RoomMate, the ambitious PropTech startup from Bologna knows what it wants. Having already developed an app (RoomMate) for tenants and a property management software (Estelle) for landlords – which can connect to each other – they are now working towards fully automating property management tasks by 2030.
Photo: RoomMate’s team / Image Credits: RoomMate
Founded in Bologna, Italy in 2017, RoomMate was born out of the desire to solve some of the common problems roommates face when sharing an apartment. Still students at the time, this was a problem co-founders Matteo Bucci (Tech), Francesco Cotugno (Design), Mirko Martignon (Tech) and Mattia Raffaeli (CEO) were only too familiar with.
The co-founders were convinced that these problems, which could be as simple as reminding people to take out the trash or paying their rent on time, could be better organised through an application. After months of work, they released the first version of their RoomMate app in September 2017.
The app’s success, which today counts 20,000 monthly users, inspired the co-founders to reach higher and expand their scope.
“[They thought] what if we can actually build a complete system that’s 100% transparent and can actually connect to the landlord?” says Head of Marketing Mikael Da Silva.
“Property management is evolving, technology is advancing, we can actually 100% automate most tasks and processes.”
No More “Tedious Tasks”
Managing properties is a lot of work and a large portion of it consists of dreadfully boring and repetitive tasks. These include tasks such as basic accounting, tenant onboarding, signing documents and combing through Excel sheets.
While these are all essential for the job of real estate agents or property owners, they fill up long hours which could be better spent working on expanding their portfolio. To help them achieve this task, RoomMate developed Estelle, a property management software.
“At the end of the day offer, the objective is to grow their portfolio, so with Estelle, we’re able to take out this friction [of doing tedious tasks] of saying, look, we can do this in, you know, two, three minutes automatic or actually on the spot,” says Mikael.
Estelle does it all – from managing your portfolio to managing your payments to creating automated profit reports – everything is included. To increase transparency between the landlord and the tenant, Estelle also connects to the RoomMate app, thereby replacing all old communication channels such as emails, Slack or WhatsApp.
If the tenants’ landlord uses the app, they can even pay rent and ask for maintenance requests. By combining the property management software Estelle with the RoomMate app – soon to be called Spaces – RoomMate wants to create a platform that allows for “110% transparency and total control”.
Ahead Of Schedule
While there is no doubt that the real estate sector is moving towards digitalisation, many are still hesitant to adapt to this new change.
“It’s funny because the real estate industry is one of the oldest sectors at the moment so it’s a very interesting game of convincing them and saying look ‘property management is evolving, technology is advancing, we can actually 100% automate most tasks and processes,” says Mikael.
While RoomMate has not fully automated every single property management task, they are confident in getting there “by 2030 the latest, maybe even earlier”.
This article was first published in Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Get your copy.