Philipp Postrehovsky | Zenbase COO, Author at Zenbase
Philipp Postrehovsky | Zenbase COO

Source: Business Wire

Calgary, AB – Zenbase, a leader in flexible split rent payments, today announced a partnership with Avenue Living Communities Ltd. (“ALC”) to deliver its rent payment service to Avenue Living’s 14,000+ apartments and townhomes across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This service, which allows residents to pay their rent on a schedule that better suits their income cycle, can offer some relief at a time when inflation is pushing household budgets to their limits.

“We’re always looking for ways to address what’s most important to our residents,” says Anthony Giuffre, Founder and CEO of Avenue Living Group. “We know how important the social aspect of our Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance commitments are, and we’re continuing to support our residents with compassionate options to help address their day-to-day challenges.”

Koray Can Oztekin, CEO and Founder of Zenbase agrees. “Our company partners with like-minded property management organizations who want to improve the financial health of their residents while at the same time increase on-time rent collections and eliminate operational overhead. ALC has fully leveraged the benefit of our solution, delivering financial relief and flexibility to thousands of Canadian renters.” 

As inflation and interest rates both rise, Canadians are being challenged with various costs, such as food, gas, and rent. Amidst these struggles, Canadians are actively seeking financial flexibility from different service providers. Single-payment plans, locked-in schedules, and late fees continue to be a significant stressor for many renters. Zenbase offers an automated solution that aims to put an end to the key challenges around rent payment. The company’s core financial product enables flexible rent payments, allowing residents to split their monthly rent into smaller installments within a month.

Zenbase has benefits for property owners, as well, helping ensure guaranteed rent payments and reducing the time spent on rent collection. This partnership with ALC, the fastest growing multi-family housing owner-operator in Western Canada, has the potential to reduce late rent payments by over 27 per cent while driving a positive resident experience and supporting them during difficult times. 

“Zenbase is a fantastic technology solution that allows us to be more efficient on the back-end while at the same time, empowering our residents to be in control of their financial situation,” says Giuffre. “Zenbase has become an integral part of our operations and the platform delivers on our commitment to create a superior customer experience for our residents — one that provides flexible options and peace of mind.”

About Zenbase

Zenbase, a leader in flexible rent payments, is committed to economic inclusion that fosters financial empowerment for renters. Zenbase’s solutions improve the financial wellness of renters while improving operational efficiency for property managers. Rent is usually due on the first of the month but that doesn’t align with most people’s bi-monthly pay cycle. Zenbase addresses that misalignment and provides other financial tools to help level the playing field. Learn more: https://myzenbase.com/

About Avenue Living 

Founded on the principle of investing in the everyday, Avenue Living focuses on opportunities that are often overlooked by others, having grown to over $3.7 billion in aggregate assets under management across four private real estate investment mandates. The Avenue Living team includes over 750 professionals with expertise in real estate operations, property management, and asset management to support Avenue Living’s growing portfolio. In addition to over 14,400 multi-family units located in Canada and the United States, Avenue Living and its related entities own over 496,500 square feet of commercial space, 82,827 acres of productive farmland, and more than three (3) million square feet of self-storage space. Learn more: avenuelivingam.com/  

Source: Business Wire

Calgary, AB – Zenbase, a leader in flexible rent payments, today announced that it has secured $4.1 million in seed funding led by Global Founders Capital. With this seed round, Zenbase will expand beyond Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, into Ontario, British Columbia and the Maritimes. 

Zenbase enables the most flexible rent payments ever and delivers rent day bliss on the first of the month by allowing residents to split their monthly rent payments. They can pay on a personalized rent payment schedule reducing their financial stress and improving resident satisfaction. Zenbase partners with property management companies to increase on-time rent collections and eliminate operational overhead.

Global Founders Capital (GFC) led the funding with other investors contributing, including Garage Capital and N49P. 

Since Zenbase launched, it has saved more than $700 at an annualized rate per resident by having them avoid overdraft and late fees. In addition to the rent product, more than 40% of Zenbase members have also used its fee-free cash advance service to cover utilities, groceries and gas.

Koray Can Oztekin, CEO and Founder of Zenbase, said: “It’s expensive to be poor with late rent payments costing a resident as high as $150 each time. We are leveling the playing field by giving Canadians the flexibility that they need without getting penalized. We pay a resident’s rent in full on the first of the month, eliminating late rent payments for property managers. The resident then has 30 days to complete their rent payments with us and can align them with their paydays if they like. It’s a win:win for the residents and property managers.”

Alexander Mcisaac, Partner, Global Founders Capital, said: “More than 50% of Canadians are living paycheck to paycheck and housing stability is crucial for them to achieve financial health. Zenbase delivers financial solutions to these communities helping tenants save money and increase financial security. Following a nationwide increase in the cost of living and rent hikes, their platform is more needed than ever.”

About Zenbase

Zenbase, a leader in flexible rent payments, is committed to economic inclusion that fosters financial empowerment for renters. Our solutions improve the financial wellness of renters while improving operational efficiency for property managers. Rent is usually due on the 1st of the month but that doesn’t align with most people’s bi-monthly pay cycle. We’ve fixed that misalignment and provide other financial tools to help level the playing field. 

Interview with Koray Can Oztekin

Q: Koray what’s the 20 second booth pitch and how are you different from other rent payment platforms?
A: BNPL for rent. We’re a flexible rent payment platform that eliminates late payments. Residents can pay as much as $150 for late payments and landlords can lose a good chunk of their margins because of the operational cost of managing late payments. We are fixing this by covering the residents on the first of the month and receiving their rent in smaller payments when they get paid.

