How Dallas’ Good Metropolis condo locators went from an Instagram account to a $40 million enterprise

Within the grips of a historic pandemic, Dallas-based condo finding service Good Metropolis leaned in, welcoming tons of of recent staff and increasing into almost half a dozen new markets in different states.

Led by 33-year-old founder and CEO Cassie Brown, the corporate has a easy mission: Join renters with an condo house the place they are often themselves. Good Metropolis negotiates with condo properties to lease out empty models in bulk, oftentimes locking in decrease charges for renters.

“I feel everybody actually needs to have the ability to look on the web and have all the proper solutions, however after they understand how overwhelming it’s, typically they only need someone who does,” Brown mentioned.

The corporate, which began with only a few employees in 2013, expects to see greater than $40 million in income this yr and can function in at the least 10 cities.

The Dallas rental market is scorching, main the nation in internet residences leased within the first quarter, and landlords leased a report variety of condo models within the second quarter.

“We actually discover an condo each quarter-hour,” Brown mentioned. “When properties run specials, they name us first. Once they’re doing six weeks free, eight weeks free, they tell us first. Once they drop costs on models, they tell us first.”

Good Metropolis was one of many first condo finding firms to efficiently leverage viral social media advertising and marketing within the rental house within the mid-2010s. Right this moment there are 16 brokers behind Good Metropolis’s Instagram accounts. They area tons of of requests for condo finding providers in several cities every day.

“Social media is often the place they discover us. [Renters] contact us by net type, textual content message or DM … after which we attempt to get them with an agent inside quarter-hour,” Brown mentioned.

Cassie Brown, founder and chief government of Good Metropolis Residences, on the firm’s headquarters in Dallas.(Ben Torres / Particular Contributor)

Assembly the corporate’s objective of a 15-minute response time has gotten tougher with the demand the corporate has seen this yr, Brown mentioned.

And that’s regardless of its latest enlargement.

Good Metropolis went on a hiring spree on the onset of the pandemic, bringing on round 420 contractors and full-time employees over the previous 12 months.

“We are able to’t rent quick sufficient,” Brown mentioned.

Going viral

Brown started the corporate in earnest in 2013 when she relocated from Austin to Dallas along with her spouse. She acquired her actual property license, hoping to promote million-dollar mansions, earlier than realizing that she didn’t know any millionaires, she mentioned.

“I used to be like, ‘All proper, what do my broke faculty mates want?’” Brown mentioned. “All of them want residences.”

So she began condo finding, first making referrals for family and friends as she hunted for essentially the most fascinating properties. The enterprise picked up a viral following on-line after Brown and her early enterprise companions began sharing the residences they discovered on Instagram.

“Properties began calling me saying, ‘Hey, we wish to be in your Instagram. We wish to be featured,’” Brown mentioned.

“It turns on the market’s an actual want available in the market for what we’re doing,” Brown mentioned. “We’ve been in a position to save loads of our shoppers a reasonably respectable sum of money simply by the facility of social media … and it helps the property. They want their vacancies to go down instantly.”

The unique Dallas Good Metropolis Residences Instagram web page surpassed 100,000 followers in September, based on social media monitoring website SocialBlade. It operates separate pages for every promote it serves. And the headquarters workplace simply south of Deep Ellum’s most important drag is the house base for 80 full-time staff and a variety of actual property brokers who work immediately with shoppers.

Along with Dallas, the corporate now has bodily workplaces in Austin, Houston, Fort Price, Denver and Atlanta, whereas employees in San Antonio, Nashville, Orlando and Chicago function out of co-working areas.

Customer experience specialists Rachel Clemente (left) and Grecia Rodriguez respond to social media direct messages with information about apartments and their locations at Smart City Apartments headquarters.
Buyer expertise specialists Rachel Clemente (left) and Grecia Rodriguez reply to social media direct messages with details about residences and their places at Good Metropolis Residences headquarters.(Ben Torres / Particular Contributor)

“At all times free for you,” the corporate advertises within the bio part of its Instagram web page.

However how is it free?

Condominium locators like Good Metropolis make their cash from the property firms they join renters with, usually taking house 50% to 100% of the primary month’s hire for every unit to cowl working bills and pay the brokers they make use of.

The condo house owners Good Metropolis works with solely pay the finding agency after a tenant indicators the lease. Good Metropolis’s charges are cheaper than the prices of a unit sitting vacant or pouring cash into advertising and marketing by on-line websites that may’t assure success, Brown mentioned.

‘Heads in beds’

Dallas is at present quick on vacant residences and stuffed with renters on the lookout for their subsequent house, based on condo finding agent Lea Simpkins, who runs her personal finding company referred to as Texas Condominium Finding.

“You see [rates] go up and down as a result of they fluctuate with the occupancy charges usually,” Simpkins mentioned. “However as a result of occupancy charges are so excessive at many residences, it appears recently they’re simply going up, up, up.”

This week, Good Metropolis is promoting one-bedroom residences in Deep Ellum for round $1,600 per thirty days and a two-bedroom in Trinity Groves for round $2,100.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for one of the best deal, Brown mentioned, be ready to make choices rapidly when you’ve set the search course of in movement. For instance, most property house owners provide “look-and-lease” specials the place they’ll knock a month or so of hire off your lease for those who signal on the time you bodily tour the condo.

Pace is the secret as a result of condo properties need “heads in beds” as rapidly as potential.

And naturally, condo finding providers can solely save renters a lot.

Fort Price resident Lyndsay James works as a hairstylist and has been trying to find a brand new place for a number of weeks.

She’s tried a number of condo finding providers apart from Good Metropolis and even expanded her search to incorporate Dallas. However James nonetheless hasn’t been capable of finding housing inside her value vary of lower than $1,000 per thirty days.

“There’s so many individuals trying proper now, I’ve had mates which are having to hire a spot sight unseen,” she mentioned.

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