Amplifying Amenities for Multifamily Operators with Everett Lynn, Founder and CEO of Amenify

Hosted by
Nate Smoyer

This week's guest is Everett Lynn, Founder and CEO of Amenify, a plug and play platform for amenity services in the multifamily space. We  discuss Amenify's recent growth trajectory (hint: they've been on fire!).

Everett shares his insights on different types of fundraising and the challenges of disruption in the real estate industry—a topic that is frequently discussed, but Everett offers some unique takes for founders. You'll hear Everett emphasize the importance of finding a balance between value and efficiency in proptech solutions and the need for understanding the ecosystem in which these solutions operate. We also get into various aspects of proptech and the challenges faced by companies in the industry such as the difficulties of scaling in-person services, and the efficiencies (and difficulties) of a three-sided marketplace.

We cover a lot of ground in this episode. Download and listen in!

More about Everett and Amenify
Amenify powers lifestyle services for 1.3+ million homes across 500+ cities, with tracked, trained, and compliant Service Pros. Amenify drives retention and ancillary income for multifamily operators while helping the local community with trust and efficiency gains. Their integrated Service Pros include teams for cleaning, handyman, restaurant delivery, grocery delivery, and more, each with real-time support. The company has raised $20 million to date to invest in technology for the three stakeholders of their technology platform, including: Multifamily Operators, Service Providers, and Residents.

Read Episode Transcript

Nate Smoyer (00:01.118)
Everett, welcome to the show.

Everett Lynn (00:04.17)
Hey, thanks for having me. Nate, a long time listener, first time caller.

Nate Smoyer (00:09.206)
I love it. You know, actually I have, believe it or not, I have actually set up a phone number for the show. I set up a phone number, I set up a voicemail message, and the idea behind that originally was to take calls and voicemails and respond to the voicemails, and I never actually shipped it. I never shipped the feature. But now that when you say that, I kind of think maybe I should ship that feature. What do you think?

Everett Lynn (00:39.646)
Yeah, I like it. The, I want to make things interactive. I've found that the nice part of the PropTech community is that you have all these, a lot of people know each other. And so anytime one of my friends is on a different podcast or doing something live, I usually will pop in, like I'm part of a PropTech angels group that Matt Knight runs. And if I see like, it's like Adam Pittenger.

Nate Smoyer (01:01.962)
Yeah, p tag.

Everett Lynn (01:05.49)
Or, you know, most recently these comes to my mind and I would just like, I was texting him the whole time, I was heckling him. Um, yeah. Anyways, to make things more interactive because everybody's out there on the road or, or digitally interacting. It could be a nice way to build engagement.

Nate Smoyer (01:18.43)
Yeah. Well, for those listening here, I've got a guest on the first time on the show, Everett Lin. He's founder and CEO of a company called Amenify. And if you haven't heard of them, I wouldn't say they're operating in stealth, but maybe a little bit under the radar. They're just really focused in on their market. They're describing themselves as a plug and play platform for amenity services in the multifamily space.

helping both residential operators and local service professionals. And they've been on a tear. Last year you had an incredible growth year, last year being 2023. By the time this episode drops, it'll be a bit about like mid-late spring. So it's a little bit time ago, but maybe you can give a little bit of recap of some of the growth milestones you guys achieved in the last year.

Everett Lynn (02:11.026)
Yeah, it's been fun because we're a three-sided platform, which if you sign up to build one of these, I'd recommend doing a bunch of research because it's a little bit of work. I can afford chicken and eggs, stuff like that, where we need nice supply in a market. So those are professionals for cleaning and chores and handyman. We onboard restaurants, we onboard grocery stores, but basically kind of take all the local businesses, onboard them onto our platform or service pros. And then we have to go.

Nate Smoyer (02:21.143)

Everett Lynn (02:40.494)
required demand, which are our national real estate partners. So you need both. But we grew, gosh, like 10X in cities, 15X in cities. We've got 400 cities live, 1.3 million units live, 100 real estate operators. So 2023 was a lot of fun because there's a breakout year where we work with real estate client X. It's usually a multifamily operator owner.

And they say, hey, this is nice that you're in 20 cities, but we need you in 100 cities. And so last year was a nice opportunity where we got to flex our muscles, use more of our tech to get out there and help real estate operators with retention, help them with ancillary income. And then on the heels of that, we were able to get a nice financing round with a great partner, and really wrapped up at the end of December, close in January. So it was a lot of fun. And it's, you know.

Like a seven year overnight success is kind of like joked about stuff like that. Cause it took us, gosh, it took us. I'm not joking, Nate, like.

Nate Smoyer (03:40.11)

Everett Lynn (03:45.154)
three or four years to get to like 30,000 homes, 40,000 homes. And then now there's like months where we'll do that in a month. Incidentally.

Nate Smoyer (03:53.39)
How does that feel? Like we can talk about numbers all day long, but internally when you see those numbers and you're talking with your team and they bring you a report and you're asking like, hey, how'd we do last month? And they give you a number and you're like, we used to do that. It used to take us two, three years to accomplish that. Like, how does that make you feel?

Everett Lynn (04:15.306)
Well, I'd love to project unbridled confidence, but to be honest with you Nate, it's more like, it's just relief. You're kind of like, okay, it's great. There's still a lot of good work to do ahead. Products are not perfect. There's other things we want to launch. But I'd say there's probably a sliver of like, I don't know, batting down the hatches, there'll be a fire alarm going off somewhere.

at some point just because you're kind of like shell-shocked. Because there's so many years, you know, like we really went through it. Like we almost didn't make it through COVID because of how our business is structured. You know, we do services in the home and all of a sudden we can't do services in the home. You can imagine what that was like. And so I've got enough arrows and scars like, you know, sticking out of our back that...

