom and pops and they just don’t have to, like tools just don’t exist. And if you buy real estate to more traditional asset classes like equities, right, with your equities, you expect to have, you know, real time benchmarking tools, analysis, you have access to row advisors these days are like, wow, we really need to build something like this for real estate, right?

Josh: And so you did, so you built Stessa and you’re operating now helping, primarily residential, single family and small multifamily investors really understand their portfolios. So tell me some stories about whether it’s you or a clients who have other sort of epiphany’s once they move from Google Docs and Excel spreadsheets to Stessa and they really understand the information, right? Because as a CEO or as a business owner and entrepreneur, you’re really only as good and can only make decisions based off the information that you’re provided. So you’re really giving investors is the opportunity to have better information and to slice and dice that information in a better way so that they can make quicker, faster decisions about their current portfolio and future investments.

Josh: So is there one thing within the software that has kind of stuck out? Is there one thing that’s helped with you or maybe an event with other than the event you described that helped other clients be like, wow, I can’t believe I’ve been operating off of spreadsheets in the past or this is the way Stessa has helped me analyze my portfolio and I’ve made more moves to invest in a different area or a different asset class because of the software?

Heath: Yeah, I mean, first I got to say you hit it right on the nose when you talk about tracking and measuring performance. I was just at a conference the other week, FinCon, which is all about financial freedom and a lot of influencers in that space. And we were talking to a number of these people about their investments in real estate. And it’s always great when you’re out there and you’re at conferences and all these people are first. You have all the people who haven’t heard about the product before and you have to kind of explain it to them. And that’s always a fun challenge depending on what their needs are. But then we had tons of people who are coming up to us and saying, hey, I already used Stessa and one of the quotes, you know, one of the guys who came up to me that really stood out and it’s pretty much what you said he, he’s like, yeah, but the thing about Stessa is what’s tracked, gets measured, and what gets measured gets optimized.

Heath: And when I optimize my performance goes through the roof. So I think that really sums it up. And that’s, I think pretty much what you were just saying right there, yeah. So what Stessa is at the end of the day is it’s a bookkeeper. It’s a smart filing cabinet and it’s a personal assistant all in one and all for free for real estate investments.

Josh: Oh it’s all free. Okay.

Heath: It’s all free, yeah.

Josh: So how does that work? How does your business perform with just a completely free app? Do you have some sort of upsell or upgrade or tell me like, obviously now everyone’s going to be like, wow, how do I get that for free? So how does your model…

Heath: Everything we have today, all the core features, and I’ll get into that, it’s all totally free. And what we’re planning to do is actually the next few weeks, and then in the coming months we’re going to be adding a number of value add services on top of Stessa on the real value to help people with more of the operations side of the business. Stessa as a whole, I mean I look at it kind of two things you can do with software these days. You can do sort of the operation side, which is, you know, getting access to Lisa’s, getting them signed, collecting rent, doing all of that.

Heath: And then there’s more like asset management level of real estate and what we are with Stessa, Stessa is assets spelled backwards. So we were thinking more about this asset management and replacing the spreadsheets, doing all that work. So that part is always going to be free. And I can’t quite announce it yet, but we have some exciting value add premium services that we’re going to be watching at the end of the year. Yeah. But everything that’s free is and will always be free.

Josh: So it’s Stessa.com right. Go to Stessa.com and get a free account?

Heath: Go to Stessa.com set up an account. Super easy. Yeah. So basically what happens, you go to Stessa.com, you enter the property address that you own. We try to make everything sort of as magic as possible. We pull in public records data, we pull in things like, you know, all the property details, square footage, photos. If it’s out there, we pull in your loan amount. If it’s public data, we pull in all your assessments. We basically sort of pre-fill in this whole dashboard for you and we keep it up to date with all the most relevant information. All the public records that are out there. All you have to do is just add your rent roll and then you link bank accounts.

Heath: So you can link everything from, you know, your credit card or you know, whatever bank accounts you have associated with your property or if you have certain property managers, we support them. I personally, most of my property managers that use AppFolio, so I link my AppFolio account and we automatically pull in all those PDFs parts of the room, put it directly into the transactions ledger and then generate a beautiful KPI dashboard where you can go in there and you can see in real time how your properties are performing.

