The Cozy Blog

This Post was Published via Bicycle

Written on January 26, 2016 by Matt Greensmith

Our CEO Gino has been getting tired of asking developers to publish his blog posts for him, so we decided that we should build a way for him to publish them himself. Cozy has always been a bicycle-focused company - Gino has a long history of bike racing, his wife Starla is a professional racer, and we regularly have a dozen or more bicycles in the Cozy office.

Last month, on the last day before we left the office for the holidays, the engineering team at Cozy held our first Hack Day. The Hack Day was intended to be an opportunity for our team to put aside our everyday work for a day and collaborate on a quick, fun project. We thought it would be fitting to make a bicycle-powered website publishing tool. And so the Velopsipede was born!

Riding the Velopsipede

This website and blog is the public face of Cozy, and we want it to always be online and looking great. So when we want to make changes such as a new page or blog post, we first publish those changes to a private, internal version of this website. It's really simple for anyone in the company to add a new blog post or edit existing content - even our CEO Gino makes regular site updates. After someone makes a change, we review it on our private version of the site, and then a developer performs a little technical magic and publishes the changes to the public-facing website that you're reading right now.

The goal of the Velopsipede is to enable anyone to take content from our internal version of this site and publish it to the public site without having to do any technical/engineering magic.

Gino loaned us a bicycle and a training stand, and we brought our personal electronics and tool collections to the office. A brainstorming session ensued: how best to connect a bicycle to a computer? We investigated a few options and took a field trip to our local electronics store to see what solutions we could find. We decided to try a magnetic proximity switch, like the ones used by alarm systems to detect when doors and windows open. A magnet attached to a wheel spoke passes by a switch attached to the bike frame, and we can count wheel revolutions.

Hacking

Our team divided and conquered - we wrote code to track a bicycle ride, to publish this marketing site, to take and upload pictures with a webcam, and to interface with connected lights and the wheel sensor. We broke out the soldering iron and modified some blinky lights so that they could be connected to a Raspberry Pi computer. After a full day of building, testing and debugging, we made some edits to the blog, hopped on the bike for a ride, and watched a successful deploy of our website!

A rider can choose a ride of varying length from 1/10th of a km, through 10km (aka Gino distance) all the way up to 100km (aka Starla distance). A progress bar and some blinky lights encourage them during their ride. If they complete the ride, the computer will publish the content from our internal website to the public website. A camera snaps a picture of the rider after their ride, and we post that picture and a summary of their changes to our company Slack. Now that we have the Velopsipede, anyone can publish their own content to the public version of this website, without having to ask a developer to do anything. We met our goal of solving a business problem, and with an added bonus of encouraging the best kind of exercise - a fine bike ride!

We've open-sourced the code behind the Velopsipede, check it out!

The Newest Member of Team Cozy: Josh Riggs

Written on January 15, 2016 by Gino Zahnd

Josh Riggs has joined Team Cozy as our newest Design team member. He comes to Cozy via ThinkShout, where he led Design and UX for all sorts of cool projects. At Cozy, Josh will be heading up design on a number of new products and features launching in 2016. So when you're using the new stuff, be certain Josh's fingerprints are on it.

Josh is @joshriggs on Twitter. Welcome, Josh!

Josh`

We’ve Teamed Up With Realtor.com and Doorsteps to Make Marketing and Tenant Screening Easier Than Ever

Written on December 16, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

Great news! It’s now possible to publish your Cozy listings to Realtor.com and Doorsteps, as well as receive a full rental application, credit report, and background check from every applicant -- all with a single click (or tap!).

As easy as a single checkbox. Like this:

Syndicate Your Listings

A quantum leap in the value of a listing

Built on the Cozy Screening Platform, this new integration is much more than just providing a significant amount of new prospective tenant leads for property managers and landlords (46 million people use Realtor.com and Doorsteps each month!); what really matters is the end-to-end quality. For the first time, customers have the opportunity to receive all the information necessary to make an informed decision about selecting a tenant in a single report, straight from the listing.

And the only work you have to do is select a checkbox. BOOM.

It’s great for tenants, too

Tenants have the confidence that their information is secure and the listings have been through our content assurance protocols – identity protection, privacy and security is baked into the foundation of everything we do. This level of collaboration can only happen with trustworthy information from both tenants and property managers – it’s a huge leap in the quality of the experience for everyone.

