Is Entrata the Product of a Trojan Horse?

Two words – Trojan Horse

Brilliant Word of Mouth

No doubt the word of mouth marketing campaign that Entrata (Property Solutions) is using to bring about awareness is brilliant. It is off the charts – cool.

Check this video out – it’s one of four that are uber-cool.

Trojan Horse

All the brilliance aside, I can’t help but to call a trojan horse on this one. Full disclosure, we are a client of Property Solutions. And, for the record there are very few occasions where I would call a spade a spade publicly. This one just has my gut screaming. It seems that our partner entered into a relationship with Yardi in part (or, it evolved into that) to get a good look at the back office. Not unlike Steve Jobs did when he bought his way into looking at what Xerox was up to years ago before graphical user interfaces entered the mainstream. While Steve spun that to be an okay thing –

I am just not buying it from Property Solutions. One does not have to look to far to get what I mean – take the definition of Entrata for instance:

entrata

  1. (nautical) to board (to capture an enemy ship by going alongside and then invading her)
  2. (slang) to improve

To capture a Property Management Software System by going alongside (inside) and then invading Yardi… Sorry, improve is likely what they were going for.

Every Property Management System is Lacking

In all fairness – I think every property management software platform is terrible. They all cater to accountants (not to discount accountants – I have some great friends from that world). But, accountants don’t run properties. Sales people, psychologists and craftsman do. There is no Apple about Yardi, MRI, RealPage or any other system out there. They are all complicated, stodgy, aesthetically limp, expensive, slow and they hold your data hostage to a mind numbing degree.

Baseball Jersey

Last week I received a package in the mail. Contents: A baseball Jersey from Property Solutions with Entrata stamped across the chest and the number 1 stamped on the back. And, a letter dripping with edifices and endorsements aimed at juicing me up to write about this new property management software offering.

#gameoff – I was jazzed until the curtain was pulled back and it became apparent that Entrata was in fact a product of Property Solutions. Likely not the post they had in mind and I am borderline apologetic for that. Excepting that the relationship has not been without pain.

Service

Would I endorse this product? Not even on it’s best day. For two reasons. It’s intellectually disingenuous. And, it speaks volumes to the reason our service experience has been less than just bad. It would suffice to say that all hands have been on deck to include some brilliant marketing efforts to get this product to market and the ask for forgiveness machine has been in full affect. That experience is to include an email I sent six days ago asking for some clarification that has gone unanswered.

I can’t help but to use the over-used and abused #fail hashtag for this one. There is a huge difference between being shrewd and just swindling.

Your hoping I am completely misplaced in my remarks so much so that I eat crow for this post but thinking I am not alone in my thoughts multifamily maniac,

M

RealPage acquires MyNewPlace: Marriage made in heaven?

Today’s post comes from our friend Bill Sitko over at Bsitko ; his content is ripe with great wit and keen insight. Today’s guest post is exactly what we expected and we love it…

 

First before I even begin I wanted to thank Mike for allowing me to blight his blog with some of my own prose. I hope to do him and his blog justice.

“Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks; he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other” ~ Pietro Metastasio

A curious thing happened on the way home from work yesterday. I was parked at a light and as usual decided to glance down at my phone to see what had changed in social media since 5 minutes ago. Luckily I had TweetDeck up, I refreshed it and that cool looking blue background with white text announced that RealPage had acquired MyNewPlace. If you’re hearing this announcement for the first time right now your first reaction is probably WOW. I know mine was. My second reaction was “Are they planning on buying EVERYTHING?” but I digress.

MyNewPlaceGetting married!!!RealPage

Who are the players here?
MyNewPlace has been a player in the Internet Listing Services market for years. We used them several years ago with little conversion success (and it left us with a pretty drained pocketbook). The majority of us know RealPage and what they offer. MyNewPlace, on the surface, seems to be a perfect match for RealPage. They currently have no paid listing offerings and this acquisition will certainly give them presence there. In addition MyNewPlace has RentEngine which will give RealPage access to social media tools, a Craigslist posting tool, reputation management, pay per click campaigns, some great search engine optimization tools and a partridge in a pear tree. MyNewPlace will also be an integral part of their recently announced LeaseStar Marketplace. One thing that I find interesting about this new product is it will enable customers to talk or chat with a live leasing associate through their LevelOne service, and utilize their already robust leasing side package including 2D and 3D floor plans, some interactive site maps, beautiful pictures and a booking engine that can help check availabilities. MyNewPlace will be the lead generation channel that will power the LeaseStar Marketplace.

Press releases are lame.
The truth is this latest press release and acquisition from RealPage will attract plenty of attention but will it all be positive? Is RealPage becoming a little too big with too many product offerings that have the ability to shut out the competition? As with a lot of RealPage purchases, they will probably leave the MyNewPlace name alone but make the normal branding and integration changes so it plugs into their other offerings. That’s the way they’ve done it for most of their previous acquisitions, namely LevelOne, OpsTechnology and Lead2Lease. Is RealPage willing to change the ILS game? Will they use their power and money muscle to give Property Management companies more flexibility in branding and choice? Will they utilize social media to CHANGE how people find apartments? How successful will their SEO efforts be? Can they jump the organic board and launch MyNewPlace into the top 5 for results in lots of major markets?

What does this all mean?
I wish I had a crystal ball to get these answers, as well as the winning lottery numbers for tomorrow. I’m more interested in hearing what you think about it. Will RealPage change the game or will they just conform to it? Will this just be something else for them to monetize and charge a little extra than everyone else for or will they convert this service into something more powerful and revolutionary? Stay tuned…

Want to read the RealPage/MyNewPlace marriage vows? You can right here.

Happy renting everyone.