Heath: We have a nice net cashflow report that basically shows in real time every month. Are you making money, are you losing money? And we do all this by having direct access to all that information and bringing it all together and helping it to be visualized. And I don’t know about you but, but me in the past I used to spend, I would say a couple hours every week. I mean, I guess it depends on the size of your portfolio. In the early days it was hours every single month. And then it became every single week and then it became a couple hours every single day. But going through all, you know, all the bills I’m getting, you know, getting that shoe box of receipts and basically entering all that detail, reconciling it with all of the transactions that are showing up in my bank account and trying to get all the information and seeing how it is performing, you know, like, right, but what is happening with the properties that I own?

Heath: And now it’s incredibly simple. So, so we have an app on the phone. You go to Home Depot, you just snap a photo of the receipt, we automatically pull the receipt in. We have OCR, so it’s, we read all the data from the receipt, extract all the important data, create a ledger entry. We use machine learning to auto categorize it. So you know, hey, this is Home Depot, this is most likely supplies you associated with the property. And boom, it’s in there. And whenever the credit card or bank account hits, we then merge the two and wow, everything’s all there in real time.

Josh: Wow. That is fantastic. So yeah, love it. Love it, love it. So I’m interested to know, you know, building Stessa, building software. So I built a software company called Real Flow. And we, you know, we had kind of funded the development of Real Flow from our real estate profits. So I’m interested to hear a little bit more about your journey of your entrepreneurial journey, right? The good, the bad, and the ugly about whether it’s investing in real estate or building Stessa.

Josh: What are some of the things, maybe the best two or three or four decisions that you’ve made, whether it’s people, whether it’s partnerships, whether it’s, you know, financially, what are some of the best decisions that you’ve made to build these businesses, your real estate portfolio and your software company. And then conversely, what are some things that you did or made decisions on that you learned from that were maybe not the best decision that you think back and say, you know, going forward, I’ve learned my lesson here. What are some things that you would do differently? What are your thoughts on that?

Heath: Yeah. So on the first in terms of best decisions I’ve ever made, I got to say both in the real estate business and in the business of starting companies, it’s all about the people. And I’m incredibly lucky I would say to have an amazing co-founder. So my co-founder, Jonah Schwartz, he, we met in undergrad and we were both at UC Berkeley. We were working together, kind of geeky, we were both resident computer consultants and the dorms. Met there, really bonded and realized we both have this passion for entrepreneurship, passion for investing. We actually started our first company back in 1999 while we were still in college together. We built the largest community online for comic strip creators and their fans. And we started that back in 2000, um, just before the market crashed, it was quite the journey yet building a company when, you know, your first time building a company and then having it exit right away.

Heath: And then over the years, we started investing in real estate together and we’ve been investing in real estate now for over 10 years now with Stessa again, I didn’t mention this also, but we actually got, so we started the company back in 2016 and then early 2018, just over a year after starting the company, we’ve already been acquired. So we actually founded the company and funded the company and all of our employees and everybody ourselves for the first year. Started going out to raise money and some, you know, path led in the right direction and we found a, a company that had the same vision as we did. And have you heard of Jones Lang LaSalle? Massive global Fortune 500 real estate and investment services company?

Josh: Sure absolutely.

Heath: So they acquired us. We definitely have a very clear aligning vision. And yeah, and you know, we continue very much today, you know, having a partner like Jonah, somebody who I can trust, who definitely does all the things that I’m not good at, and I do all the things I would say that he doesn’t enjoy doing. You know, we really balance ourselves out incredibly well.

Josh: That’s great. So I’d like to hear more about that. So I founded, I’ve had three, you know, three big partnerships in my real estate investing journey and almost every time we had different skillsets and that’s why it worked. And we got to a certain point in each one of those relationships where it made more sense to sort of divide and conquer. And in my first businesses I built them with my original partner, Greg, and we had a lot of the same skill sets. We built two businesses really, really quickly. We decided to basically buy each other out. He took one I took the other, it made sense.

