$0 to +$1M ARR: Ben Keller’s Journey to Grow Propify into the Go-To API for PropTech Startups
In a recent enlightening episode of our podcast, we had the pleasure of hosting Ben Keller, founder of Propify. He brings an intriguing blend of technological innovation and real estate acumen to the table.
His journey from conceptualizing Propify to scaling it into a go-to API for Proptech startups is an entrepreneurial success and also a roadmap for aspiring innovators.
In this episode, he takes us through the highs and lows of making this vision a reality. Stay tuned as we unpack the insights from a journey from $0 to over $1M ARR, and the promise of transforming the real estate technology landscape.
Who is Ben Keller?
Meet Ben Keller, founder of Propify. Ben’s expertise stems from his extensive experience at HubSpot, where he played a pivotal role as a product manager, honing his skills in creating customer-centric solutions.
Propify, his brainchild, emerges from this rich background, aiming to revolutionize the real estate sector by bridging the gap between property management software systems and their users. Propify aims to make real estate transactions more efficient, transparent, and user-friendly.
Follow Ben on LinkedIn to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.
Summary of the Podcast
Propify’s Mission and Industry Integration
Timestamp: [00:01 – 02:45]
Ben Keller discusses how Propify addresses a significant challenge in the real estate industry by enabling companies to integrate with property management software systems. He compares Propify’s solution to similar innovations in fintech and healthcare, emphasizing its uniqueness in catering to both startups and large companies. Keller outlines the data involved in these systems, including tenant, lease, and property details, which are crucial for maintenance and service provision.
Propify’s Founding Story and Vision
Timestamp: [02:45 – 05:33]
Keller shares Propify’s journey, starting with its focus on Independent landlords in the payment space. He details the pivot to addressing integration challenges with property management systems, inspired by the obstacles faced during product development. Keller highlights the importance of this core infrastructure in proptech, drawing parallels with fintech.
Experience in Y Combinator and Growth Strategy
Timestamp: [05:33 – 09:36]
Discussing Propify’s experience in Y Combinator, Keller reflects on the intensive, growth-focused environment that helped refine their business model. He stresses the importance of product-market fit, sales, and customer feedback. Keller also talks about the company’s goal of reaching $1.2 million in ARR and maintaining sustainable growth without excessive VC funding.
Client Acquisition and Industry Engagement
Timestamp: [13:01 – 16:15]
Keller describes Propify’s client acquisition strategies, including cold outbound to potential clients and leveraging LinkedIn for visibility and indirect outreach. He emphasizes the significance of industry conferences for networking with property managers and proptech companies.
Lessons from Product Management to Founder
Timestamp: [17:21 – 18:22]
Drawing from his experience as a product manager at HubSpot, Keller shares insights on internal communication, prioritization, and adapting to the role of a founder. He highlights the need to be comfortable with diverse responsibilities and the importance of clear vision communication.
Decision Making as a Founder and Family Support
Timestamp: [19:41 – 20:14]
Keller talks about the personal and familial considerations in becoming a founder, including financial planning and support from spouses. He advises younger entrepreneurs to seize opportunities for learning and growth in founding a company.
Future Vision for Propify
Timestamp: [20:48 – 21:23]
Keller outlines Propify’s long-term vision, aiming to revolutionize the real estate industry by facilitating access to rich data and elevating proptech. He envisions Propify as a catalyst for companies to innovate and sell products in the real estate market.
This podcast episode with Ben Keller is filled with insights for anyone interested in Proptech, entrepreneurship, or innovation at large. Ben’s journey with Propify highlights the essence of identifying a gap in the market and ingeniously filling it. His experience at Y Combinator, the strategic pivots, and the relentless focus on customer needs are lessons in building a successful startup.
What makes this episode a must-listen is not just the story of Propify’s growth but the larger narrative of how technology is reshaping traditional industries. We encourage you to listen to the full episode for a deeper dive into Ben Keller’s entrepreneurial journey and Propify’s mission to revolutionize real estate technology.