Bixby is the mobile-first building communications and hospitality platform driving the future of proptech. In 2016, reacting to the needs of his family’s real estate management company and observing an obvious demand in the market, Alex Ohebshalom partnered with Mark Smukler to create a simple mobile app that bridged the communication gap between landlords and tenants. In the two years since, Bixby has grown into a fully customizable platform that makes it easier for owners and managers of all property types and portfolio sizes to provide top-tier service to their tenants and residents.
Their mobile-friendly tenant portal allows residents to receive messages from and communicate with management, request maintenance, pay rent or common charges and find vetted, approved vendors for services ranging from housekeeping to dry-cleaning to moving and storage. They also connect residents to local small businesses, offering an ever-growing list of discounts and promotions for bedding, houseware, plants and even gyms and cafes.
This aligns with their stated commitment to cultivating local business. As CEO and co-founder Mark Smukler explains, “Supporting neighborhood businesses is very important to us because it increases the social capital of our immediate communities. By connecting our resident users with small businesses in their area, we increase bottom lines for vendors that support the properties that run on Bixby. This makes the neighborhood flourish in a positive cycle that helps elevate the community with shared social and economic benefits.”
Recently, Bixby acquired Workorder.es, a work-order management application. Bixby’s strategy is to use the product to provide a free, stand-alone service to clients who don’t need the extra functionality of Bixby’s platform or can’t yet afford to pay for a software solution. As Smukler explains, “We’ll use the product to generate leads that Bixby can convert into clients, when ready for a more robust platform. The acquisition follows our strategy to become a diversified real estate technology business that offers a wide array of software solutions.”
Integrated, data-driven, real-time technology is fueling the future of property management. As more and more landlords leverage platforms that improve communication with tenants, Bixby stands at the forefront. By allowing owners and managers to tailor the experience to their properties’ needs, Bixby succeeds in creating a better building experience without forcing the management team to change their existing processes. Additionally, with their increasing array of on-demand services, local discounts and software integrations, Bixby offers the most cutting-edge solution to provide management and residents with increased transparency and efficiency while extending the building’s amenity offerings into the local community.
The future looks bright at Bixby. As their core functionality matures, the team is turning towards the built environment by focusing on integrating smart-home devices and sensors into the app experience. Bixby is working with IoT providers like Nest, Philips, ButterflyMX, Kisi and Disruptive Technologies to retrofit class B and C properties with smart locks, thermostats, light bulbs and more.
In the longer term, as Bixby becomes a trusted partner in helping real estate organizations navigate the adoption of technology, we may see the company expand into more traditional lines of business, providing everything from website development to digital marketing to staffing and even outsourced super-services. Whatever the future brings, one thing is for certain: Bixby will continue to push boundaries by helping property managers cultivate better communities and connecting the neighborhood through an efficient, all-in-one interface.