REISift is a bootstrapped SaaS in the property technology (proptech) world with a mission to help real estate investors scale their business efforts, especially in the realms of sales and marketing. The company was founded by Tyler Austin, an Air Force veteran and real estate investor with a penchant for technology that’s led him to build REISift, a company that sits at the intersection of tech and real estate.
Stats at a glance:
- 1,300 customers driving $220k in monthly recurring revenue
- 100% bootstrapped company reaching profitability in under 2 years
- $2.3m in revenue YTD
These numbers are significant considering the young age of the company. To learn more, Latka sat down with Austin to discuss the progress made thus far at this two-year-old company.
Three-Tiered Monthly Pricing Drives $100 ARPU
REISift’s primary income driver is monthly SaaS revenue, which is divided into three tiers of service.
- $49 Essentials plan (25% of customer base)
- $99 Professional (45-50% of customer base)
- $299 Business (25-35% of customer base)
The lowest-priced Essentials plan has built-in limitations, making it suitable for only the smallest customers. REISift has recently adjusted offerings to push more users to the $99 Professional tier, as is reflected in the current stratification listed above.
These tiers average to a $100 ARPU for REISift across all SaaS customers.
50 Customers and $2500 MRR Before Launch, Thanks to YouTube Campaign
What’s striking about REISift is how quickly the company has gained market share. Austin pre-launched REISift with a YouTube video (and no functioning product) in February 2019. He pulled in 50 customers for $2500 in MRR before launching thanks to the YouTube campaign.
The REISift product itself launched in September 2019, and the company hit a growth catalyst in June 2020 with the launch of a challenge funnel that helped micro SMB customers shift into a more entrepreneurial mindset, according to Austin.
3,000 Clients Have Graduated from the Challenge Funnel Thus Far
REISift implemented a challenge funnel called the Auto Lead Gen Challenge, which brought in customers seeking to get more and better leads. This common problem among SMBs in real estate and home services attracted significant sign-ups. The first week and a half of the challenge, though, focused on how to set up a business — not how to get more leads.
By helping micro SMBs overcome more basic business and entrepreneurial hurdles, REISift positioned them to better benefit from the REISift platform — thus increasing the value of the offering and decreasing churn. The second half of the challenge funnel, then, shows clients how to generate more and better leads through the REISift platform.
The challenge funnel is creating results, not just for REISift, but for its customers. Austin reports that winners of the company’s challenges (now offered monthly) sometimes make as much as $100k from fewer than 10 leads.
1,300 Active Customers driving $140k in SaaS MRR
As of November 2021, REIShift had 1,300 active customers, which drove $140k in MRR from the company’s SaaS tools. The company has enjoyed impressive YOY growth in its two years of existence, as well. In November 2020, SaaS monthly revenue sat at $38k. A year earlier in November 2019, shortly after launch, MRR was just $3k.
80%/20% Shift in the Market
Austin started REISift with a focus on real estate investors, wholesalers who were doing significant outbound marketing direct to homeowners. This original market for the product makes up around 80% of the company’s customer base today, with the remaining 20% representing a shift in the market.
Included in the 20% market share are real estate agents and other home services firms (like roofing companies and others who would typically do high volumes of marketing direct to homeowners).
5% Monthly Churn (60% Annually), But Headed in the Right Direction
At present, REISift sees an average of 5% churn monthly, making an annual churn rate of 60%. While this figure is high in the abstract, Austin believes it makes sense given the nature of the customer base, which contains many micro SMBs with a high willingness to experiment. Not all of these customers will become the high-volume clients that would most benefit from REISift.
Further, churn is heading in the right direction, coming down from 10 to 11 percent monthly to a more manageable 5% rate. Austin also mentions that competing products currently land between nine and 18% monthly churn, putting REISift in a positive position compared to the competition.
100% Bootstrapped on a $30k Personal Investment
Remarkably, REISift is a 100% bootstrapped SaaS company. Tyler Austin invested $30k of his own capital (leftover from a few real estate deals) back in 2019 and grew it from there. He continues to own 100% of the business at this time.
Team of 10, 5 of Whom Are Engineers
REISift remains a lean operation with a team of just 10. Half of the team are engineers, continuing to iterate and build out new features for the platform. The team is split equally between the US and Brazil. Five are employees and five are contractors.
$60k in Expenses per Month on $220k in Revenue
By keeping the team lean, Austin has kept REISift profitable, with just $60k in expenses per month (including compensation, rent, overhead, and so on). Compare that figure to monthly revenue, which was $220k in November 2021. In addition to the $140k in SaaS MRR, the company has several other income streams that helped it reach $220k in total revenue monthly.
Chief among these additional income streams is a credit system and internal marketplace, where paying members can purchase additional resources on a pay-as-you-go model.
All total, REISift is currently profitable by a healthy $160k per month. Asked about the goals for that profit, Austin reports recently giving raises to his entire team, allocating 40% of it for taxes, and distributing the rest.
Zero Marketing Spend to Date
When asked about growth strategies, Austin mentioned the company’s plan to hire a marketing officer in the near term. Despite the tremendous growth thus far, the company hasn’t spent a dime on marketing to date. Growth has been organic, coming via word of mouth within the real estate and home services communities.
Austin also noted growth via Facebook and via Mastermind groups and events that lead to further networking opportunities. With this level of growth without marketing spend, REISift seems well-positioned to experience another growth explosion if the company turns the dial on marketing spend, even slightly.
Asked about Mastermind groups, Austin stated that he’s a part of Software SaaS Academy on the technology side. On the real estate side, he’s created his own.
Future Goals: 2% Revenue Toward Culture and Teambuilding, New Products, More
Other than growing the company further through marketing efforts (as well as current growth avenues), Austin has additional goals both within and outside the company. He plans to hold back 2% of monthly revenue in 2022, money that will go toward culture and teambuilding activities. Other profits are or will be reinvested into team members in the form of equity, raises, and technology funding.
Austin is eager to build more products and services with the current team, though specific plans are not yet public for what these new products will be or look like.
With significant profitability, a small team size, and 100% ownership of his bootstrapped company, Tyler Austin and REISift are well-positioned to continue serving and profiting in the real estate tech sector.