Josh: But what I’ve found is in each partnership, they’re the ones that have worked really well. You have two guys that have a lot of mutual respect for each other’s skillsets. Or two girls or whatever it is, and you find that one is typically good and maybe the front of the house, whether it’s marketing, sales, digital marketing, vision, strategy. And then you have another guy who’s more better at the back of the house, whether it’s software engineering, bookkeeping, operational systems. So tell me about you and Jonah. Are you guys built in a similar way and you know, okay so let’s hear more about that. Go ahead.

Heath: Yeah, I’m all about front of the house, the business side of tings, the marketing. I went to business school. Um, he’s more about back of the house, making sure everything’s operating smoothly. He’s always the guy who when we were doing our, you know, financials and bookkeeping, he was doing a lot of that. He, you know, he’s really responsible for building the product, keeping on track, putting together a roadmap, handling all that. Obviously now as we’ve grown to be a bigger company, we have a whole, you know, engineering team here in San Francisco and then another bigger engineering team over in Eastern Europe. We have, you know, product, head of product and head of marketing and all these other people are helping out. But in the early days, if you were just to break things out, I was definitely, you know, front of the house.

Heath: He was definitely back in the house and that worked incredibly well. And I think we just sort of understand each other. It was always good, I would say when we were in investor meetings, we complimented each other incredibly, incredibly well. He’s also pretty amazing I would say. One of the things, even though it’s more back of the house, he’s great at things like recruiting, you know, he’s almost like a pied piper of engineers, you know, in Silicon Valley finding great engineers is sort of a prerequisite to be able to build a technology company. And he’s one of those guys who, anybody who’s ever worked with him wants to work with him again. You know, working with somebody like that, trusting them, knowing that I can go and disappear for a week and you know, just be spouting random stuff about where we’re going and then things are, you know, back home are moving smoothly forward and like come back and there’s just more great stuff done. It’s, yeah, it’s great.

Heath: And as it turns out, I too, like I guess all my properties, so outside of business, all my properties, I have three different partnerships. I have, you know, this partnership I have with Jonah, which is where most of my properties are. I have a partnership, with my family. So I’ve done some investing with my wife, I’ve done some investing with my parents then I have a partnership with another real estate investor. And it’s funny, you know, depending on, you know, with Stessa, with Jonah, I’m sort of in front of the house, he’s back of the house. Like different partnerships, different relationships. You kind of figure out what other people’s strengths are and you kind of, you know, mesh in different ways. It’s always interesting to see how that plays out. All these work great for me and I’ve been incredibly lucky that I have never had a bad experience with a partner.

Josh: Got it. So just a couple of final questions and these are kind of quick hitters. Um, so tell us about how much, one of the questions I love to ask is what real estate deal have you done that made you the absolute most amount of money?

Heath: Huh. So I can talk about that. But before I was just thinking, I was still thinking about your last question and I want to tell you a crazy story about the worst thing that ever happened to me and one of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learned. And then I’ll tell you about the best real estate deal I’ve ever done. So to the worst. So when I had that first single-family house, and this is a totally crazy story I had the first single family home. I needed to do some construction on it. I was kind of pretty new to all this construction stuff and I had to replace the garage, water leak, all this damage. I found this one contractor who came in too good to be true, gave me a great estimate, great bid, great everything, looked wonderful, asked for a lot of money up front.

Heath: I put it all down, did it and he started the work done with the garage and then completely disappeared. Wasn’t there for months. And then here’s what the story gets totally crazy. I was trying to call him, his phone line went dead and I couldn’t figure out like it was insane. I later saw him on the news, he was arrested under suspicion of being the 580 sniper. There was this guy like shooting. I don’t think it was him. I think that he had some, you know, maybe some sketchy people living with him that led to the police honing in on him and he happened to drive a white pickup truck. He was arrested, he got put in jail. And that’s why he couldn’t finish the work. Like, yeah, like don’t take the first bid you get, always do your due diligence. Always check references. That is definitely my most crazy real estate investment story.

Josh: Thank you for sharing that. Love it.

Heath: And then in terms of my best investment back in 2012 I believe, there was this one property that I bought in San Francisco where we tripled the value of the building in a year and a half. That was just completely insane. And the way we did it, and this sounds strange, we did it with what I guess you could call is with insider information. I love real estate because insider information is always readily available. It’s not really inside information. It’s more of information asymmetry. This was a building that I had seen before the financial crisis had hit. The past owner had bought it for one point $7 million. He was putting, he put it on the market, you know, probably on the peak of the market and was trying to sell it.

