Property management meets artificial intelligence

Startup harnesses AI to manage multi-owner, multi-use residential projects

Joseph Nakhla, CEO of Tribe Property Technologies | Submitted

A Vancouver startup could upend the property management industry with new technology that the founder says is needed in an increasingly complicated real estate industry.

Joseph Nakhla, founder and CEO of Tribe Property Technologies (TSX-V:TRBE), says his company has taken property management technology to the next level.

Using a mix of off-the-shelf and proprietary technology, Tribe provides residential strata corporations, landlords, investors, owners and tenants with an integrated digital platform that uses artificial intelligence to streamline information and communication on everything from property acquisitions to booking a strata’s yoga class.

“Tribe is a one-stop shop for developers, residents and property managers,” Nakhla said.

Founded in 2017, Tribe bought Gateway Property Management in December 2020. The acquisition made it Canada’s sixth largest condo management company and sixth largest rental management company.

In all, the company has contracts representing about 40,000 homes across Canada.

Tribe is anchored online. Using secure access, the landlord of a 100-unit rental building, for instance, could check which tenants are paid up, who is behind in rent payments, track rental incomes and flows and check on any complaints.

Landlords can use the Tribe platform to advertise a rental and provide rental forms.

It can also run credit checks and “social checks” on potential tenants and then have a rental agreement signed digitally.

Rental payments can also he made through the Tribe platform and digitally deposited in the landlord’s account.

In a condominium strata building, the property manager would have access to all the strata minutes, a tally on fee payments and all other information pertinent to the property.

Individual owners could also access Tribe information on any strata rules or changes, handle disputes and get updated information on upcoming events in the strata community.

With the rise in condominiums being rented – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. estimates there are 69,000 rental condos in Metro Vancouver alone – Tribe could be especially helpful to investors, Nakhla said.

It would give remote owners immediate access to rent collection, allow them to advertise a condo for rent and keep them abreast of all strata information in the building.

Nakhla noted that the ability of owners to immediately download all strata minutes would be a major time saver when it came time to buy or sell a condo.

With new strata buildings, all of the development information would also be available for property managers and individual buyers, right down to the serial number of appliances, he added.

While focused on the residential sector, Tribe is involved with about one million square feet of commercial property, according to Nakhla, because many residential strata and rental buildings include a mix of commercial space, including ground floor retail that can be either strata or rental.

“We don’t deal with pure commercial or industrial property at this time,” he said.

But Nakhla added that, Tribe, which raised more than $13 million in its latest cycle and has a $70 million market cap, is looking at expansion into the commercial market. •