Sample Cozy Credit Report

Sample Cozy Credit Report

A continuation of our mission

Teaming up with Realtor.com and Doorsteps is our next big step in delivering peace of mind to property managers, landlords, and renters everywhere. We want to transform you into a property manager who works less, makes smarter decisions, and has more time to focus on life.

Trust is everything

Cozy is committed to earning the trust of every customer who uses our service, and everyone considering us. As a startup (we were founded in March 2012), this new relationship with Move, Inc. (the parent company of Realtor.com and Doorsteps), as well as the National Association of Realtors is a vote of confidence for us, and one we don’t take lightly. We’re proud to be in this position, and we’re excited to help you as you get started with Cozy.

Already a Cozy customer? See it in action

To check out how easy it is to syndicate to Realtor.com and Doorsteps, just go to the Status tab on any of your listings.

Syndicate Your Listings

Note: Full applications from listings syndicated to Doorsteps are available now, and will be available on listings syndicated to Realtor.com in the coming weeks.

Get started with Cozy

Cozy is 100% free for property managers and landlords, so sign up today. We're here to help you get up and running quickly.

New at Cozy: Your Taxes Just Got Easier.

Written on December 09, 2015 by Joe Mudd

Just in time for tax season, we’ve made it easy for Cozy property managers and landlords to export their payment data.

CSV Export

You can now easily export your properties’ income transactions to a spreadsheet file with just a few clicks. From there you can import that file into most major accounting systems, or open and print it directly from any spreadsheet program.

If you have your taxes professionally prepared, you can simply provide this file to your preparer, and you’re finished!

Export Payments

This new payment export feature is easy, free, and instant. If you're already using Cozy to manage your rentals, you can click on the "Export Payment Data" link in the sidebar when you're ready.

If you aren't already using Cozy property management software, sign up today. It's free!

100,000 Served

Written on December 03, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

As of today, 100,000 people have signed up to use Cozy. It was exciting to wake up and see this graph on our Periscope dashboard:

Periscope Dashboard

It's a nice, round milestone, and as of the time I'm writing this, we now have over 36,000 property management companies and independent rental owners using Cozy to run their rental businesses in 8,074 ZIP codes in 4,662 cities across America. That's basically everywhere.

It hasn't been easy

The first time I met Jason Calacanis to show him the Cozy alpha product, he told me, "Your first 1,000 customers will be as hard as your first 10,000, will be as hard as your first 100,000." Because we both knew that our initial target audience (independent rental owners) was a fragmented bunch that historically have been hard to get in front of, we recognized that challenge, and have made great strides to overcome it with clever, inexpensive customer acquisition, impeccable customer support, and a constantly evolving product that is ever more tailored and polished. We still have a long way to go.

New to us: The Professionals

Our independent rental owners and residents marketplace continues to grow, and perhaps most exciting is that every week we're seeing more and more professional property managers (a new audience to us!) signing up to use Cozy to manage larger and larger rental portfolios. A quickly growing number of our customers manage hundreds of units, and that's a big evolution for Cozy, and how we think about our roadmap.

What's next?

Our customer base has grown nearly 400% this year. Our payment volume has grown over 5,000%. It feels good for the team to be able to take a second and reflect on these milestones, but we're all aware that we're really just getting started, and the biggest opportunities lie ahead. We'll continue to serve the awesome people that have gotten us this far, but we have a lot in store for the Pros, and residents as well. Everyone that uses Cozy is our customer. There are so many exciting announcements and launches around the corner!

Thanks for joining us on this ride so far. Now, let's get this thing to 1,000,000.

Invite a property manager or landlord. (And remind them Cozy is free!)

Faster Payments by Credit and Debit Cards Now Available

Written on November 24, 2015 by Chris Rivard

Are you a renter who uses Cozy, or wishes you did? Well, we have some great news for you: now you can pay your rent with a debit or credit card. Invite your landlord today so you can.

Payments by credit or debit cards will deposit to your landlord’s bank account within 1-2 business days, compared with 5 business days for ACH bank transfers. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and JCB cards are accepted.

pay rent credit card mobile

Renters can switch all their recurring rent payments over to their cards, or continue paying monthly rent from a bank account and use their card only when they need to make a one-time payment ASAP.

pay rent credit card debit card

It’s still completely free for landlords to accept payments by any method, and tenants who pay by credit or debit card will pay a small transaction fee (2.75% per transaction).