Nate Smoyer (04:44.781)

Nate Smoyer (04:50.979)

Nate Smoyer (04:55.595)

Everett Lynn (05:04.258)
I would say it's kind of like consistently, like, okay, like what's around the corner? Like, and maybe this is true for other founders as well, but like, it's never as good as you think and it's never as bad as you think. I think a job of the management team is to be steady. So if we had a great quarter, great.

Nate Smoyer (05:19.743)

Everett Lynn (05:21.798)
Um, you know, let's celebrate the little wins. And then if we're, if we're struggling, Hey, it's going to be okay. Like let's get back on track. And I think more about trying to be steady than like, you know, dislocating in her shoulder, patting ourselves on the back after a good month or a good quarter. Um, but I'm very grateful, you know, so it's kudos to the team worked really hard to get there.

Nate Smoyer (05:36.11)

Nate Smoyer (05:42.23)
You know, this is something that I asked that actually because as you were saying, those growth milestones and like now we do this in a month. And as a marketer, one of my biggest challenges, I get tasked with, hey Nate, we need you to figure out how we're going to, how we're actually going to meet the chart we told everyone we're going to achieve. Sometimes, you know, like, okay, we're gonna reach 100,000, but we don't exactly know what the steps are gonna be. And for me, I'm like,

constantly like setting theories and like different hypotheses of like, okay, if we do do, it's going to work, but I'm going to need X $10,000 and I'm going to need two new hires and, and it, when it works, that's where my brain goes. I'm like, I totally aligned with it. Celebrate the win, stay steady. But my head, I go through this like weird, like it's working. Was I right? I was right. This works. It can work.

This is possible. It's like kind of almost a disbelief sometimes when you get to achieve this. Well, congrats on the year though. I mean, that's phenomenal. You kind of hinted at it. You guys are a seven year overnight success, but this is not your first run in PropTech. And in fact, I think it's safe to say that you've been in the game since before PropTech was the ubiquitous description for our industry. What's it been like following that?

Everett Lynn (06:43.851)

Everett Lynn (07:08.118)
Yeah. Is there, I was going to ask you, well, yeah. And we kind of chatted about this before, but I'm curious what the data is. Like what's the line in the sand that you see where it was like before PropTech after PropTech. Like when did, when did, what was the year that we're coordinating?

Nate Smoyer (07:22.414)
Okay, so here's where I'm at on the term PropTech. I forget who it was giving credit for having like come up with the term. So congratulations, I don't really care. But if we would look at it as like a definition, I look at it as leveraging technology in real estate. And my argument has always been this, because when people say like, what is PropTech? I go back to, okay, the average real estate agent.

who's just an agent parked at a desk, solo team, inside a Keller-Waynes or Cold War banker, you know, kind of thing. They have a digital business card that can pull up their website and Google business reviews. They've got a website that's integrated with a CRM, a website that has a dynamic content flow from an IDX feed pumping out from a collaborative tech tool called the...

Everett Lynn (08:04.47)

Nate Smoyer (08:19.522)
MLS, it's hard to call it tech. They get data on home sales in the area and they can print off reports within a matter of minutes without knowing any SQL. They can run a CMA within a few minutes that pulls in pictures and descriptions and sold price and pendings and estimated values of other homes that are of like kind of their home.

They can do walkthrough tours with their phone, with total steady cam, and it does AI renderings, it can build floor plans and 3D technology. They can employ digital voice and all the things. Is that not PropTech? But that's also not exactly standout. Everyone has access to that. So...

Everett Lynn (09:01.098)
Yes. I think that's right. I follow everything and it's kind of like we've been begrudgingly pulled into it. It's like, it's like, okay, yes, I need something. And then like the tech pulls us forward a little bit, pulls us forward a little bit. But yeah, I think the progenitor was definitely the single family residential and the trading of those homes and the brokerage of those homes. Because when you meet somebody outside the industry and they go working, you know,

Nate Smoyer (09:22.395)
Mm. Yeah.

Everett Lynn (09:29.538)
anything else and we say PropTech, the first thing that they'll say is, oh, you work in residential brokerage. I say, well, no, not really. We work in multifamily and they're like, I don't understand. There's this huge swaths of different tech for every real estate vertical, which as an aside, this is what I've never really appreciated, just personally, going to PropTech conferences that have all the food groups.

Nate Smoyer (09:40.366)

Everett Lynn (09:55.498)
So they're like, Hey, this is great. Meet people from office and retail and hospitality and single family and multi. And you're like, these people have nothing in common. They have totally different pain points, different operating stacks, different hardware, different bicycles, different support needs. And there's nothing like, if you have a widget that works for single family and you talk to somebody that works in hotels, they're going to be like, like you would miss each other completely. And I've never understood trying to consolidate all of them. Cause I think most of the

Nate Smoyer (10:03.806)
Mm. Mm-hmm.

Everett Lynn (10:24.198)
idiosyncrasy is around how a widget actually works. A widget is nice, and there's a million widgets that would help any real estate operator and any asset type. But 95% of the work, I think, is how does that widget fit in and interact in 360 degrees around it with technology, processes, and people? And so, anyways, tangent. But yeah, I've been a PropTech geek for about 15 years. I started on the real estate side.

