As reported in the Silicon Valley Business Journal and Inman News.

There are some 200,000 property management companies in the US.

98% of them employ 5 or less people. That’s 4,000 per state and 524 firms per MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area). Walk down the city streets in somewhere such as San Francisco, and you’ll spot 5 on one block at some points. To put it in perspective, according to the 2012 US Census, there are some 165,000 offices of lawyers and 39,000 automobile dealers in the US, although there seem to be countless outdated office parks and barren strips along the highway filled with them. Industries with such numbers are rampant with fragmentation and inconsistencies. When was the last time you walked away from a lawyer, car dealer, or property manager thinking “Boy, they have an innovative approach.”

The level of fragmentation in the $58bn property management industry has led to a deterioration of trust between property owners and managers and tensions are rising between renters and managers–especially in hot markets. No one company holds more than a 1% market share in residential rental management and the traditional model’s reliance on human power for scalability means traditional firms settle for a small local portfolio while they instead focus on selling and buying real estate. Each firm has their own process and relies on Excel sheets or cumbersome data-entry software.

At Poplar Homes, we saw an opportunity to address the entire rental experience with an end-to-end property management service. We’ve built and integrated the best tools and teams to handle everything from showings and lease signings to rental payments and property maintenance.

Today, we are launching Poplar Homes to the public on a mission to shake up the 50-year-old, outdated property management model and introduce a more transparent, consistent rental experience to property owners and renters. We’ve been testing this model in the San Francisco Bay Area, managing over $300 million in assets in the last 6 months, and today we’re announcing Poplar Homes’ launch in Seattle, Washington–the Emerald City. We are also announcing the close of $1.5m seed round of financing. We’re excited to be serving tens of thousands of renters and the hundreds of property owners and investors who have chosen Poplar Homes.

Seattle is a happening place and is only increasing in popularity. The region’s employment growth means individuals and new families are flooding in, looking to rent. We’re excited to be entering the Seattle market in this growth stage and we’re confident Poplar Homes will grow with it!

If you’re a property owner interested in signing up with Poplar Homes, we’d love to talk! Fill out the form below and begin an all-new rental experience.

See our latest funding announcement, and message from Co-founder/CMO, Chuck Hattemer.