If you're a landlord looking to offer more flexible payment options to your tenants, sign up today to collect rent online for free.

Realtors: Take the Mystery Out of Managing Rentals. Your Clients Will Thank You.

Written on November 19, 2015 by Joe Mudnich

We’re launching a new partner program for real estate brokers and agents: free resources you can provide to your clients who manage — or might want to manage — their own rental properties. With Cozy, it’s never been easier.

If you help your clients stay on top of their current rental properties, they’ll be more likely to call you when thinking about growing their real estate portfolio.

Sign up for free as a Cozy partner today and we’ll work with you to produce free, co-branded marketing materials, including a landing page for your brokerage or agency, to help you strengthen your connection with your clients.

We’ll provide you with practical resources to share with clients to help them master every step of the rental lifecycle, from marketing and applicant screening to tenant onboarding and rent collection. Access free monthly content for your newsletter, with informative tips about real estate investing and smart property management.

And best of all, your clients will have access to Cozy’s free online services for marketing their rentals, screening applicants and collecting rent, along with a dedicated channel for expedited support requests.

Sign up as a Cozy partner (it’s free).

New Mobile Cozy Lets You Manage and Market Your Properties Like a Pro, From Anywhere

Written on November 12, 2015 by Chris Rivard

We’ve been rebuilding Cozy from the ground up to work even better for landlords and property managers. With our latest release, we’re thrilled to introduce some new features and long-awaited improvements.

The old dashboard has been replaced with a new, 100% mobile-friendly interface so you can now manage all aspects of your Cozy account from any mobile device with an Internet connection. It’s about time, and we couldn’t be happier about it!

Easier Property Creation

We’ve also simplified the steps for adding a property, so you can get right to business. From the new dashboard, just type the address, upload an optional photo, and then right away you’re ready to request payments from current or incoming renters, or to create a listing.

rental property online

Expanded Listings Page

The Cozy Apply link has been transformed into a complete property listing, making it a powerful marketing tool for attracting more high-quality applicants. Now you can give your property a name — not just a number — describe it in detail, and showcase it with a photo gallery. List all the amenities, set your pet policy and your screening requirements. Once you activate your listing, you can share the Apply link everywhere you advertise your available rentals. Listings let you give prospective applicants a reason to want to call your property home.

rental listings

And there’s still no cost for landlords or property managers — no charge to accept applications, no charge to screen applicants, and no charge to collect rent.

With these new features and now full support for mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to manage your properties with Cozy. If you haven’t tried the best property management software around, now’s the time. Sign up in seconds, for free.

Screening Tenants from Your Mobile Phone

Written on October 22, 2015 by Ravi Dehar

You can run credit reports and background/eviction checks on your potential tenants right from your phone! If you run credit reports and background checks regularly, I'd recommend adding a shortcut to make it even easier. Here's how:

iPhone/iOS

  1. From Safari, visit our screening tools page at https://home.cozy.co/screening-tools/request-reports/.

  2. Click the share button at the bottom of your screen (it's the box with the arrow pointing out of it). Then click the button to "Add to Home Screen." You'll be prompted to pick a name for the shortcut, and then you'll see a direct link appear on your home screen. That's it!

tenant screening ios

Android

  1. From Chrome, visit our screening tools page at https://home.cozy.co/screening-tools/request-reports/.

  2. Click the three dots in the top-right corner, in the address bar. Then click the button to "Add to Home screen." You'll be prompted to pick a name for the shortcut, and then you'll see the Cozy logo appear on your home screen.

tenant screening android

Next time you need to run a credit report or background check and you aren't in front of your computer, just click the Cozy icon, and you'll be just a few taps away from requesting the reports you need. Once your prospective tenant verifies their identity, you'll receive copies of our mobile-friendly tenant screening reports.

mobile tenant screening

As always, Cozy tenant credit reports or background and eviction checks are completely free for landlords and property managers, and just $19.95 each (or $34.95 for both) for rental applicants. Try Cozy tenant screening today!

The Newest Member of Team Cozy: Patricia Iorg

Written on October 05, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

Patricia has joined Team Cozy as our Office Manager and Executive Assistant! She recently moved to Portland after many years at Splunk, leading up to and beyond their IPO. A Jill of all trades with a deep background in Management & Operations, she handles just about everything behind the scenes that keeps Cozy running. If you work with us, you'll work with PJ.

Welcome, PJ!

Patricia Iorg`