Nate Smoyer (10:44.908)

Everett Lynn (10:53.834)
I was working for a fund here in San Francisco and was always pushing like, Hey, what about this? What about that? And like, we appreciate the curiosity. This is not your job. You don't care. Um, I started a company on the side in like 2012 or something like that. And it was, it's like tinkering. Really? We had a, a landing, it was a soft landing. Um, and then after that, I was like, gosh, you know, what else could we really do if we threw our backs into it?

which we did with Amenify, I think I left, is like 2016, 2017, Amenify was getting off the ground. So yeah, I've seen it and it's been fantastic. So overall it's so cool to see more money come in the space, smart people in the space, smart real estate operators that are hiring more people. I remember when innovation teams were like an intern, right? Where you're like, hey, like I'm in charge of innovation for the summer. They're like.

or it's going to go a pilot going, you know, like, this is not a good time. Right. Um, and now, now innovation officers have moved up, um, and in more and more real estate companies or tech first, they're seeing public, public earnings calls and they're like, wow, okay, this company is outperforming the market. How are they doing this? Oh, they've shifted to smart locks and they do self tours. And then everyone working in single family rentals is like, yeah, we know we've been on that. Right. And

Nate Smoyer (12:10.478)

Nate Smoyer (12:18.53)

Everett Lynn (12:20.874)
multi-family is like, we did it! We invented this and single-family is like, yeah man, it's like eight years ago. Where you been?

Nate Smoyer (12:29.814)
In fairness, some of the applications have either a simpler or more complex execution depending on the building or management structure. But I do hear the overall theme there. You actually mentioned one thing that I'll touch on for a little bit. You talked about more money coming into the space. You guys have been successful in raising over the years.

Everett Lynn (12:56.691)
Not dying is I think that the people were like that but go ahead

Nate Smoyer (13:00.171)
Yes, you haven't died. So things have been working out pretty good. I think in the PropTech space the last few years, that's been good. So two months ago, you guys came out, announced you did a financing round. Maybe you can talk a little bit about the different types of fundraising you've done as a founder and why have you gone those different strategies.

Everett Lynn (13:20.43)
Sure. And it's fascinating because I live in San Francisco and I have a lot of friends that are VCs. Texting with a buddy right now, we're gonna play golf this weekend. And like, I'll make, you know, give him some good fun. Like I follow like VC Braggs on Twitter. I always send those to him. Like I'm humbled. I'm humbled to be a part. Yeah, it's like, it's so good. But the, I guess.

Nate Smoyer (13:38.939)
Oh yeah, yeah. VCs self-congratulating themselves.

Everett Lynn (13:48.414)
Let me work in reverse order. So most recently, yeah, we were really lucky, I think, to have some interest from the debt financing community. And for anybody in the audience that maybe is like, what's the difference between equity and debt? Is that equity financing, you go out and you issue shares of your company that are new, and you sell those for a price point. And then based on how much you sell those for per share, then the company has some valuation, right? And that's kind of tried and true. Everybody, for the most part, knows and understands how that works.

But we went for debt financing, and that is, it was not something that was available to us before. We were, before, very recently, we were high burn, less predictable for a lender to say, okay, this is a steady asset. So if you think about in the real estate community, you have a class A plus multifamily building that's 99% occupied for the last 10 years, super safe investment. And so the banks will say, hey, of course, I'll give you

very low interest rate and you can borrow money because I know you're gonna have money coming in. And so this was something that, you know, kudos to the team at Amenify and our customers and like building out a stable revenue and good gross profit margins and getting close to cashflow breakeven. We're hoping to be fully there this year, but we reached out to the debt community at the advice of some of our board members and said, hey, we worked with this other company. They were really nice. We talked to three groups. We got two term sheets in like four weeks. It was awesome.

Nate Smoyer (15:04.482)
That's awesome.

Everett Lynn (15:16.13)
And then we had to work through due diligence with a lender, but that was great because, you know, it was a low interest rate. Um, we didn't have to give up, you know, a big chunk of the company. You typically will see 10%, 15%, 20% of a company's equity be sold in an equity round to that consortium of investors. And it's expensive. I think living in San Francisco, there's a lot of founders that they play this game. You know, guys and girls are like, Hey, we got to raise the biggest round and we're going to burn a lot of money.

Nate Smoyer (15:32.13)

Everett Lynn (15:45.078)
And then we're going to raise another round and another round and another round. And it's like, you keep selling the business. And so I feel like this was a milestone for us where we'd earned the right to get debt financing and I straw down account funds, our growth. Um, we were very, uh, capital efficient when we launched cities. And that's how we were launched, you know, hundreds of cities last year. Um, and so before that, I mean, we've, we've worked with really wonderful VCs. Um,

Nate Smoyer (15:55.851)

Everett Lynn (16:12.898)
that are still active with the business, but they were happy to see Gray. It was like, we're not getting diluted, but Amenify's growing. And this is a really good part.

Nate Smoyer (16:19.438)
I mean, that's a true win-win for everyone all around the board there.

Everett Lynn (16:22.634)
Yeah. And then before that was angels, which is great. There's wonderful angels in the real estate product community. I think that's so unique because you have an entrepreneurial nature of a lot of people working in real estate. Um, and then like, you know, this kind of picture of a cowboy, like you're in, uh, South Dakota or North Dakota, South Dakota. And, uh, I was just in Jackson is like, I met up like, well, I was on a ski lift.

Nate Smoyer (16:40.287)
Yeah, South Dakota.

Everett Lynn (16:46.57)
met like three people, different people that work in real estate and they're like, oh, that's cool, like we own multifamily, can we invest in your business? Like we're not raising money, let's grab coffee kind of thing. And there's like that, this cool dynamism that you see in real estate where they're excited and they're like, yeah, like, you know, throw money in a project. I mean, a long time ago, we kicked off with like 50,000 checks, a hundred thousand dollar checks. So definitely I've seen that path. And I think it's with the advent of all the good tech, companies are gonna get cheaper and cheaper to start.

And so I think the angel community and startups will have wonderful relationships. Um, and I have a theory about why VC and prop tech are an interesting combination, but I'll pause for a second. Otherwise I ended up talking too long. Um,

Nate Smoyer (17:29.406)
No, you're totally fine there. I mean, there's a lot of different ways I want to take that. The one thing I'll, I do want to kind of press into a little bit, because I think you have a unique angle in this. And I know we talked about it briefly in the pre-show, is that there's sometimes some confusion around how to do a prop tech company, I would say. You could just build this tech solution and totally revolutionize.