Heath: And I happened to look at it randomly, even though I wasn’t interested cause the numbers just didn’t work out. But I saved all of the documentation. All the disclosures that he had put out there. So I had all the full retro, I had all the tenant information, all the leases. And then low and behold, the crisis hits. The building ends up going into foreclosure. The bank comes out, the owner just like disappears. The bank comes out, asks the tenants, hey, how much are each of your rents? Some, you know, you’ve got to do a stop hold, since San Francisco is rent controlled it’s a bit tricky. And I think the tenants just lied and said, hey, our rents are a fraction of what they were actually paying. The bank had no information to back it up.

Heath: So this thing hits the market. I see the building, it’s $800,000 less than half of what this guy had bought it for and was trying to sell it, you know, just a couple of years before. And I looked at the rent roll, I look at the tenants, it’s all the same people. So I went to the, you know, listing agent. I was like, hey, I have leases that say that these guys, you know, their rents are like five times what they’re supposed to be paying or what they’re paying right now. They’re supposedly paying five times what their paying now. And he’s like, yeah, good luck with that, you know, it’s impossible. So anyways, we bought the building. Nobody else was interested, got a lawyer and showed it was the same people who are living there. I mean standard stuff we were doing, you know we got the leases.

Heath: Got the rents up and then we got, I would say pretty lucky in that a number of the people, one of the units decided they wanted to leave and then all of a sudden the whole building left and next thing you know, the whole building is vacant and boom, we were able to sell it for three times more than three times actually the purchase price a year and a half later cause we have this great vacant building in San Francisco in a nice area that yeah, you could, people could lease it up and market rents. It was quite unbelievable. And, and one of the things in Stessa that we do, you know, I mentioned earlier, I talked a little bit about the incumbent expense tracking, which is basically bookkeeper. But one of the other big things we do is we have this smart filing cabinet. And I don’t know that you’re like me, you’re probably overwhelmed with paperwork all of the time.

Heath: In my office upstairs. I just have a desk stacked with papers, sky high, getting letters from the city. You know, you have old leases, you have various notices you’ve got to deal with. You have all the disclosure package you’ve got from, you know, analyzing what this property or that property. And the reality is looking back at that deal, having that information, keeping that information, keeping it organized is essential to making you a good investor and you never know when that information’s going to be useful and help you get fined or help you, you know, do a great deal like the one that we did.

Heath: So as an investor, all you have to do is you can upload all your documents to Stessa. So you can also, whenever you get that latest invoice from a contractor or you have a contract you forward it to documents at Stessa.com we automatically read it and categorize it, keep it all there and keep it handy. Unlimited storage, you have all the information right at your fingertips, so you can pull it, access it right when you need it. And it makes being an investor in continuing to optimize, continuing to stay on top of what you need to stay on top of incredibly easy.

Josh: Love it, love it. And you know, on a final note, there’s software is only as good as how much you use it and adopt it. So for those people who are building rental portfolios and operating on spreadsheets and shoe boxes and Google Docs, like start adopting software like Stessa now because it’s just so much easier to use when you have two units or six units or 30 units. When you have 2200 units like we do, it becomes almost impossible to, not impossible, but it becomes very difficult to get away from your systems when you have a huge portfolio and then start something new. I would rather encourage all of my listeners and my tribe to start right now with whatever size portfolio who you have adopting Stessa, adopting software, using it now and get away from your shoe boxes and your, you know, your Google Docs and your yellow pads.

Josh: Get away from that stuff now because many of you are going to feel the pain, the challenge, the ceiling of you can’t grow anymore because you’re operating off of those outdated, archaic ways. And if you do it now, you’ll find it becomes much more easy to grow and scale, right. So Heath listen, awesome, awesome time today awesome interview. I guess the last question I wanted to ask you was about that. Like when you look at scale, like you’ve been involved in lots of different technology companies, you’ve been involved in lots of different startups and Silicon Valley type of things.

Josh: For those people that are not adopting your software, that’s probably your biggest competition is maybe not other softwares, but people who just don’t use software at all. So just, just comment on that. Like just getting people, how easy is it to pivot from this old archaic way getting started with Stessa. So it makes their job in their scalability. So much easier going forward.

