Two decades: that is about how many years I have been investing in residential real estate, and it is also how long ago I started my first company with current Stessa co-founder Jonah Schwartz. Together, we have always shared a passion for both technology and investing. As part-time real estate investors with full-time jobs, Jonah and I noticed that while we had access to a number of great technologies around workflow automation (BI, CRM, etc.) in our day jobs, nothing similar existed in the real estate world. This lack of solutions was most evident when comparing the “alternative” asset class of real estate to more “traditional” asset classes such as equities.
While there are numerous tools available to the equity investor via retail platforms like Ameritrade that provide straightforward valuation, performance benchmarking, real-time analysis, and ongoing optimization, little exists in real estate.
Stessa is this tool for real estate investors. We wanted to create a software solution that would give investors the same transparency and efficiency with their real estate holdings as they have come to expect with any other investment. So we created Stessa as a way to solve our own problems and enable all income property owners to easily track, manage, and communicate the performance of their holdings.
Most real estate investors today still manage their portfolios with little more than a spreadsheet, which means the data is often static and out of date. And a surprising number of investors have no clue whether they have made or lost money on their holdings except for one time a year when they get their returns from their accountant.
Stessa makes it is easy to get real-time insights and automated analysis for ongoing optimization, helping investors reduce complexity while saving both time and money. Investors today often struggle with too much data spread across different providers from siloed fields.
Stessa pulls information from public records like tax assessments, the purchase price of the property, the loan size, and so on. An investor can then link their financial data — bank accounts, mortgages, and even property management accounts. The platform aggregates all the data from disparate sources, normalizes and reconciles it, providing the key metrics back to investors in a personalized, real-time, easy to use executive dashboard.
Highlights include occupancy, asset return, cash flow, and other relevant details to help investors see how their overall portfolio is performing as well as drill down on individual properties as you dig into debt service and cash flow. Stessa makes it simple to compare across properties, change valuation methodologies, and get the insights an investor needs to make important decisions. In addition, many investors choose to purchase properties with partners, whether family, business associates, or limited partners.
With Stessa, investors have the ability to invite their partners to also see and modify the dashboard as they share performance information. And if you have silent or limited partners, you can set access control and limit visibility so they only see the portion that concerns them.
Our premium customers also receive a suite of back-office tools, including bookkeeping and LP (Limited Partner) portal functionality, in addition to the executive dashboard and portfolio management software. Stessa is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform accessible from any device, such as your laptop, tablet, or phone. We are currently building a native mobile app that we intend to launch this summer.
Stessa is in the latest Envestnet® | Yodlee® Incubator cohort
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. There are continual challenges, difficult decisions, and endless learnings as we continue to grow the business, expand our team, and execute to our roadmap. We really value our time in the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator. We get to team up with a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs in a similar stage of their business lifecycle, share best practices and ideas, and get insights from mentors, outside experts, and the Envestnet | Yodlee team itself. I appreciate all the resources we’ve been given, and I look forward to being an alumnus of the program as we continue to touch base with all the other great founders we’ve met. Even without the incubator, Envestnet | Yodlee has been a great partner for Stessa. We use the Envestnet | Yodlee Aggregation API to link all of our users’ financial accounts, from the checking accounts they associate with particular properties to mortgage accounts so we can pull income and expenses for a property in order to generate a holistic financial picture.
Our big news
We were recently acquired by JLL Spark, a division of JLL, a global leader in real estate and investment management. Joining forces with JLL, we can now move a lot faster and realize our vision more quickly. With the strength of JLL behind us, we are looking forward to leveraging their strong global brand for credibility and increase our reach. In addition, we are now able to think more strategically and long-term. Our vision has always been to democratize this asset class and streamline the entire real estate ownership lifecycle, and we are incredibly excited to be taking the next steps on that journey. For more information on Stessa, please visit our website at www.stessa.com. And to learn how you can access over 16,000 data sources covering all types of financial products including checking, savings, credit card, loan, mortgage, brokerage, and 401K accounts, visit https://developer.yodlee.com/Yodlee_API.