The industry, right? The common line is, why is real estate so far behind? Why is it so outdated? If only you would just streamline it. There's a TikTok called this guy, he's the older millennial, is the username. And everyone go look it up, I'm sure. He rants and raves about just about everything. And I know why I came across it, because TikTok was like, hey, you like real estate, maybe you'll like this guy's opinion. And he goes, everyone, here's a billion dollar idea.

just put real estate on an app and let people buy and sell without realtors. Just outline all the steps they have to go through to buy the house. I'm like, you clearly don't know how this works and also why that would still be problematic. And then who's the arbiter between things. So, but I'm curious your take on like, I have my own opinions on why some prop techs aren't able to move forward just because they're a tech solution. You kind of talked a little bit about it here.

Everett Lynn (18:35.478)

Everett Lynn (18:40.1)
in the next video.

Nate Smoyer (18:53.99)
want to hear your take on that.

Everett Lynn (18:55.978)
Yeah, gosh, I talked to myself like 15 years ago. I think what I would say is everybody, it's way easier when you're sitting in an academic setting or a pen and paper in a coffee shop or you're sitting at your job thinking about, oh, this would be cool, this would be valuable. And then, oh, the market's so big and this is so valuable and this will be a big company. I think that's attractive and anybody that's excited and curious about the world can quickly wrap their mind around this side.

Nate Smoyer (19:24.654)

Everett Lynn (19:25.558)
But I would encourage everybody to think about this, this like axiom that I've seen in PropTech, which is like, thou shalt not disrupt. Which like, in like the regular tech world, disruption is awesome. Like disrupt, move fast, break things. Like that was the mantra for like 15 years in a lot of venture and entrepreneurial circles. Realistic people hate the word disrupt, right?

Nate Smoyer (19:44.738)
Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg.

Everett Lynn (19:48.802)
And maybe like in the brokerage world, because I'll talk about prop tech and brokerage, I'm more prop tech and commercial real estate side. But if you say disrupt to a commercial multifamily owner, office owner, industrial owner, they're gonna think the power's off, the electricity's off, like water's flowing and destroying things, right? Right? Like, yeah, do not disrupt. So there's this really interesting balance. And so if you peel the onion back, I think what's fascinating is like, you have to think about friction.

Nate Smoyer (20:05.608)
It's a bad word.

Nate Smoyer (20:09.431)

Everett Lynn (20:17.854)
and efficiency. Real estate companies were built on highlighting efficiency and there was a great panel.

It was like Stephanie Furman when she was running venture at Grey Star or innovation at Grey Star. And she commented about how it's a scale. You have value on one side and you have efficiency on the other side. And just keep in mind that your real estate customer is like 98% built for efficiency. So every time anybody anywhere wants to throw in a widget, that pulls. No widget exists in a vacuum. It pulls on everything around it. And so to answer your question maybe more directly.

instead of meandering through the woods, is that I think you need to find that a product is not just the value, a product has to include the friction with it. And so you have to find a customer that'll pay for it, gets real value from it and they're happy. But most importantly is that the widget is not academic, it has to be working in the ecosystem with the 360 degrees around it, the tools, the processes, the people that widget impacts. Then you're done, meaning.

You haven't just like free floating, anything sounds great. Oh, I want AI generated images of my apartment building. Or I want drones flying over my industrial portfolio or like whatever, like there's a million cool ideas out there. And there's so many awesome ideas that are exploding. It's like Cambrian explosions. Like there's oxygen in the atmosphere. But for people that are just getting out of the gate, you need to build the grossest, worst.

Nate Smoyer (21:38.486)

Everett Lynn (21:51.458)
functional prototype. Don't put your ego into it. Just make sure it's functional and you can mechanical target and just get it into the ecosystem. Find somebody you know and be like, do me a favor and let's get this thing inside of your business. Cause you'll see that there's like 10 things that I first didn't realize. Like, oh my God, I didn't even realize that Jane, the SVP of operations was impacted by this thing that I thought didn't even touch her department.

Nate Smoyer (22:06.859)

Everett Lynn (22:18.262)
But it does. And so now all of a sudden, I need a quarterly dashboard for Jane or I need to integrate into her suite of tools, even though I'm working with the head of marketing or the head of training or like, you know, data integrations. You see, I don't know if that answers your question, but I think it's the concept of making sure it works for the people around your original goal.

Nate Smoyer (22:40.426)
Yeah, no, I think the message is pretty clear that sometimes disruption isn't the path forward in an industry that really likes calm and steady.

Everett Lynn (22:48.682)
Yeah. And then let me say one other thing quickly because VC, at least here in San Francisco, and I think this is true for most VC because of the power law, they need to hit multi-billion dollar wins. If somebody's got a $300 million fund, they need just one of their investments to cover that and all of their promotes. So they need a 20% stake in a $3 billion company. And then that's a win because that 20% of a $3 billion company is $600 million.

Nate Smoyer (23:07.603)

Nate Smoyer (23:11.382)

Everett Lynn (23:16.61)
which returns the fund and like the promote and the carry. So the $300 million fund is now worth 600 million. And a lot of their investments go to zero and they're okay with that because they're at 20% of a $3 billion win. And that needs to work in quickly. That is not like a 10 year win. They wanna see that in like five, six years, you know, ideally sooner. And so I don't think that traditional VC, meaning like Sequoia A16Z benchmark, the heavy hitters, like...