Heath: Yeah, it is incredibly easy to get started with Stessa. As I mentioned, you can get set up in just a couple of minutes, enter all your property, you know, enter your address. We pull most of the information from public records, everything’s in there. You get an immediate executive dashboard. You can start seeing performance once you start pulling in some of your financial data. Yeah, super simple to get started. And you’re right, I mean getting to scale. It’s an interesting question. I mean right now we already are getting into a pretty good scale. Right now we have tens of thousands of investors. I think we just broke 50,000 users the other week and these users are tracking well over $25 billion in assets across the platform. So lots of users, lots of scale getting in there. But, but finding these people is not necessarily the easiest. You know, these are investors, a lot of them, their are people like me.

Heath: You know, their part-time investors, they, you know, might have smaller portfolios. Many of them have day jobs, right? So they’re not like part of necessarily like they aren’t listening to people like you. A lot of these people just go about their day to day business some of them are accidental landlords. And they’re not broadcasting, but they are landlords. They’re not posting on, they’re not on LinkedIn, you know, and their bio saying, I’m also a landlord. This is something that you part time. So we’ve been doing a lot of things to get out there and get the word out. Things like, you know, podcasts, going to conferences where these people are meeting up. Some paid advertising on Facebook and in other social platforms. But the reality is what we’re finding is the best way to retain the word out is investors are telling other investors. So it’s all about that kind of organic, you know, spread. You know, once somebody uses the product and they see just how much time and how much money they can save by using Stessa, they go and they tell all their friends.

Josh: Nice. Nice. That’s the best, best type of marketing is word of mouth. It. Love it. Well listen Heath thanks so much for jumping on today. I really enjoyed getting to know you better. Getting a little, getting to know a lot more about Stessa on your entrepreneurial journey. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time out to be with our investors. There’ll be comments in the show notes and links in the show notes. Is there any other place where our audience can engage with, you know, Facebook page, Instagram, any other places that they can reach out and connect with you?

Heath: Yeah, I mean, so at Stessa we have the website www.Stessa.com. It’s really easy to engage directly with me and also with the team. There’s a little blue chat box in the bottom right hand corner, both on the marketing side and also once you’re in the product. And we respond pretty quickly if you have questions about Stessa or you have broader questions about real estate. And then of course we do have a Facebook page, Instagram, all the good stuff that any company would have so you can find us online. Most of those I think are Stessa HQ. We’re on Twitter, we’re tweeting all the time, but definitely check us out, start at www.Stessa.com set up an account and all the rest will fall.

Josh: Fantastic. Well thanks so much Keith. I really appreciate you being here and for all of our listeners, I again can’t thank you so much for engaging with us, spending time with us. I’m honored Heath is honored for all of you that have taken time out of your day to spend time. So share this on social media, share this on all your platforms, leave us a rating and review if you enjoyed it and we’ll definitely look forward to seeing you on the next podcast. Thanks so much.

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As the world of real estate investing continues to grow, it’s exciting to explore all the new technology, software solutions, and apps that are designed to make a real estate investor’s job easier. 

Case in point: Stessa.com. Designed by REI expert and software developer Heath Silverman, Stessa is an app and system that allows real estate investors to track and measure the performance and profitability of their single-family and multi-family rental properties. And the best part? The core features of the app are entirely FREE.

In this podcast, Heath tells the story of his entrepreneurial background, how he came up with the idea to start Stessa (which is the word “assets” spelled backwards, by the way), and how this technology solution can help real estate investors truly optimize the performance of their rental properties. For many investors, Stessa has been a game-changer when it comes to shaping their investing strategies and learning how to maximize their profits. 

Heath also shares some of the best business decisions he’s made, as a real estate investor. But, if you really want to hear an interesting story, tune in to discover the worst real estate investing-related decision he ever made. (Hint: it involves someone – not Heath – getting arrested. Yikes!) 

What’s Inside:

  • Details on some of Heath’s latest investment properties 
  • Heath’s entrepreneurial journey
  • How Heath combined his two passions (real estate and technology) to create Stessa
  • How Stessa tracks and measures the performance of your properties
  • Heath’s best business decisions (and his not-so-great ones too)

Mentioned in this episode​