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Proptech firm Entrata establishes Canadian presence

Entrata’s only Canadian employee joined the firm less than three months ago, but the Utah-based p...

IMAGE: Shannon Hylton, regional vice-president of sales for Canada, at Entrata. (Courtesy Entrata)

Shannon Hylton, regional vice-president of sales for Canada, at Entrata. (Courtesy Entrata)

Entrata’s only Canadian employee joined the firm less than three months ago, but the Utah-based property management software provider has big international growth plans.

Entrata was born in 2003 after its founders won a business plan competition at Brigham Young University for a cloud-based property management system.

“However, when going to market, we found there were some niches that were not being addressed,” president and chief operating officer Chase Harrington told RENX. “The main one was the ability to pay your rent online and log in to fill out applications, connect with the community and those types of things.

“So the business really pivoted and, as we went to market, that was our focus. We became the largest payment portal provider for real estate in the United States.”

The business has grown to the point where it now processes more than $20 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) annually in rent payments, primarily for the multifamily asset class.

Expansion of original services

Entrata also returned to its original business plan of providing a property management system and a comprehensive platform for all real estate operations in 2010. Its single-log-in, open-access platform serves more than 20,000 apartment communities across the United States.

The application offers more than 50 products on one global cloud-based platform so it can provide a wide variety of online tools, including websites, mobile apps, payments, lease signing, accounting, utility management, insurance and resident management.

Entrata claims to be the fastest-growing software company in real estate with more than $200 million in annual recurring revenue and more than 2,100 employees. There are plans to add hundreds of employees in 2021 alone.

Entrata announced on July 7 that it had raised $507 million from a variety of investors in its first institutional round of capital raised since the company was founded.

The infusion will allow the company to more than double its research and development spending in the coming years, expand internationally, invest in personnel, and improve efficiencies in the client experience.

Entrata has moved into Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Spain, and is working on expanding into other markets including Chile, Brazil, Australia and Japan. It has an office in the Netherlands as its European headquarters and a development office in India.

Entrata’s Canadian expansion

Shannon Hylton joined Entrata as regional vice-president of sales for Canada at the beginning of June after previously serving in property management roles for BentallGreenOak, but Harrington said the company has been working on Canadian expansion for about a year.

“We wanted to focus on making sure, first and foremost, that we understood the operations and needs of the Canadian market as well as doing some localization of the system, including being able to offer it in French and English.”

Yardi is the dominant provider of similar services in Canada and Harrington believes the market is ready for a viable alternative.

Hylton told RENX she’s at the prospecting and reaching out stage now and can’t name any Canadian clients aside from student housing provider Varsity Communities.

“I’ll be driving connections in Canada and hoping to bring some Canadian companies to the platform,” said Hylton. “I’ll be spreading the word and bringing a lot of awareness to Entrata and what it has to offer, and hopefully bring as much success in Canada as it has had in the U.S. and other countries.”

Entrata has a small office in Toronto, but Hylton is primarily working from home at this point and will travel around Canada when needed. The plan is to establish a presence in Toronto, increase market share, then add more people and offices in Canada.

“The Canadian real estate industry is going to be hearing a lot and seeing Entrata’s name over the next couple of months,” said Hylton.

Entrata’s future growth

Entrata can service multifamily, student and seniors housing and commercial buildings, and has some capabilities to work with short-term rentals within the multifamily sector.

It’s primarily serving office and retail users as part of mixed-use buildings with a multifamily component, but Harrington said the company is increasing its presence in office- and retail-only buildings.

Harrington said he’s been thrilled with the focus on proptech and the increased adoption of technology in the real estate industry over the past few years. He believes Entrata is a leader in the space.

“We’re coming out and releasing new products and new services for the industry within the proptech realm all the time. We’re finally seeing an advancement in an industry that has historically not adopted new technology relatively quickly. We’re starting to see that change and that’s exciting.”

Entrata is focused on increasing the use of artificial intelligence and robotic automation in its platform, according to Harrington, who believes it will help users make better business decisions.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was edited after publishing to update the number of products which are offered within the platform – the correct figure is “more than 50” as per updated information supplied by Entrata.

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