Nate Smoyer (23:28.459)

Nate Smoyer (23:33.325)

Everett Lynn (23:44.31)
That's not really congruent with PropTech. I think PropTech DNA is better for specifically focused VC arms of PropTech that understand this, but you're really hitting doubles. You're hitting compound growth. You can't just snap your fingers and then instantly explode the way that you could see that with Snowflake or Nvidia or Slack, like these, yeah, Canva. Yeah, kudos to them, the Australian founders, I think.

Nate Smoyer (23:54.915)

Nate Smoyer (24:08.654)

Nate Smoyer (24:13.822)
Gotta be one of the greatest businesses. Unreal.

Everett Lynn (24:15.522)
They're so cool. Like I'm so happy for them. Yeah. And yeah, she, she like their leaders. She's wonderful.

Nate Smoyer (24:22.342)
a yearbook software made it into the design software for anyone.

Everett Lynn (24:27.05)
is so inspiring. But I think, and so now where we're at, and then like, I got a phone call from a friend who's a VC in Denver, and he was like, hey, I'm looking at a business, it's kind of adjacent to what y'all are doing, Amenify. And they're up in Canada, and they're growing nicely, and I'm just curious what you think. And my response was, hey, like, I can't see the field the way you do, you know, you're-

Nate Smoyer (24:51.873)

Everett Lynn (24:53.73)
like up on a mountain seeing all these different like operations and factories. And I'm like way down in the inside my factory, right? I got engine grease on my face. I'm trying to like turn a crank, helping an engineer or a salesperson. Like, you know, I can just tell you what it's like inside of my factory, but. It's hard work to do this type of, you know, because we're a platform for managed services. We got handymen and painters and maintenance technicians and cleaners, like, like real people in the field, like 10,000 people in the field. They're like.

Nate Smoyer (25:16.878)

Everett Lynn (25:23.318)
We have to like manage their schedule and make sure they're happy and they're compliant with the real estate and like, they know what jobs to do and you got Spanish translation and it's like, it's a business and it works and we're growing. But when you think about VC profile and like pure software, we are a software company, but we have to move at the pace of the real estate. And so, yeah, we've got API integrations now with some really nice partners that are software platforms that have millions of units and that's how we can we add more units, we kind of like leapfrog a little bit.

Nate Smoyer (25:38.72)

Everett Lynn (25:53.026)
But what I told that VC, it was like, listen, I think there's a lot of businesses in PropTech that are more angel type businesses or private equity type businesses or they're, I got a little thumbs up. I guess that's, I don't know if that was me doing that.

Nate Smoyer (26:04.151)

Nate Smoyer (26:09.282)
Just the video gestures, they're automated. There's a handful of them.

Everett Lynn (26:11.978)
Now, I'm going to in my head, I'm telling you there's millions of people watching and I'm getting applauded. And then, and then debt financing. But if you think about, you know, pure VC growth at all costs, and I'm okay with putting zeros on the scoreboard. You know, it's kind of like a gavage. If you know, like force feeding a duck, they want to like dump money in and grow it really big. Um, I encourage every founder to think about staying lean.

Growing with customer revenue raises as little money as possible and as much customer revenue as you can get. And then if you can get debt financing and grow that way, I think, that's the perfect world. And don't treat fundraising like a finish line. It's more about.

Nate Smoyer (26:58.122)
And it's one of the reasons why I kind of pulled back on how much I actually ask about that in interviews, because that's all the headlines. That, you know, a lot of times it's kind of frustrating that most of the stories I see of PropTech companies is the fundraising, and that's it. And it's very hard to get coverage outside of that. But there's something, you know, I've observed with some of the PropTech companies, especially those that actually have like an in-person service attached to them, is that the service side can oftentimes grow so fast.

Everett Lynn (27:10.539)

Nate Smoyer (27:26.826)
very difficult to scale up, like to, you can build all the systems for training and you can build all the systems for hiring and how to do things, but there's still deployment of people takes a different acceleration. Like it's just, it does a different ramp up speed. And so if you try and force the growth because your software powered at what you think is supposed to be the growth clip. So you're spending, you're pushing, you're hiring on the software side, but the in-person service can't support.

that growth with revenue, I think this is where some companies start finding themselves in a little bit of trouble because they're trying to force, you know, there's a limited pipeline, if you will, in some of these service businesses of what it can, its capacity for growth can be. And it doesn't mean it's not venture worthy. It just means that it's a different, there's going to be a different way of evaluating and measuring some of the growth of that.

Everett Lynn (27:58.886)

Nate Smoyer (28:25.198)
is what I've seen from some of the companies. And I do wanna go deeper there, Everett, but I also want to talk a little bit more about specifically Amenify here. Because there was something you said in that you talked about efficiencies. And you guys are a three-sided marketplace. You know, you have, so we have the operators, we got the service providers, we have the residents. Because you guys are coming in with a little bit more of a tech-forward approach, I wanna talk through

Everett Lynn (28:27.583)

Nate Smoyer (28:53.826)
the solution with amenify and then the market without the solution amenify. And the differences here of, okay, I'm an operator and I wanna bring in a whole bunch of service providers and offer these amenities to my residents. Why is it, like what is amenifying doing to make that efficient and to help those, you know, those on the ground operators be able to accomplish that versus, you know, how they would go about it otherwise.

Everett Lynn (29:23.09)
Yeah, and I would say like, it was an interesting challenge at the beginning, because we were kind of filling a blank space in their tech stack. And, and I was excited by that at the beginning, by the way, I was like, this is great. Nobody's hiring their own cleaners, hiring their own handyman, hiring, you know, dog walkers, uh, onboarding local restaurants, handling insurance, doing support, right. And then like investors I would meet with, you know, guys and girls be like, yes.

