Meet the Real Estate Tech Founder: Nathan Miller from Rentec Direct
Without further ado…
What do you do?
My work in software development and real estate investing lead me to create Rentec Direct, a property management software solution serving over 14,000 landlords, property managers and investors nationwide.
I’ve always had a passion for efficiency and when I started investing in properties and managing them myself, I found inefficiencies every step of the way. I knew I wasn’t alone when I’d find himself fumbling with the keyboard and stacks of receipts every month futilely trying to manage my properties using spreadsheets. And I knew there had to be other landlords facing the same endless horror show. So with a drive to save myself and other landlords worldwide and fueled by a lot of coffee, I spent hundreds of early mornings (before my day job began) writing version 1 of Rentec Direct and made it available free to help other stressed out landlords. Nine years later, the passion project has grown into the third largest property management software system in their sector servicing over 14,000 clients managing over 400,000 units.
My vision endures as I continue to make advancements in customer experience, innovation and technology. Over the years, I have developed Rentec Direct in my own time and invested my own money into the company, making Rentec 100% organically grown and debt-free.
What problem does your product/service solve?
We empower property managers and landlords to take better control over their rental properties, finances, and tenant-relationships.
Rentec Direct helps our clients improve customer satisfaction, increase profits, and protect assets, while saving time and money. A lot goes into managing rental properties, from day-to-day renter relations like marketing vacant properties and finding new tenants to business management tasks of paying vendors and tracking your accounts. Rentec Direct provides all the tools to successfully accomplish all the duties required of rental professionals and investors, with property management software that will help clients find qualified renters, organize rental properties, keep track of income and expenses, and more.
One of the biggest benefits Rentec Direct offers the rental industry, is providing a software that eases a potentially tenuous relationship between landlord and tenant. By giving renters a way pay rent online through one-time or recurring monthly payments, renters are less likely to pay late fees. And both parties can avoid awkward rent collection and late rent conversation.
What are you most excited about right now?
I’m excited about leveraging our development resources to make all of our clients more efficient.
Imagine this — If our developers can spend 50 hours making a feature or improvement that saves every one of our clients just one minute of time every day, then our efforts are multiplied one minute times 14,000 clients = 14,000 minutes a day saved. Now look at that from a macro perspective of all of our clients as a whole. Our one time 50 hours of work just saved an aggregate 85,000 hours per year of time for all of our clients every single year. Now our clients get to spend more time doing something they love.
What’s next for you?
One of Rentec Direct’s core products is the tenant screening solutions offered to our clients. Tenant screening is the number one way a landlord or property manager can protect an investment property. By evaluating a rental applicant’s credit history, criminal background, and eviction history, a manager or landlord gets a clear picture of a potential tenant’s financial responsibility and rule-abiding behavior. Technology has given our clients access to instant reports, to make decisions quickly and efficiently to find the most qualified tenant and get the property occupied quickly and safely.
One service I am extremely interested in developing is extending the protection of tenant screening beyond the leasing process. A lot of landlords and property managers benefit from long-term renters, who stay at a property for years at a time. And while it’s nice to avoid the turnover costs associated with long-term tenancy, a person can change over the course of a few years. I want to provide a continued tenant screening service to our clients, that pulls a criminal background report of current tenants annually. Essentially, it would look to see if that have been any dangerous convictions on a tenant’s current criminal record, that weren’t reported at the time of the initial screening process. This would give a landlord or property manager an idea if it is a safe idea to renew a lease with the current tenant.
I have worked with clients, and have had personal experience, where a tenant checks out through normal tenant screening at the beginning of the lease. But after a few years, a problem happens, and we come to find out that the tenant was convicted of a crime after the initial screening process.
I plan to work with the industry to make annual tenant screening a normal and legal part of the leasing process to help protect investors and their properties.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
I am passionate about community development and engagement. I have lived in southern Oregon my whole life and want to continue to contribute towards my region. We live in such a beautiful area, I want to help my town by providing good jobs and making southern Oregon a great place to live and raise a family. I do this through support of SOREDI (Southern Oregon
Regional Economic Development Inc.), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the long-term prosperity of Jackson and Josephine Counties. SOREDI helps businesses prosper to advance economic opportunities compatible with community values.
Rentec Direct strives to motivate the future of Oregon’s technology industry with participation in the Rogue Tech Tour, an event hosted by SOREDI, which invites college students from southern Oregon to tour and network with the region’s tech companies. The idea behind this event is to promote southern Oregon tech based companies and encourage Oregon technology students to pursue careers in southern Oregon, instead of relocating to Silicon Valley or other technology hubs.
As a cloud-based software, Rentec Direct brings millions of dollars of business to Oregon with customers in all 50 states, the majority of which are not from Oregon. Rentec Direct prioritizes partnerships with Oregon businesses, including working with Campbell Consulting in Bend, OR, Generation Web Marketing in Medford, OR, and Zeal in Medford, OR., and Investor Carrot in Roseburg, OR.
Thanks to Nathan for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).