Despite what you might think, being a landlord takes work. It’s not just sitting back and collecting rent. Being a landlord involves several moving parts like timely repairs and maintenance, operational costs, finding (and retaining) good tenants, and dealing with property emergencies and tenant-related issues. For small and medium-scale landlords, being a landlord is often a “second job” that runs parallel to a full-time career.
It can be a lot.
This jumble of responsibilities can be challenging, especially for landlords who don’t have the means to hire property managers. What these landlords need is an easily accessible tool that enables them to manage their properties effectively, automate operations and provide timely service and communication to their tenants. Thankfully, Cozii Proptech has moved in.Cozii is a cloud-based technology platform that can boost property management performance for multi-unit landlords by 25 percent within one year. This platform helps landlords manage their rental properties, match with reliable renters, collect rent payments online, receive maintenance requests, and book trades professionals for repairs. Perhaps most importantly, Cozii streamlines communication between landlords and renters to avoid miscommunication.
“Some of the biggest issues that arise between landlords and renters stem from a lack of clear communication, trust and transparency.” says Yemi Ifegbuyi, who founded Cozii in 2017, “Cozii provides a multi-purpose platform with an easy-to-use, automated tool for open and clear communication between a landlord and their tenants whether it’s for maintenance requests, general messages, sending or receiving rent payments and more.”
Yemi Ifegbuyi immigrated to Canada from Nigeria roughly fifteen years ago and is no stranger to real estate and housing (nor to innovation and entrepreneurship). Yemi has held various roles in the housing industry, has a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and International Development and is a member of the Urban Land Institute, a widely recognized organization of professionals that shape communities and real estate development. He also holds a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Yemi had an innovative platform, but he didn’t have a startup hub that catered to entrepreneurs looking to establish or scale their business within and beyond Durham Region. After some thorough research, Yemi found Spark Centre and became a client. Spark Centre connected Yemi to their in-house advisors, who provided the clarity and insight he needed for product development, sales and raising funds. Yemi also gained access to research resources through its industry partners.
“It’s important for entrepreneurs to be open to collaboration and seek out the help or talent they need to execute their vision.” Yemi says, “Spark Centre also allowed me to participate in their startup exhibition TechEx where we connected with customers and prospective business partners. And we continue to take advantage of the resources and opportunities Spark Centre provides.”
Over the past two years (despite the pandemic’s challenges), Cozii launched its mobile applications on Google Play and the iOS App Store. Since then, the number of users has grown, by more than 540 percent and partnerships with key stakeholders for product development and sales also continue to grow.
Cozii has been making being a landlord much easier with innovative technology that, for many, was once inaccessible due to usability and affordability. While proud of all that Cozii has accomplished in such a short time, Yemi isn’t done. He’s been busy building partnerships with real estate investors, landlord associations, university and college residences and housing agencies and plans to raise seed round funding in the coming months. One thing that has remained constant throughout his startup journey is his belief in how Cozii can improve the landlord-tenant experience and how far Yemi can take his startup.
“Running a successful startup involves several moving pieces that most entrepreneurs don’t have control over. There are good days and bad days. There are supporters and doubters. There’s stiff competition — some of which can lead to great opportunities.” he says, “For any aspiring entrepreneur, it’s important to maintain a good balance of idealism and pragmatism. Most important though, entrepreneurs must have a solid belief in themself as business leaders and stay committed to their pursuit.”