That's not a good thing. Like that's a red flag. That means that they don't want it. Meaning, and what I had to prove to them was like, no, it's just, it's too expensive. Like if you had to go hire your own people at every property, you'd be spending like $50,000 a month. And this is at the time that there was a company at Hello Alfred out of New York that really was charging a boatload of money to hire W2 employees per property. And I met with Marcella and Jess and I was like, I really believe in what y'all are doing. That's too expensive. Got to figure out a way.

Nate Smoyer (30:07.223)

Everett Lynn (30:17.718)
to not make it expensive. Because it's like you'll have a developer that pays for that, the operator won't. And so the pain point now for us is a lot more fun because we can say, hey, there's a million other units that do this, here's 100 logos. You need to be providing experiences for your residents, service teams for your residents, and you need every local restaurant to be plugged into your financial ecosystem as a resident experience. And we plug into your app and all that good stuff. And so from a.

A value proposition standpoint, there's really two things that we pitch. I encourage every founder and every salesperson or anybody that's selling into real estate, even if you're free, you still need a number of clients so that they can value the work needed to get your project in and working and support you. And so our numbers are, um, we add $140 per unit per year in retention value. We've got a bunch of case studies with, you know, big hitters like Ventura and Gables and Trinity.

And then we can drive, and I love that. That means that the operator cares what we care about. Our number one value prop is we exist to help residents. Number two, we exist to help service providers in a local community. It's so hard to be a service provider in any city, but especially now that inflation's going up, you gotta live outside city, drive in. So if we can help our service pros make 50% more, 100% more because they're doing a bunch of jobs in the same building or one building across the street.

Nate Smoyer (31:43.086)

Everett Lynn (31:43.118)
And they don't have to worry about insurance. They don't have to worry about integrating with Yardi. They don't have to do like upload their certificate of insurance to fricking compliance depot. Oh, just kidding. We switched to NetFender. They're like, what are you talking about? Right? I'm just trying to get. Yeah.

Nate Smoyer (31:52.558)
Thanks for watching!

I'm going through this with Google right now for Google local service ads, so like I feel the pain. Yeah.

Everett Lynn (32:00.134)
Yeah. And then, but then one of the things that's really driving our growth right now is ancillary income. And so now we've got some really wonderful case studies where we're making clients millions of dollars per year because residents are choosing to buy on our platform. And all of a sudden we have enough value there. We're real estate operators and saying, Hey, this is great. Like, can we make another $5 per unit per month, $10 per unit per month? One of our clients makes $40 per unit per month Avenue five.

And because their community bundle for residents has increased. And ancillary income is a big theme, especially in markets where it's stagnating. And so that's where we focus. And then we've had a big push that's been successful with turnover services. So like, hey, we have cleaners and handymen and painters that are all, you know, compliance certified, insured, background checked, tracked, supported, managed. And a client says, hey, I don't have turnover.

support that's centralized. Can I just click a button and you turn the unit when somebody moves out and get it back on the market four days faster? So I'll stop plugging Amenify because I don't, I don't, I've listened to your podcasts and.

Nate Smoyer (33:13.174)
It's not a plug, but I think what's important here is like, you know, look, if we could help you find one client, I'd be stoked. But I think that actually there's a lot here also for other founders to take away, right? I mean, and this is where I was trying to get at is like, you know, there's, you looked at and saw that, hey, multifamily operators, they weren't hiring these roles. And some people initially said like, well, it's cause they don't want it. And that's just not true.

There's actually demand coming from the residents. I thought, yeah, we would love that. The problem was the operator is like, they don't have a recruiting arm set up. They don't have a management for different service providers. They don't have the way of screening them. And so what looked like there was no demand, the obvious part was there actually was, because you had a whole bunch of Rover, you had a whole bunch of independent Rover people showing up. You had a whole bunch of, you have different food providers showing up.

Everett Lynn (34:01.866)
And then the fixer was too high.

Nate Smoyer (34:10.046)
You had some people who had cleaners and some people who didn't. And definitely depending on the class of the multifamily buildings would, you know, imply whether or not that these are people who would likely hire a cleaner or not. And so I think there's something to be said of like actually looking at and, and somewhere I'm assuming maybe you can talk to like having conversations or digging further within what's on the surface, because in real estate that oftentimes is the case, like there's some things we're not.

Everett Lynn (34:23.182)

Nate Smoyer (34:38.626)
doing or people are not doing it. It's not cause they don't want to do it. It's just, they don't know those solutions are obvious. And actually in our pre-show you talked about this with your, your first prop tech company is that, you know, you were providing solutions to people in, you know, different vertical, like industrial, and they didn't really even realize they needed it, uh, or could, could utilize.

Everett Lynn (34:58.73)
Yeah. But, but I think just quantifying it and saying, this is the dollar amount or this is the time savings. And then, so get the value drop as high as you can with your widget. And don't overbuild the widget. I see a lot of people that have this incredibly ambitious projects. And I say this because I've made the mistake of really, really ambitious and we've got there, but it's so much longer than we wanted. A lot of times people are starting like three companies. It should be one company. And then that'll get the friction down.

Nate Smoyer (35:09.218)

Nate Smoyer (35:25.279)

Everett Lynn (35:27.71)
And so I was at the happy co-conference, like a compliance platform. Yeah. Jindo. Yeah. And they've done a wonderful job. Kudos to their team for all the nice success, like millions and millions of homes. But there was a theme that was awesome, which is like, how do you make things seamless for the client? And they really believe in like bringing in the, the client decision makers, letting them interact with the engineers and the product managers, not the sales people, but the product managers, the engineers.

Nate Smoyer (35:30.775)
Yeah, but Jin Do?