Q: Ok, well, talk to us about the financial health of residents and why that’s important?
A: 25% of the renting families are in core housing need and more than 50% of the renting households are living paycheck to paycheck. These folks are vulnerable to life events: loss of employment, reduced hours, unexpected health issues. So they don’t always get to make their biggest expense, rent, during that time.
When this happens they don’t have good options to turn to:
1) predatory lenders or
2) deal with overdrafts, late fees in case of rent.
This further worsens their financial health leading to repeat late rent payments and potentially to eviction. Good people shouldn’t have to leave and we’d love to work with landlords to take care of the financial health of their residents.

Q: So, coming out from all the government mandates and now into high inflation our industry is being negatively affected – Koray, what late payment trends are you seeing these days?
A: As the number of families in core housing need increases, we are seeing an increase in late payments as well. Given a more risk averse credit environment, we are seeing a reduced number of options for the residents to catch up on their rent payments. Because of this we are seeing a greater operational overhead to manage late payments while straining the relationship with the residents.

Q: Alright – how much can a late payment cost a tenant?
A: Insanely high, things can really add up. With pandemic pre-authorized debit became the most common payment method. This means greater risk of bank overdraft fees that can be as high as $48. On top of that landlords can charge between $50-$100 overdrafts fees. When you add late fees on top of that one can pay as high $150 for an average of $1,200 rent.

Q: Well, now that rents are finally increasing – are you seeing any groups disproportionately affected – and how can property managers maintain on time rent payments during these transitioning times?
A: Visible minority groups are almost twice as likely to be in core housing need. To help their communities it is now more important than ever to offer flexible payment solutions that match the cashflow timing of their residents.

Q: Before we go is there anything else you’d like to mention?
A: Financially healthier residents create happier and healthier communities. So housing affordability issue is a healthcare issue as well: low-income unstable household is 2X more likely to be in fair or poor health than those in stable housing, and almost 3X more likely to report depressive symptoms. I think we are all responsible for taking care of our communities.

We’re looking forward to meeting our partners in Toronto at the annual CFAA Rental Housing Conference and discussing how Zenbase’s flexible rent payments can help your communities stay current on their rent and eliminate late payments.

Our discussion couldn’t be more timely!

Rents are increasing across the nation led by Vancouver (23%) and Toronto (11%). Inflationary pressure is making it harder for landlords to keep the rents at the same level. In 2021 more than 40% of residents had at least one delinquent rent payment in a 6 month period. With rents increasing and wages not keeping up, things will only get worse.

Visible minorities in Canada are almost twice as likely to be in a core housing need (spending more than 30% of income on rent) compared to non-visible minority groups. The housing crisis is also a health crisis: a low-income, unstable household is 2X more likely to be in fair or poor health than those in stable housing, and almost 3X more likely to report depressive symptoms.

We started Zenbase to bring peace of mind on rent day for our members and partners. Our platform saves residents more than $700 a year by avoiding late fees and overdrafts while increasing on time payments by 29% thus reducing the operational overhead of our partners.

Let’s connect at the the CFAA Rental Housing Conference and help your communities take control of their mission critical household expenses and get one step closer to financial health. You can also learn more about flexible rent payments here.

Source: Canadian Lenders Association Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Lenders Association (CLA) is pleased to welcome Zenbase as a new member. Zenbase is a company committed to economic inclusion in order to foster financial empowerment for renters. Its solutions improve the financial wellness of renters while improving operational efficiency for property managers. Zenbase was founded with the vision of becoming a trusted partner in managing household finances while eliminating late fees and predatory financing.

“We are thrilled to welcome Zenbase into the Canadian Lenders Association and look forward to integrating them into the CLA’s Roundtables and webinars.” says Gary Schwartz, President of the CLA. “Zenbase offers a vital service for Canadians, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.”  

In a time in which more Canadians are struggling to meet rent payments and there’s a housing crunch in major cities, socially responsible finance has never mattered more. Currently operating across Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, soon, Zenbase plans to expand into Ontario and British Columbia. 

“Zenbase and the CLA share similar objectives. We are both committed to growing financial literacy and promoting financial empowerment through responsible lending. We look forward to working with industry leaders to develop unique partnership opportunities and provide hard working Canadians a better solution to manage their largest monthly expense: rent.” says Philipp Postrehovsky, COO at Zenbase. 

Rent is usually due on the 1st of the month, but that doesn’t align with most people’s bi-monthly pay cycle. Zenbase has fixed that misalignment and provides other financial tools to help level the playing field. Since Zenbase launched, it has saved more than $700 at an annualized rate per resident by avoiding late fees and overdraft fees, and growing its active renters by more than 50% MoM. In addition to the rent product, more than 40% of our members are also using its fee-free cash advance service to cover their utilities, groceries and gas.

Zenbase’s mission is to ensure that no one is ever behind on their rent payments or gets evicted. Zenbase also offers other financial solutions that empower users to better navigate financial challenges that life may throw at them.

About Zenbase

Our mission is to ensure that no one is ever behind on their rent payments or gets evicted. Our solution enables the affordability of the primary need of every person, housing, which is why we built a solution that offers the most flexible rent payments ever. We also offer other financial solutions that empower users to better navigate financial challenges that life may throw at them.

About Canadian Lenders Association

The Canadian Lenders Association supports the growth of companies that are in the business of lending, or providing other means of credit, to small businesses and individuals by non-conventional or innovative means to exchange ideas and explore ways of improving the sector; encourage principled and professional practices by Innovative Lenders; educate the public at large about Innovative Lending; encourage individual potential borrowers to be informed about the appropriateness of Innovative Lending to the borrowers’ circumstance; and to advocate on behalf of, and represent the interests of Innovative Lenders.

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