The Cozy Blog

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`

New Cozy Payments: Joint and Several Liability

Written on October 01, 2015 by Ravi Dehar

Joint and several liability, as it applies to rental leases, means that each lessee is responsible for the full rent amount, no matter how they choose to divide rent among themselves. In order to create joint and several liability between tenants, it must be established contractually, in a signed lease agreement, or by existing county or state laws.

Let's say there's an apartment with a total rent of $2000, which is split evenly between two roommates. If one roommate pays their share but the other doesn't, they're both still liable for the remaining amount due.

With the improvements to Cozy payments we announced last week, we've started sending individual payments to landlords and property managers, rather than one payment per month. This change allows some extra flexbility. Renters can now make one-time payments, and choose any day of the month to make their rent payment. Soon, residents will also be able to make payments via debit or credit card, and those payments won't be held up by roommates who may choose to pay via bank transfer.

It's important to note that, in these cases, Cozy serves as a payments processor. You still retain complete control over your lease terms, and its enforcement. Whether or not a landlord accepts partial payments has no impact on joint and severally liability if it has been established in the lease.

If you aren't using Cozy to collect rent yet, give it a try! It's now the most flexible (and free!) payments system for landlords, property managers, and their tenants.

Problems Collecting Rent with Deposit Slips

Written on September 25, 2015 by Ravi Dehar

A lot of landlords and property managers we’ve talked to over the years still collect their rent payments by providing their tenants with deposit slips so they can deposit the rent every month directly. It’s a surprisingly popular method, but one with a few inherent security flaws.

You’re Exposing Your Bank Account Information

Deposit slips, naturally, include your bank account information — so the money gets deposited in the right account. But that also means your tenants (and others) now have your bank account number and routing number, which is a potential security risk.

You Might Not Be Able to Evict a Problem Tenant

Giving tenants deposit slips means they can make partial payments. While that’s normally not a problem, if you begin the eviction process on a resident, they can potentially delay it by paying even a dollar. (Of course, you can also hedge your bets against a problem tenant by using Cozy to screen tenants!)

How You Should Collect Rent Instead

Collecting rent online is your most secure option. Cozy, even though it’s free, maintains bank-level security and 128-bit encryption. Your residents will never see or have access to your bank account details, and you can stop a partial payment at any time. If you haven’t yet, give Cozy’s free tenant screening and online rent collection a try. It won’t cost you anything, and signing up takes just a minute.

Introducing New Payments and Lease Management

Written on September 22, 2015 by Chris Rivard

Today we released a major update to payments and lease management. Incorporating feedback from our customer advisory board and working closely with the customer experience team here at Cozy, we set out to update the experience of Cozy for landlords to make it more flexible to collect payments and to greatly improve control over all details of the lease term.

Here's a quick, two-minute walk-through of the new payments ledger:

View the New Cozy Payments Walk-Through on Vimeo

We're excited to finally release these updates to our customers and, as always, we welcome your comments and feedback. Here is what you'll find in the latest release of Cozy for landlords:

Flexible Payment Dates

Rent can now be paid on any day of the month, instead of just the first five days. Tenants may want to adjust their rent payment date to be sure they're always on time, regardless of bank holidays.

One-time payments

One-time Charges and Payments

Landlords or property managers can now request one-time payments through Cozy, for things like utility bills or late fees. Tenants can also submit one-time payments directly to their landlords.

One-time payments

Each Tenant Pays Separately

In the past, payments didn't process until all tenants were set up and ready to make a payment. Going forward, each tenant's payment will process as soon as it's ready, so landlords will receive one payment per tenant rather than per unit.

Ability to Update Lease Terms in Cozy

Landlords can now change their rent due date, update lease dates, and end their leases all from within their account.

Over the the next two months, we'll be continuing to release the updated landlord experience with a better property creation experience and improved applicant management features. Before the year is out, we'll expand payment options to include credit and debit cards. Stay tuned for a preview of those upcoming features.

If you haven't signed up to collect rent — and now utilities, late fees, and much more — with Cozy, for free, there's never been a better time to start.

The Newest Member of Team Cozy: Jessica Engel

Written on September 17, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

We'd like to welcome Jessica Engel to Team Cozy, and more specifically our Engineering team. Jessica joins us from SBI, where she was a development intern.

Her focus at Cozy will start in our Customer Support and internal tools crew. So, when you need help with support tickets, it's likely she'll be the person behind the curtain helping to make things right.

Welcome, Jessica!

Jessica Engel`

Better Free Online Rent Payments, Now with Late Fees & Utility Payments

Written on September 14, 2015 by Chris Rivard

Early next week we’re rolling out improvements to payments in Cozy. As we mentioned in our June blog post, we’ve been hard at work updating the underlying foundation of our payments platform and based on research and feedback from customers participating in our advisory board, we’re rolling out a host of new features for Cozy Payments.

Landlords and property managers have been awaiting these updates for quite some time. Thank you for your patience!

Features and improvements that will be available next week:

  • Landlords can now update all details of their leases, as well as terminate them.
  • Support for multiple deposit accounts.
  • Redesigned lease summary view to clearly view lease details.