Nate Smoyer (35:52.375)

Everett Lynn (35:55.902)
And then they brought in just a handful of partners that the clients asked for. And the company that I was impressed by that was there was Snapped. And yeah, Daniel, I know Daniel from back in the day. Yes, and we were in the dream adventure, PropTech accelerated together. But his team was there, Kyle and Kyle Nelson, and Kyle was talking about how

Nate Smoyer (36:06.959)
Oh yeah, Daniel.

Nate Smoyer (36:11.284)
Daniel Berlind.

Everett Lynn (36:25.302)
Backend Nirvana is the goal, meaning the client doesn't do anything different on their dashboard, like the client's happy with Happy Co. in this example. And then if you can just work behind the scenes without the client having to opt in or opt out, that's a really nice goal. And I think when I started out, I was like, no, I meant if I needs to be the hub, I meant if I needs a dashboard, I meant if I should be the alpha dog, but that's wrong. Like we're much better as a plugin spoke to somebody else's hub.

Nate Smoyer (36:38.231)

Everett Lynn (36:55.518)
And it kind of takes some courage to commit to that strategy. But that's, I think, how we're being more successful now is integrate everywhere, play nicely. And we're working on this one-click turnover with Happyco. It's really cool. So I think that was a concerted effort where it's like, we believe in our product. We'll go direct to the real estate. But how do we get the friction down by committing to a partner?

Nate Smoyer (37:14.187)
Yeah. Yep.

Everett Lynn (37:18.026)
And so, meaning making it easier for the real estate, they don't have to change anything. They just hit a button and they're happy. So that's what Kyle was calling back end Nirvana. And I think we'll see more of that.

Nate Smoyer (37:24.77)

Nate Smoyer (37:30.122)
I love that ethos. That's pretty cool. Everett, we're gonna shift down to the final segment of the show, the segment I like to call, For the Future, For the Future is when I get to ask each guest who comes on the show to give their best predictions based on the following four questions. Are you ready to play?

Everett Lynn (37:32.172)

Everett Lynn (37:47.694)
I guess so. Locked and loaded, let's do this.

Nate Smoyer (37:51.354)
You're not really given a choice here. You've already committed to the interview. You might as well answer these four questions. First one here on For the Future, what does Amenify look like one year from now?

Everett Lynn (38:03.842)
A year from now, I think that we've definitely, and this is something that's up on my wall, so it's like cashflow breakeven, and we've been able to turn the corner and be more of a B2B company, meaning.

working more with the real estate and we're still B2C in the sense that like residents are our priority but I'm excited to kind of upgrade everything we do to be more B2B and like for example our turnover service be exciting and I don't know if you ever heard this before Nate but like

Nate Smoyer (38:30.266)

Everett Lynn (38:44.882)
If a joke I heard many years ago was like, if you don't start a B2C company, when you start out, you don't have a heart. But if you don't switch to B2B when you're older, you don't have a brain. And like, so true. B2C is hard. Like, you know, we, it's like fighting, you know, hand to hand combat every day, making sure every resident's happy everywhere. You know, the shout outs are, you know, 15 person support team.

Nate Smoyer (39:00.576)
It's so hard.

Everett Lynn (39:10.966)
real-time every day they battle and I was on the phone with a company called CSC Serviceworks last week and I was like I'm just curious you know four billion dollar company you know hundreds of million dollars of cash flow and they sell like laundry machines and hardware equipment for like 14 million apartment homes they had like 12 Google reviews and the average rating was like 1.6 and they're like I don't care printing money and I like

Like put my head down on my chin or chin on my chest. I'm like arrested development. If you saw the show like walking sadly back to our office, I was like, man, B2B looks nice. So I think creating as much value as you can for the big operators and the big service providers, I think that sounds like fun. So anyway, longer answer, but that's my thought.

Nate Smoyer (39:56.98)

Nate Smoyer (40:05.93)
I was just looking at the top 100 roofing companies list from 2023. So they haven't published 2024s yet, but so this was based off of 2022 revenues. Number one did 1.2 billion in roofing, but it's a hundred percent commercial. In fact, I think like only one out of the top 10, maybe two out of the top 10 had more than 50% residential. And the difference between the first,

Everett Lynn (40:22.762)

Everett Lynn (40:31.853)

Nate Smoyer (40:35.534)
The first one that had more than 50% residential and the second one was almost 200 million. So like huge, huge gaps. And it just goes to show like, there's just tremendous challenges in building large scale services, businesses that are consumer facing.

Everett Lynn (40:53.578)
Yeah, I mean, Netflix has to add hundreds of millions of users every year to hold steady, right? And we're talking about Netflix. It's like cream of the crop, right? We went to Apartmentalize a few years ago, which is NAA, and it was like a carpet cleaning company had rented out the entire aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. And I was like, huh.

Nate Smoyer (41:05.61)
Yeah, I keep trying to cancel it. My wife is not letting that happen. Ha ha ha.

Nate Smoyer (41:14.187)

Everett Lynn (41:22.806)
Carb cleaning seems like a good business and it is getting into it.

Nate Smoyer (41:25.506)
Chem dry, man. All right, number two here on For the Future. What's one amenity that has yet to be fully appreciated and will expand in popularity over the next few years?

Everett Lynn (41:38.042)
Ooh, yeah. I think, well, I mean, I'm biased in that I think service, like having service pros for the property, like that concept will become more popular. We're really excited that we've integrated a few million restaurants. And so what we're trying to do more is like welcoming people to properties and I think kind of helping them feel connected.

Nate Smoyer (41:54.527)

Everett Lynn (42:03.062)
with like gifts and stocking the fridge. Like I think there's so many cool things that we could do around the welcome experience and personalize it for a resident. I'll be open and vulnerable here that something I'm passionate about is dog walking. I think there's so many kids out there that like, and I'll just speak about my friends, but they got to call it, in college they got a dog to like try to get a date. And then after college, they like moved to a high rise in like Dallas and they're working 60 hours a week for some, you know.

