Reposted from Medium with Greg Fischer’s permission.
The future of renting is Cozy
After 10 years of experience managing, owning, living in and designing software for rental properties, I can say without hesitation that Cozy is the best online solution for both landlords and renters alike.
It has the most useful set of features, a world-class customer support team and the most pleasing user experience compared to anything else on the market.
Marketing + rent collection + applications + screening tools
Cozy is the easiest way to advertise vacancies, process applications, screen tenants, and collect rental payments for landlords.
And it’s the easiest way to find rentals, submit applications, verify background information and transmit online payments for renters.
Why you can trust me
I started working in real estate and property management 10 years ago and have since managed a portfolio of more than 100 homes, have been a renter multiple times, was a landlord, operated a real estate brokerage, and worked in rentals software and business development for the last three years.
I’ve tested hundreds of real estate software products and spent thousands of hours evaluating, testing, and designing solutions for both landlords and renters.
Who is this for?
Owning and renting homes is as confusing as it’s ever been. While prices and competition have heated up around the country, landlords still don’t have modern solutions in place to manage marketing and operations of their investment properties.
Qualified renters are tired of wasting time and energy filling out paperwork, paying exorbitant fees, and using old technology to transmit sensitive information.
Landlords + property managers
The hot rental market has made it even tougher for landlords to process applications and select the most qualified tenants from interested applicants. Many are still using fax machines and outdated application forms and collecting paper checks.
Cozy is a free modern solution that allows landlords to advertise, get applications, screen applicants, process payments and administer properties online.
Renters + roommates
The hot rental market has made it even tougher for renters to secure available homes and results in them submitting multiple applications, racking up hundreds of dollars in fees, and sharing sensitive financial data with complete strangers without any visibility into the process.
Cozy is a modern solution that allows renters to securely apply for, pay for and manage their tenancy online.
How it works for landlords and property managers
Landlords and property managers can sign up for a free account on Cozy. Once inside the product, you’ll be prompted to add an image and enter the address of the property you’d like to manage.
If you already have tenants in the property
You can go directly to “set up a lease” and enter the details of the agreement, information about the tenant and set up a payment schedule.
Once the tenant enters bank account information, you’ll start receiving payments automatically.
If you need to advertise a vacancy
If you’re using Cozy for the first time in order to advertise a vacant property, go to “create a listing” where you’ll be asked for more details about the home like the number of bedrooms, the square footage, description and the opportunity to add more photos (I recommend filling this out completely and adding at least three photos).
Once you’ve filled out the pertinent details, you’ll be asked if you want to use Cozy to run credit reports and/or background checks. This service is free to you and paid for by renters when they apply to your property ($34.95 to use both).
Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll be able to preview the property advertisement and then instantly publish the listing on Cozy partner sites like realtor.com and Doorsteps.
You’ll also get a a single-page website which you can use to advertise on other popular places like Facebook, Craigslist and Zillow. This makes it easy for interested applicants to apply online and should help you in attracting more highly qualified candidates who value your use of modern technology.
How it works for renters
Renters can sign up for a free account at Cozy. But it won’t do you much good unless your landlord is willing to use the product. Hopefully, if you show them this article, they’ll consider switching immediately.
Get your landlord to start using Cozy
Are you tired of paying your rent with a check? Is it getting old to split expenses with roommates? Do you wish you had some sort of transaction history that you could share with future landlords and creditors?
Show this article to your landlord and ask them super nicely if they’d consider using the product. It’s completely free for them to accept rental payments, which makes accounting a breeze. The easiest way to find out if there are currently any landlords that are using Cozy in your area is by contacting the nice folks at Cozy by email or through Twitter.
So you found a place you want to apply to with Cozy
If you find a place you want to apply to on Cozy, simply:
- Complete your renter profile, completely filling out employment details and previous residence information
- Submit and pay for any credit or background checks required by the landlord
- Review and submit your application
You’ll get a confirmation and should be hearing from the landlord within 24 hours (in most cases) with any additional information and a decision.
When landlords and renters both use Cozy
In a perfect world, every landlord would already be using Cozy. And once they are, you should expect the process to go just like this:
Landlord advertises rental
Landlords use Cozy to advertise vacancies directly on realtor.com and Doorsteps as well as Facebook, Craigslist and Zillow. Renters find their dream home easily on websites they know and trust.
Renters apply online
When renters find a property advertised with Cozy, they can easily share their profile, credit reports, and background checks with landlords in just a few clicks. No more fax machines or excessive application fees.
Landlord creates a lease
Once a landlord makes a decision, she connects the profiles of the lucky applicants to the property and can begin collecting security deposits and rental payments (did I mention…for free?)
Renters and landlord live happily ever after
Renters can set up recurring rental payments and leave their checkbooks in the previous century. Landlords get piece of mind, security, and an online ledger to keep track of expenses and payments.
What makes Cozy great
Cozy takes a process that is often convoluted and stressful and makes it transparent and pleasing.
Account setup is a breeze
The onboarding process for landlords and renters is simple, intuitive and modern. This is software that works just like you expect it to.
Cozy is packed with value-add features, making it the most valuable product on the market for both landlords and renters.
Landlords get access to a robust advertising platform, credit and background check integrations, a payments processor and ledger system. Renters get online applications, secure screening options, and can share their profile with multiple landlords using Cozy.
Roommates can split their rent however they want to while the landlord simply collects one payment. Easy peasy.
Security all around
I should have mentioned this earlier, but Cozy uses Experian to generate credit reports resulting only in a soft credit inquiry for the applicant, which masks sensitive information like full Social Security numbers and bank account numbers from the landlord and won’t affect their credit score.
This means enhanced privacy for renters and less liability for landlords. And no more fax machines.
A quality education
Cozy acquired Landlordology a few years ago, a resource providing rental advice, tips, and tricks to landlords (but which is useful to renters, too). There is information about state laws and regulations, landlord guides, a services directory, webinars and regular blog content to help you out.
Customer support is out-of-this-world
The Cozy team prides themselves on customer support and rightfully so. Through the many interactions I’ve had with them (as both a landlord and collaborator), I have found their staff to be the most knowledgeable, friendly and prompt human beings out there. Make sure to say hi to them.
Spread the word about Cozy
Cozy has been growing like crazy over the last few years, but in order to really make things better for landlords and renters everywhere right now, there needs to be a critical mass of people using the platform.
So if you are a landlord, property manager or Realtor: Give Cozy a test run, set up a demo or contact them for more information about the product. You’ll be happy you did. And once you’ve switched (I know you will), make sure to tell your friends.
If you’re a renter and want landlords to catch up with the times, then please share this article with your landlord, your Realtor, your parents, your teachers or anyone else who you think might listen.
Better yet, just tweet this:
Disclaimer: I previously managed a software integration between my former company Move, Inc. and Cozy, which is why my love for the product is so strong. I have no present affiliation or interest in either company.