I’m happy to say we’ve all lived through some truly extraordinary times over the past year. Although the general public consensus in the US seems to be, “we can do better in 2017”, I think we’ve had quite an exciting year at Poplar Homes.
For us, 2016 was a year of tremendous surprises, opportunities, and of course a year with a big helping of growth all thanks to you.
At the beginning of the year, we had 250 homes under management across the San Francisco Bay Area. Poplar Homes’ team was 24 strong.
As our office at the time was sieged for co-working, we moved to a new spot just a mile away this past summer.
Now we manage over $1 billion in residential real estate assets. We manage thousands of homes, apartments, condos, across the Bay Area, Seattle, and San Diego.
We’ve worked with over 15,000 renters, homeowners, and real estate professionals.
Our team leases 200-300 units each month.
As we know with the stagnated property management industry, we’re scaling rapidly compared to industry standard. Traditional property management firms may build a portfolio our size over two decades, we’ve done it in 18 months.
Here’s some highlights from the 12 months of 2016:
Seattle is a happening place and is only increasing in popularity. Renting is on the rise and investment is hot. Poplar Homes expanded in January upon the closing of our seed investment round from some early Google executives, including Jeff Dean. Seattle’s employment growth means individuals and new families are flooding in, looking to rent. Today, Seattle is our fastest growing market!
Our first ever public Uber comparison! We had the pleasure of being featured in the premier real estate industry news source, Inman News, for our seed fundraising announcement.
In March, we announced the close of our $4M Series A round of funding from Renren, Inc., a leading investor of early-stage startups that have proven to be disruptors in their respective spaces. The financing helped us support expansion into several new high-volume markets in 2016, and helped our team grow from 24-100!
Poplar Homes Launches in San Diego
Manicka Babu Announces as New Poplar Homes CTO
Manicka was a key addition to Poplar Homes’ executive team as we focused heavily on implementing a robust and secure financial backend and accounting system to support or growing portfolio of rentals. Manicka is a veteran with significant experience developing and scaling complex financial systems specific to real estate as well as successfully recruiting top engineering talent. Additionally, Babu has experience in increasing platform efficiency to better handle the movement of high volumes of money. With his help, Poplar Homes now is an early adopter of same-day ACH technology and we process over $3m of rent monthly through the financial backend that Manicka architected.
We provided some unique leasing timeline data to the team at Curbed to highlight which cities in the SF Bay Area are the fastest moving in terms of rental demand and turnover. Turns out El Cerrito is one of our fastest moving markets!
The Poplar Homes team moved in 14,000sqft of space in downtown San Jose as the company positions itself as one of the largest startup tenants in downtown.
We had an awesome time at Inman Tech Connect in San Francisco this year with a kicker afterparty hosted by Nerdwallet. Poplar Homes had the opportunity to speak briefly at the event and network with our peers in the industry. Disrupting real estate is a global endeavor, and many of the companies at Inman Connect are driving that mission of disruption.
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with upwards of 140mph winds, leaving 60,000 people without a place to call home. In one town alone, Les Anglais, only 82 of 4,000 homes remain standing. With the death toll quickly rising over 900, it remains crucial to continue the conversation on how we can help those who are less fortunate.
Featured in Real Estate Weekly: The new technology that is taking real estate industry to the next level
A small Poplar Homes team took a quick trip over to NYC to speak at the NY Real Estate Expo and network with over 3,000 real estate professionals, investors, developers, financiers, and other industry players building unique technology for the residential real estate market. I sat on a panel with some inspirational leaders of innovation in Real Estate tech to discuss technology’s impact and how to retain the human touch in this era of automation.
CEO & Co-founder, Greg Toschi, spoke on a panel about innovation in multifamily property management at November’s San Francisco multifamily forum in front of over 600 Bay Area owners, executives, investors, managers, and investors. Greg covered the benefits of services vs amenities and what technology’s role is in property management. The San Francisco Bay Area Forum specifically attracts over 600 multifamily stakeholders each year, providing a valuable platform for owners, developers, financiers, and operators to discuss a very hot topic in the Bay Area: multifamily real estate.
Poplar Homes Attends Seattle Marcus & Millichap Multifamily Forum
We had such a great time at the San Francisco Bay Area forum in November, that we decided to also head up to Seattle! It was a beautiful week–the first snow of the winter for the Emerald City. We had the opportunity to sit on a panel with some industry leaders to discuss technology in property management operations–how to increase resident retention, reduce vacancy, and engage the millennial workforce.