Nate Smoyer (42:08.972)

Everett Lynn (42:32.87)
impactful job that's like demanding of their time and the dog is in solitary confinement. And so we've been spending years in the lab working on how to refine dog walking. So my hope is we can make some cool announcements later this year, but that's not, I'm kind of, I'm betting that we crack this code, but I'm really hopeful that we can get these dogs out of solitary confinement in the cities.

Nate Smoyer (42:55.406)
There's more dogs than children in the US as far as I understand. So there's certainly plenty of market to go after there and no slowing down in that market. All right, number three here on For the Future. What's one industry trend you think will continue but you wish would go away?

Everett Lynn (42:58.744)
this right?

Everett Lynn (43:11.768)

Yeah, that's a good one. Honestly, I would say that real estate operators are not appropriately staffed for innovation. And what I mean by that is, a lot of times you build the technology product, and I'm definitely not gonna name names here, but then you sell it and you wanna integrate. And if you were in a traditional technology industry,

That CTO that would make a decision for a company to implement some legit sales force, whatever they would have an implementation team. They would have product managers. They would have engineers for API development on both sides. And it would be a mutual understanding that like in order for technology to thrive, there's someone there to shake the hand of the outside group, the outside technology, I hate that we're called vendors, but the outside vendor. Right.

Nate Smoyer (43:51.958)

Nate Smoyer (44:03.019)

Everett Lynn (44:06.93)
And so much on the real estate side, we still haven't seen a lot of this where they have like a truly built out technology team that employs engineers, employs product managers. I will give a shout out to Boardwalk out of Calgary, 30,000 units, big family office, like number two operator in the country in BAV, who is their chief information officer, I think it's CIO. But he has an awesome team of engineers and he builds real products in house.

Nate Smoyer (44:33.121)

Everett Lynn (44:35.23)
And they looked at Yardi, they looked at RealPage, and they're like, no, not gonna pay that, we're gonna build it in-house. And so my hope is that other real estate groups will see the outperformance from groups like BoardWalk that have real technology leadership that's supported with real resources. I don't mean to denigrate anybody that doesn't have that, I'm just saying like horsepower. And I just don't think that will happen overnight. I think that's gonna be like 10 years in the making.

Nate Smoyer (44:50.39)

Nate Smoyer (44:55.926)
No, I totally understand what you mean.

Nate Smoyer (45:03.966)
All right, final one here. What's one thing you believe will dramatically change or fade away in real estate as a result of tech advances?

Everett Lynn (45:13.518)

Everett Lynn (45:17.642)
I think we'll have less people. I think that like the, it will not be as people intensive to manage real estate at scale, right? We've got generative AI wave, smart technology wave, battery powered autonomous drone or motor vehicles. And you think about like, we're gonna have superheroes working for real estate companies that are just like in Iron Man suits.

that have way more technology helping them, drafting content, analyzing things, responding to any stakeholder, right? Like the first line of defense for every real estate group is gonna be a very well-trained AI human, like emotionally trained voice cadence, contextual backend knowledge about the person calling. Yeah, well.

Nate Smoyer (45:48.386)

Nate Smoyer (46:07.31)
I sure hope they don't use me for emotional training.

Everett Lynn (46:12.466)
We were joking about this at the beginning. You're like, Hey, the signal is going to get patched. And I was like, I knew it. Nate's been doing this on AI. He's, he's not even there. I'm talking, I'm talking.

Nate Smoyer (46:19.676)
You know what I want? I want AI bots trained on the emotional stability of Ben Stein.

Everett Lynn (46:26.789)
just rock solid.

Nate Smoyer (46:27.142)
Just deadpan. Ha ha ha. Go for that.

Everett Lynn (46:32.835)
Yep. Yeah, I remember those commercials. Yeah, and so, but I don't think that's a bad thing, and I look online, Nate, and as a leader of a property management company, they can't get on an earnings call and be like, we're gonna try to downsize, right? That would just, it would not go over well with their teams.

Nate Smoyer (46:52.078)

Nate Smoyer (46:55.926)
They might not have a choice because of the natural attrition, even of property managers. It's very difficult to recruit for those roles.

Everett Lynn (47:03.382)
Well, I don't think it's great that some of these property management companies have such high turnover to begin with in the sense that like, I think we should celebrate onsite team members. I think we should invest in them. I think we should, you know, give them better tools, right. And hook them up and like not make them do these small things, right. Or like, you know, like in my mind, there should be like a CEO of a property that's on profit sharing. And, and this person is, is really invested in. Um,

Nate Smoyer (47:09.122)

Everett Lynn (47:31.178)
as opposed to what the fee management industry has become, which has led to a lot of turnover and I think unfair treatment of super important people that are onsite. So that's a, that would be a really fun wave, I think for the next 10 years is like helping people that are out in the field get plugged in and then giving them these Ironman suits is kind of like the image in my mind.

Nate Smoyer (47:54.442)
Well, even though maybe we have less people do a better job of celebrating and supporting those people. Everett, this has been awesome. We went way deeper into the PropTech underlying and foundation than I thought we would, but I really appreciated that conversation. Thank you for sharing about Amenify, a three-sided marketplace, not an easy thing to build, but good on you guys for being an overnight success. It just only took you.

seven years to start finding some traction. Just kidding. But hey, before we close out, for those who want to get connected with you, learn more about a Manify, where do they go, how do they do that?

Everett Lynn (48:27.287)
Thank you.

Everett Lynn (48:34.91)
Yeah, amenify.com. I'm at everett.amenify.com. And yeah, I want to say thank you for hosting. This is a blast.

Nate Smoyer (48:44.842)
Yeah, my pleasure. Hopefully we'll get a chance to hang in person. Until then, we'll catch you later.