Edit Lease Dates

One-time Charges

As a landlord or property manager, you can now request a payment at any time during the lease term by creating a single-time charge on the ledger. This makes managing charges to your tenant simple and easy. If you need to request payment for a repair or a utility bill, you can now do that. Payments, charges and balances will be visible in the redesigned payment ledger.

One Time Charges

  • Landlords can add a charge to their tenant’s lease.
  • Tenants will receive an email notification that a charge has been requested.
  • After the payment has been made, the landlord’s ledger will reflect the payment and current balance.

Redesigned Ledger

The redesigned ledger provides a comprehensive view and current snapshot of all transactions that have occurred within a lease term. The addition of one-time payments expands the possibilities that transactions will occur at any time during the lease - these transactions will be captured in the new payments ledger. The Cozy ledger will maintain a balance of the financials including rent payments and one-time payments. Landlords and tenants will now see both charges and payments in the new Cozy ledger.

Redesigned Ledger

As we move quickly toward the end of 2015, we’ll continue to fine-tune Cozy for Landlords and build all features to be mobile-friendly.

If you haven't already, collect rent online for free with Cozy.

September Strides: Recently Launched @ Cozy

Written on September 11, 2015 by Ravi Dehar

Good news for tenants
with a new job and moving.
Apps now handle that.

In the rental application, it's now easier to add a job that hasn't started yet.

New landlords, rejoice.
Now adding a property is
one click closer too.

It's easier than ever for new landlords to add their first property to Cozy.

Verifying your bank
account is much easier now.
Cheers for simplicity!

We've clarified the language of some bank account verification questions.

Whether you're collecting rent or screening tenants, it's never been a better time to try Cozy's free property management software.

The Newest Member of Team Cozy: Omid Ashtari

Written on September 09, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

This week Omid Ashtari joined Team Cozy as VP of Strategy & Operations. We’re fired up to have him on board!

Before joining Cozy, Omid led a number of programs up to and through Twitter’s IPO. He was the first person Twitter hired in Los Angeles, and he spearheaded the establishment of talent relationships within their media, entertainment, sports, and music verticals. After the US businesses were smoothly running, he shifted into the Strategy & Operations team in San Francisco to help bring efficiency to the global media team, to make sure things were operating well around the world.

We’re excited about Omid’s radically different experience from anyone else at Cozy or the real estate industry, and the new perspectives he brings to the team.

Welcome, Omid! He is @omid on Twitter. Say hi!

Omid Ashtari`

The Newest Members of Team Cozy

Written on September 02, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

Our roster increased significantly the past few weeks, and it’s time to introduce the newest Cozyans. From left to right, we have Joshua Skinner, Crys Rosa-Baker, and Aaron Payne.

Aaron, Crys, and Joshua`

Joshua has joined our engineering team, and moved to Portland all the way from Tallahassee, Florida. Joshua comes to us from Auto Data Direct, where he built and managed TOW123, an app used by towing companies to manage their dispatch and service operations.

Crys joins our Support crew from Telelanguage in Portland. If you're a Cozy customer, you'll almost certainly interact with her at some point if you need our help.

Aaron joins our engineering team from Adobe in San Francisco. Aaron found his way to Adobe because Context Optional, where he was a Senior Platform Developer, was acquired. Before that, he was a developer at the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, which was his final post in a long line of marine/oceanographic-related software gigs. Neat, right?

Welcome, new Cozyans!

Our Next Steps

Written on September 01, 2015 by Gino Zahnd

Today we announced that we raised a small funding round, which will allow Team Cozy to stay focused on several big goals. We've faced some massive challenges since we raised our Series A round back in 2013. We've overcome all of them, found our footing, and are growing quickly heading into our best year yet.

For those of you who have been following Cozy for a while, you may remember that we changed our pricing model a year ago. Since making that change our revenue has grown 65x, and by the end of 2015 it will be over 100x where we were at that point. Our customer base has grown by 500 percent in those same 12 months, and we're now used by tens of thousands of property management companies and independent landlords in 4,000 cities around the country. That's every urban area, every suburb, every college town, and many places in between.

We'll be using this next infusion to grow our team in Portland, increase our product development velocity and customer support speed, forge new partnerships, and do what we've always done: make beautiful, innovative products that really do improve people's lives.

It's great to have the continued backing of our teams at General Catalyst and Social+Capital Partnership. Likewise, we're excited to have some Grade A additions to our investment/advisory team, including Stewart Butterfield (co-founder of Slack and Flickr), Erik Swan (co-founder/CTO of Splunk), Jason Calacanis (Launch, Inside) Christian Reber (co-founder and CEO of Wunderlist), and Dino Vendetti (founder at Seven Peaks Ventures).

We've never been a company to celebrate fundraising - we see venture capital as a means to pursuing value creation in innovative ways that we know can change the world. But as with each previous funding round, it's also necessary to recognize that we wouldn't be here without the hard work of every single Cozyan, and every single Cozy customer. So, thanks for believing in our vision and being down for the cause, and thanks for using Cozy.