The superlatives keep flooding in for cities across the Southeast. From Atlanta being called a “dream city” for most Americans to Charlotte and Tallahassee experiencing the largest influx of newbies over the course of 2022, it certainly feels like just about everybody is moving to the region.
But adding hundreds of thousands of people a year brings its own set of challenges. Specifically, where are all these people going to live?
New multifamily residential units, particularly large apartment complexes, have been built at exponential speeds in Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte. That has meant huge growth for startups like Rent Ready, a Charlotte-based venture looking to streamline the move in and move out process for apartments.
We last caught up with the Rent Ready team two years ago when they closed a $10 million Series A. Following the raise, the team has been heads down building its first customer-facing web and mobile apps. CEO and co-founder Jonathan Kite called this a “major inflection point” for the business.
Getting The Southeast Rent Ready
Business has grown 5x since the app launch in September of 2021 and Rent Ready has expanded into the apartment markets in Greenville, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Winston-Salem, Columbia, and Greensboro.
Rent Ready has gained such traction because they are solving for some big pain points in the multifamily space, said Kite. Rent Ready jumps in to help apartment complex managers monitor progress of turning over an apartment in between tenants. That includes vendor management or helping to find new vendors needed to paint, replace floors, or clean in a timely manner.
“Labor is really hard to find right now. Particularly for less office-oriented, more blue collar work, apartment communities and regional managers are really struggling to staff maintenance positions, whether that’s a maintenance tech or a maintenance manager,” Kite told Hypepotamus. “Also, apartment communities are starting to consolidate resources…so one set of property managers or maintenance managers might oversee two or three properties. And that becomes really complicated when you take the problems at one community and then you’re responsible for three communities.”
While Rent Ready is headquartered in Charlotte, Atlanta is its largest market.
“Atlanta is almost like four or five markets combined, because of its in terms of like the total number of apartment communities in the market down to like, literally the size of an apartment community can be 800 to 1000 units, which is crazy to think about. It’s almost like a miniature college campus to an extent.”
New Growth, New Opportunities
Rent Ready isn’t the only startup seeing opportunities in the Southeast’s booming construction world. Over in Tennessee, SeeSnap has developed a visual-first work app that uses pictures to streamline work orders. That is particularly important for businesses, like short-term rental companies, housing construction projects, and property management associations.
On the construction side, venture-backed startups like Green Badger (Savannah), cove.tool (Atlanta), ProNovos (Atlanta), SkyMul (Alpharetta), Togal AI (Miami), Groundfloor (Atlanta), YARDZ (Atlanta), and ProKeep (New Orleans) have been building in the region’s startup scene.
On the wider PropertyTech and real estate technology side, businesses like Falaya (Baton Rouge), RentReady (New Orleans), and Smart Alto (Birmingham) are also changing how we rent apartments and buy houses.