Renter-centric leasing platform launched productivity-enhancing communications features using Nylas Connectivity APIs for email and calendar
How does a leasing platform for property managers, owners, landlords and tenants revolutionize the multifamily industry?
Funnel partnered with Nylas to transform the leasing experience by adding native email and calendar functionality to their real estate CRM. With only two developers, the Funnel team integrated with Gmail, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange to turn their CRM into a productivity powerhouse for landlords and renters.
Funnel serves property managers, owners and landlords at leading real estate firms including Cortland, Essex Property Trust, Madera Residential, Related, and more. Known for providing a simple, seamless and personalized apartment rental experience, the Funnel platform automates the entire leasing funnel by ensuring prospects are aware of units, guiding renters through the leasing experience, and quickly converting leads to residents. Funnel is reimagining the leasing experience from start to finish with advanced AI-powered features like Syndication, Lead Management, and Reporting.
By solving common but costly challenges like managing rental listings, updating lead records, scheduling tours, Funnel has become the must-have leasing agent tool. For visionary co-founder and Chairwoman, Caren Maio, delivering the status quo wasn’t enough. She and her team aspired to transform the antiquated, stressful process of finding a home into an enjoyable experience.
Driven by their renter-centric values, the Funnel team was on a mission to curate a seamless, simple, and personalized leasing journey. They recognized an opportunity to solve this challenge by integrating silos, automating manual tasks, and reserving talent resources for meaningful interactions with residents. But, they needed a secure, reliable way to sync users’ email, calendar, and contact data into, Engage– the Funnel CRM.
Building these core integrations in-house didn’t serve Funnel’s strategic plan of bringing innovative leasing features to market quickly. They needed a solution that removed the complexity of integrating with all of the email service providers their landlords used so they could accelerate the development of unique features that simplify and accelerate the leasing process.
The Funnel team knew that building an in-house integration with just one provider, such as Microsoft, would be costly, time consuming, and complicated. Ben Rubin, Chief Product Officer at Funnel, said, “Our vision was to provide our clients with a single communication stream between them and their customers. Every phone call, SMS, email, and live chat in one stream. We needed a partner to help us do that natively with Outlook and Google. We were also looking for a calendar sync for appointment scheduling Nylas offered that too.”
A secure API integration for native email, calendar, and contacts functionality
The Funnel team took an innovative and renter-driven approach to researching a connectivity solution. After examining the comprehensive Nylas email, calendar, and contacts documentation and learning about the enterprise-grade security features, they were confident that Nylas met Funnel’s standard of excellence for performance, reliability, security, and ease of use.
With Nylas providing best-in-class security for every API call, Funnel knew they could protect renter data while delivering a seamless leasing experience. Most critically, the Nylas Email API gave Funnel the ability to integrate with a single point of integration to all the email providers their customers used, including Gmail, Office 365, and Microsoft Exchange. By doing so, they can now allow leasing agents to easily communicate with renters from within the Funnel CRM and ensure 99% email deliverability by bypassing proxy servers and avoiding SPAM filters.
“Nylas accelerated our timelines for moving forward because they provided a clear solution to meet our challenges. We were able to springboard out of the vision stage and dive into the execution sprint.” -Ben Rubin, Chief Product Officer at Funnel
Accelerating the leasing funnel with a frictionless CRM experience
Funnel makes it easy for new customers to onboard, starting with a simple and secure user authentication flow powered by Nylas. Once a Funnel user is authenticated, the Nylas APIs sync existing data from their users’ email, calendar, and contacts directly into the Funnel CRM. From within their platform, Funnel facilitates an intuitive and contextual leasing experience that displays the full history of conversations between agents and renters in one place.
Bi-directional sync allows emails sent via Funnel to appear in the agent’s regular email inbox, and emails sent from the agent’s email client appear automatically in the Funnel CRM. By presenting messages and contact interaction history within the CRM, Funnel helps prevent context switching between the CRM, the email inbox, and other integrated systems. Now each agent can manage the entire relationship without leaving the Funnel platform.
The ability to present all of a prospective renter’s interactions at a glance while including important conversational context is an invaluable tool that prevents constant toggling between applications. The Nylas APIs abstract that complexity away.
Integrating with the Nylas APIs also prevents Funnel clients from wasting time on updating contact records in two different places. The Nylas Contacts API automatically updates profile information like profile pictures, phone numbers, and email addresses based on data from the latest email exchanges. Agents can simply access a contact’s data from within the Funnel platform to better engage with prospective renters.
Streamlining scheduling for shorter leasing cycles
Scheduling tours is a critical part of leasing professionals’ daily functions, as is setting tasks and reminders. Funnel wanted to offer a calendar view within their CRM platform for agents to view upcoming tasks and efficiently plan their day, so they chose the Nylas Calendar API to add task creation and management capabilities.
A productivity powerhouse for leasing professionals
Fortunately, Funnel was able to avoid the significant time and cost it would take to build the integration themselves. Instead, they integrated and launched all three Nylas APIs (Email, Calendar, and Contacts) in just 3 months with only two developers.
By adding easy-to-configure productivity features that help landlords and leasing agents optimize marketing and operations processes, Funnel’s engineers were able to leave the foundational integrations to the Nylas APIs and focus on developing other in-demand features like click-to-dial phone calls, listing distribution and website powering services, and advanced performance reports.
Funnel continues to expand, recently adding over 250,000 units and raising $14 million in Q4 of 2020. As they continue to launch exciting new features for their customers, the Nylas Platform gives them the freedom to create high-value real estate CRM tools built using a reliable, secure integration with their customers’ email, calendar, and contacts providers.
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“Since adopting Nylas, nearly every new prospect asks about the email integration. At least 30% of our deals have directly closed as a result of us being able to solve this pain point for our customers.
“We have millions of emails sent each week. Nylas frees us up to focus on other roadmap priorities, such as delivering new features to our customers and working with our data science team on exciting new projects.”
“The reason why we chose Nylas in the first place for an email integration was because it would be way easier for us to use your API than building it ourselves, and we really needed to be able to deliver fast on the product side.”
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Nylas helped us build our new casting features 10x faster. It took us less than a month to integrate email and calendar, allowing us to refocus our technical resources on building the most robust casting solution on the market.”
"[Nylas] essentially does all we want in a single solution. It’s flexible enough for us to design a user experience tailored to our needs, but also easy enough to leverage out-of-the-box SDKs to start testing demand for these features as quickly as possible”